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Dienstag, 16. August 2016

Wonky Heidi goes east

Earlier this year I had checked out the tour dates of my favourite bands and discovered that Zaz, the french singer, would not come to Munich but to Dresden. Luckily I have a friend who lives nearby, agreed to join me and put me up for the weekend.



I arrived in Dresden totally relaxed and in full holiday mode at 1 pm, ready for a great long weekend.
We took the train into the city and ambled past the Zwinger, the Frauenkirche, along the river Elbe, through parks, had lunch and coffee and arrived at the open air venue "Junge Garde" with plenty of time to spare and found great seats.




I had been worried about the weather but it was a perfect, balmy summer evening and the perfect venue for the perfect gig.



Zaz is amazing and it was soo worth coming all this way. If you don't know her yet, check her out immediately.


After the concert we drove to Bautzen, 50 km east of Dresden, complete with castle, infamous Stasi jail, mustard factory, full of atmosphere and history.

On Sunday after a late breakfast we drove to Weißwasser, stopping en route at Bad Muskau to visit the Fürst-Pückler-Park and castle. 



We had a peek into the potter's workshop, took refreshments underneath the chestnut trees infront of what must have once been the stables and walked to the castle.



We were already running late so we just checked out the beautifully kept grounds. The pictures don't do it justice as it was a bit overcast.






Then we headed on to Weißwasser, home of a prominent ice hockey club and the Kaffeehaus Junge, which is run by my dear friends.  http://www.kaffeehaus-junge.de/Kaffeehaus

A charming little place, offering tea, coffee and wine specialties and great home-cooked food. Check out theit website for events like coffee and whiskey tastings, book clubs and etiquette evenings.




On Monday I re-traced my steps in Bautzen after a 11-year absence, re-discovering the castle and the historic town centre.





 




So after the perfect bank holiday weekend I have to admit: Saxony is well worth a visit.

Sonntag, 7. August 2016

Bavaria rulez: Breitach Gorge

Every adventure needs to end some time so now Wonky Heidi is back in Bavaria, on my desk on weekdays and roaming my home country at the weekends.

This weekend I was lucky to discover the Breitach Gorge in the Allgäu region with my friends. http://www.breitachklamm.com/en/   

Caused by a moving glacier about 10.000 years ago, it is an amazing place to visit. A circular trail leads us seemingly right through the rock. On a small pathway along the rapid creek we climb up and up staring open mouthed at this spectacle of nature.





Overhanging rocks make us duck our heads and ever dripping water pull on our cagoules.



Huge tree trunks snapped like matchsticks and whopping huge boulders positioned like marbles make us wonder about the force of water.




After finishing the 1,5 hours circular trail we had lunch in Oberstdorf, ending our trip eating icecream while strolling through the small town.




As much as I love travelling, there's no place like home! Come and visit Bavaria!


Dienstag, 26. Juli 2016

Top things to do in Queensland and other random stuff

So, in a couple of hours I`ll make my way to the airport to fly back home to Germany after a full-on month in Queensland.
To keep you going until my next post, here are some tips for your trip to Queensland.

1. Daintree Dreaming Tour (from Cairns and Port Arthur)
2. Visit Mount Tamborine  in the hinterland of  Gold Coast
3. Visit QAG - Queensland Art Gallery in Brisbane, with its lovely inside waterfeatures and garden







4. Take the free ferry City Hopper to experience Brisbane from the river.
5. Do some serious people watching over coffee/breakfast in one of the coffeeshops in the lobby of an office block in the CBD.
6. Find a Yoga studio and join a class.

Wonky Heidi does AirBnB

I only discovered AirBnB for me a year ago. And now, on my last night in Australia, looking back on  five AirBnB`s and five hosts, I`m ready to  draw up a summary.

I found it a mixed experience, actually only every other stay was great. What you have to consider is, that the hosts are normal people, not trained in hotel business, they might have bad days or you might just not get on. On the other hand, they get paid for having you as a guest so I really wish they would give their home a good clean before you arrive.

AirBnB is brilliant for city trips with a friend, when you don`t want to share a hotel room. With enough patience and luck you can find awesome apartments in the center of the city for the same price (or even less) as a hotel  and get a living room and kitchen as well.

Or if you are travelling on your own you can find a room in a Million $ apartment with a great host at a great location for the price of a dingy 2 star hotel.

So here`s how to do it:

1. Always read the reviews of former guests carefully.
2. Communicate with the host about musts/must-nots. In my case, pets are a no-go due to my allergies and I like to double-check.
3. Always get clear instructions on how to find the place and exchange phone numbers in advance.
4. Don`t expect too much. Not all hosts are charming and welcoming, some are just weird as f*** and in it for the money!
5. Not all great hosts know how to clean.
6. Write an honest review for the sake of the next guest.

         


Sonntag, 24. Juli 2016

Wonky Heidi in Surfers Paradise

Originally I had planned to go to Byron Bay but due to a festival it was booked out. Checking the map I decided I liked the sound of Coolangatta and its location not far from my next stop, Burleigh Heads.



Coolangatta turned out to be very boring but it suited me fine for my time wasting quest. I walked the beach, hunted for cafes and places to have dinner, went to the cinema and the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.

I`m not a big fan of zoos and animals in captivity but sanctary has a different ring to it. And to my surprise I got to see a Cassowary!





 I first learned about these nearly extinct animals in a tv documentary before I arrived in Australia and then on the Daintree Dreaming Tour. They are indispensable for the rainforest because they eat the fruits of the trees and distribute the seeds miles away to grow into new trees. I also loved the fruit.




I nearly got caught in a Kangaroo stampede. Quite scary!




So after two very quiet days in Coolangatta it was time for me to leave to check-out the delights of Currumbin Valley, Burleigh Heads, Surfers Paradise and Tambourine Mountain.
I was very lucky to have two lovely, personal tour guides, K and G, to show me around.





I especially enjoyed to see the hinterland with its trees and waterfalls. Tambourine Mountain is amazingly beautiful and the views are breathtaking!!






Freitag, 22. Juli 2016

Wonky Heidi wastes time

During the last three weeks I have been actively wasting time. I didn`t make plans for every single day of the trip on purpose. I desperately needed some time-out and was hoping to be inspired on-site.



So, I`ve been using the slowest possible form of transport: the ferry, retraced my steps again and again in Brisbane, because I liked the area.
I had countless cappucinos while contemplating stuff or spent time writing or sketching. I walked the beach for miles.


I went to the cinema three times to pass the time and enjoyed myself!

At first, I felt bad about this. Shouldn`t I be doing something worthwhile and amazing on this special trip??
But who can take four weeks of 24/7 awesomeness and adventures? I blame Facebook. We feel the pressure  to constantly experience great things.


But now I have come to the conclusion, that time spent with myself is always well spent and certainly not wasted!!!

Montag, 18. Juli 2016

Back in Brisbane

On Sunday I returned from Noosa to Brisbane, this time staying in a luxury appartment at Kangaroo Point, near the river.




 Not 5 minutes walk to the Dockside Pier, where the free City Hopper Ferry leaves. I can`t believe my luck. Free ferry rides every 30 minutes. Granted, it`s not the fastest mode of transport but it suits me just fine. And luckily I`m good with river ferries.



I take it in the mornings, during the day and in the evening, drinking in the twinkling city lights, the illuminated bridges and the marvellous skyline.


It makes me feel like NYC (not that I`ve ever been) without the crime.