Summer in Europe 2017

Apologies for the recent silence. It is summer in Europe and I decided rather short-dated to take my daughter back to Europe to visit family.

Since we hadn’t been back for almost two years, my heart was craving for some familiar faces, good food, deep conversations with friends, vibrant culture, rich history and European sun. As much as I love Australia but home is in Europe.

So here are the highlights of our trips:

German primary school. Yep, my daughter is in school age even in Germany now although she has been attending primary school in Australia for almost 1.5 years. Besides having her official school inauguration with the family around (including the famous sugar cone), she attended school for about two weeks with her bigger cousins. She had an awesome teacher and made friends with kids whose parents I used to hang out with. Of course her German also improved massively.

Working remotely. Modern technology and a wider adaption of teleworking makes it all possible. I actually managed to work most of the time remotely continuing my project to completion. I worked whilst my daughter attended the few hours of German school in the morning. The afternoons were free to visit family or catch up with friends. I could get used to this lifestyle!

Berlin. My husbands parents are originally from Berlin and we still have quite a bit of family there. Berlin is an awesome city with one of the most amazing histories. One of my friends just moved back there from Paris. So of course we had to go for a long weekend visit to soak up the Branderburg Gate, hip neighbourhoods like Pankow and most importantly some family time.

Spreewald. It’s this magical canal landscape just South of Berlin which is also known for its famous gherkins. My daughter called it “cucumber country”. It’s a quaint and slow place where you can discover the canals with kayaks or paddle boats. If you just want to chill, you can also go on an organized canal tour.

Swimming the river Elbe in Dresden. I have been fascinated by European river swimming ever since I read about this guy in Munich that swims into work. When I read in the newspaper that the annual 3.5km Elbe river swim was on, I was hooked straight away.  Because you actually swim upstream, it’s more like a 1.7km swim. You could also just lie on your back and float with the stream. It was an amazing experience to swim with 1,600 other crazy people through the famous  bridges and surrounded by steam boats (I know, don’t talk to me about safety shares on this one).

My grandma’s 80th birthday. I am very grateful to still have a grandma and even mofre to be able to spent the big anniversary with her. It was a special day for my daughter too.

My grandma’s passing away. My other grandma passed away late last year. She was a very important member of my family and I was quite close to her. This was my first visit back home with her not being there which was quite emotional for me. A good reminder how Finite life is.

My new baby niece. The circle of life…some people go and some people will come. My sister had a baby girl in July (exactly nine months after my grandma passed away). It was lovely to welcome her and spend some time with my sister whilst she is on maternity leave.

Riding my bike. It’s been one of my favourite activity ever since I was a child. Riding my bike through the beautiful landscape of my hometown makes my heart sink. But have a look yourself.

Summer. Although temperatures of the Brisbane winter are about the same like the summer in Germany,  it was lovely to soak up the atmosphere and to enjoy the soft sun. Living in the four seasons makes you appreciate every one of them more. Here in Brisbane we literally only have two seasons with length of days staying pretty much the same (+/- 2 hours). The change of weather, long or short days and leaves converting their colour is rather magical to me after that many years away.

August. It’s a great month to travel in Europe. Although it can be expensive because most schoolkids are at home and it’s peak holiday season. For me August was always magical…it’s the month when most people are relaxed because they are on leave and the weather is good enough to spend time outside. Long summer evenings with the family having a BBQ or riding my bike…that’s what summer is all about.

What is your favourite summer memory?

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