Even though the duck and I sometimes forget about it (we actually spent the whole of August thinking it was September), the calendar reminds us that it is still summer. What a splendid opportunity to share some of our most recent beach photos: Continue reading
Last year, when we were sad that we couldn’t travel as much as we used to (which wasn’t a lot, but still more than now), the duck and I shared a few photos we took in Ravensburg, the town of puzzles and board games. After saying goodbye to our friend Jl we walked around, snapped a few photos, and then made our way to the bus stop, where we waited for a bus that never came. Instead, about an hour later, a replacement bus showed up because the one the duck and I were meant to get on had broken down on the way. Finally, we were on our way to Munich, the city of the Oktoberfest. There, we would meet our magical friend B, who also happens to be the duck’s first friend beside me. B gave us a little tour around the city, indicated photo ops (we’d done quite a few joint photo/video collection sessions in the past, back when the duck was a new member of our now-trio), and showed me a campus of the university she was studying at. Of course, the duck and I had forgotten most of what she told us about the places we saw because, as always, food was on our minds, and we had a lot of catching up to do. But we still have the photos we took:
It’s always nice to have visual memory triggers, don’t you think? Oh, how we miss hanging out and eating more snacks than we ever thought would fit in our tummies! We can’t wait to catch up with B and lots of snacks again, hopefully in the not too distant future.
Do you also like to use photographs as memory cues? What’s the most enormous amount of snacks you ever ate in one sitting?
Obligatory annual spring photo post
It seems to have become a tradition for the duck and me to celebrate the beginning of spring by taking a few photos of nature waking up from hibernation and then sharing them on here- weeks later. Why break such a fun tradition? Therefore we present to you today: The beginning of spring – 2021 edition!
Same as last year, we tried to keep our distance from other people. This time we did it by looking extra weird during our attempts to position the camera at the perfect range and angle for a decent shot and thus getting into the funniest shapes. Photography yoga might be our new favorite kind of yoga!
What about you? Do you like to do accidental outside yoga? Were you as excited as we were about the beginning of spring (maybe so much so that you forgot that spring also means allergy season)?
I wonder what this year’s summer will be like.
Running for ten seconds
That’s about the extent of my stamina. When the duck and I lived in Tokyo, our window looked out onto a trail. Sometimes, when – chocolate in hand – we observed the outside world, we saw super motivated joggers run by, some of them twice our combined age: a regular reminder of how unfit we were. “Running for ten seconds” was, in fact, supposed to be the title of a blog post about how we finally took up running so that no runner would ever be able to mock us again – by simply running past our lazy tail feathers. Of course, the titular ten-second run would never happen (not while we were living in Tokyo, anyway) even though, a few weeks before the duck and I set off on our Japan adventure, we visited our inspirational friend who used to go running every morning. She told us that she loved Haruki Murakami’s memoir What I Talk About When I Talk About Running and recommended we read it, too. 3+ years later, we finally did. And, weirdly, after a life of feeling sick for hours after having had to run for more than ten seconds, reading about the experiences of someone (granted, one who never shared our specific lack-of-running-stamina-problem) who started running regularly as an adult made the duck and me finally attempt to properly take up the practice ourselves (if only we’d read this earlier):
Late winter sunsets
When the duck and I started ‘to explore the outside world some more‘ despite our inherent laziness, it was the beginning of winter. Now that spring has officially begun, we want to post a few farewell shots to this particularly weird winter. In the past few months, we have fallen even more in love with the golden light that makes everything look pretty and hopeful in the hour before the sun sets. So, that’s what we tried to capture: Continue reading
After having spent a bit too much time inside in the past few months the duck and I decided that it was time we explore the outside world a bit more (while still keeping our distance from other people and ducks). Usually, something warm to wear (at least wearing masks to keep warm is acceptable now) and a podcast is everything we need for a successful winter stroll. Sometimes we take our camera friend with us so that we can document what we come across. Here are a few examples: Continue reading
Wolkenhain: Climbing Clouds
Earlier this year, when it was still super warm out, the duck and I realized that spending even more time at home than usual almost made us cross the incredibly-lazy-but-still-acceptable line into too-lazy-to-get-anything-done territory. This is why we decided to meet one of our favorite Berlin people for a little outdoor stroll through nature in the city (fresh air, safe distance, good plan). The duck and I had had Kienbergpark gather imaginary dust on our virtual to-see list for a while already when MP had suggested checking it out since she, an actual Berliner, had not known about it until recently. We agreed to go in the early evening since we both had prior engagements during the day (the duck’s only prior engagement was with our ancient, trusty laptop and Netflix), which added an amazing backdrop to our exploration of Wolkenhain, an impressive cloud-shaped observation tower overlooking Marzahn-Hellersdorf and the park and gardens it towers above.
Wearing a white T-shirt while climbing a grassy hill overtaken by shrubbery (and oh so many bugs!) in the middle of summer was the only bad decision I had made that day. And not being able to use the shower right as I got home definitely added to the memorability of our tiny outside adventure (maybe it’s time the duck and I start living alone).
If you’re ever in Berlin and are looking for a nice afternoon activity the duck and I recommend checking out Wolkenhain and maybe even adding on a stroll through Gärten der Welt (Gardens of the World) and Kienbergpark, both activities that will definitely stay on our to-do-in-Berlin-list until we can ceremonially cross them out (after having taken lots of photos, of course). As for the duck and me, we have many adventures planned, big and small, for when it’s safer to travel again.
Do you have any places that have been on your to-see-list for far too long? Do you have gigantic, unaffordable post-pandemic travel plans like the duck and I do (far beyond gardens and parks in Berlin)? Let’s all take a nap and collectively dream of traveling!
It seems that this is a summer of flashbacks. Well, let’s continue, then: About two years ago the duck and I got to explore Ravensburg, the town known for sticking its name on cat puzzles and family games about labyrinths and such. We love games, but, to be honest, we wouldn’t have visited Ravensburg if our friend Jl hadn’t suggested we come see her while she’s calling it her ‘tiny home’. Ravensburg isn’t that small, but after having just come from Tokyo it did seem very cute and cozy with its population of about 50,000. One of our favorite things about Ravensburg is that it has a medieval touch to it which made us regret a tiny bit that we didn’t bring one of our favorite fantasy novels along for the perfect setting (I’ve just realized that the duck and I might be obsessed with perfect reading circumstances). But we were there to see a friend we hadn’t seen in a while, so maybe it’s good that we didn’t. The duck and I took quite a few photos during our town exploration session. Here is a selection:
If you’re ever in Southern Germany, why not plan a day trip to Ravensburg? It’s pretty pretty if you ask the duck and me. If you’re not there to visit a friend, why not bring a novel to fit the setting?
Our happy place
In the past few months the duck and I have been trying to work on a thing, but we’ve been encountering
some a lot of frustrating technical difficulties. That’s why we’ve been spending a lot of time going to our happy place recently. Today we thought we’d share a glimpse of said place with you: photos from a mountain admiration trip to Oberstdorf that we went on before it was cool to wear masks in Germany.
Spying on turtles at Kiyosumi Gardens
Last week I mentioned how, back when we were still living in Tokyo, the duck and I went to a garden before we admired a lovely Kawawa Chizuru 猫魚姫 (cat fish princess) exhibition and had a delicious sorbet brioche. Said garden was Kiyosumi Garden. After meeting our lovely tour guide friend at Kiyosumi-shirakawa station, it only took a few minutes and a minuscule entrance fee until we could enjoy a nice and refreshing (as refreshing as a humid summer day in Tokyo can be) stroll around the lake, marveling at the peaceful scenery – and the turtles! At one point one of the turtles even got out of the water, started following us around (maybe plotting to bite us, as our friend theorized) and then posed for some photos surrounded by other park visitors. Our fond respect for turtles definitely increased even more that day! Of course we also enjoyed seeing all the cool birds and fish.
If you ever visit (Eastern) Tokyo, the duck and I highly recommend checking out Kiyosumi Gardens. At around ¥150 the entrance fee is super affordable for getting the opportunity to admire all that wonderful flora and fauna – and maybe even have your own memorable turtle encounter.
If you have some free time after, we suggest strolling around the area surrounding this beautiful garden, maybe having some tasty coffee or an ice cream filled brioche and visiting a Buddhist temple, as we did that day before the duck and I went to Shinjuku (a mere 20-25 minute subway ride away) to meet up with some old and new friends, including our Kyoto, Edo-Tokyo, Akita and Kamakura (among other little adventures) travel pal.
That was one of our last mini adventures in Tokyo, and the duck and I are so happy that it turned out so memorable and, well, perfect.
Have you ever experienced such days – days that turned out better than you could have imagined when you woke up in the morning?