Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sonskuif (Sunshift)

Yesterday-night, the time shifted and winter has officially arrived. Thus far we had a mild autumn, with the temperature dropping below zero only a few times in the nights. During the days the temperatures are between 5 and 12 , which is quite nice but just enough to encourage you to start getting out the hats and gloves. Especially on chilly mornings, when cycling to work, gloves and a hat prevents uncomfortable chilly fingers and ears. But the grass is still green and the trees, a beautiful mosaic of yellow and red. However, the leaves are falling quickly now and form lush carpets of yellow beneath the trees. Underneath the apple trees are rotting apples, emitting a surprisingly nice aroma. No wonder the elks are getting drunk on them (see newspaper articles here and here).

Autumn carpet. 
Note the lonely lost glove in the foreground,
this is quite a common sight nowadays again (also see older post).

We hope this will be a snowy winter again. The previous two winters (the only two winters we had in Sweden so far) were very snowy. In 2009 we even had a dusting of snow already in October (previous post). That year, however, the big snow only came around the middle of December (previous post) and then stayed with an ever increasing cover until deep into March. Last year, the snow came during a huge snow storm in early November (previous post), which also remained in covering the earth until middle March. How is it going to be this year? People say that the previous two winters had unusually heavy snowfalls and in Uppsala, the snow usually don’t stay throughout the winter, but rather fall and then melt away before falling again. We sure hope we have a lot of snow again, since we’ve grown to like the white and black landscapes of snowy Sweden.

Stay tuned for news of winter 2011-2012.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Our new aparament.

We moved into our new apartment in the middle of September 2011. This is a brand new building. Below are some of the stages of development after the place was allocated to us almost a year ago:

As promised here is a video, narrated in Afrikaans, Vrystaatse aksent :)

Feel free to leave a comment about what you want to hear about, or the current post.


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Vacation in Germany.

We were quite busy during the last few weeks (yesterday we assembled our last piece of IKEA furniture). This is thus a delayed post on our holiday in Germany during August. We will soon have more regular posts, including more about our new apartment (with a video if we can convince Carina to make one)...

During August, I attended a conference in Tübingen. After the conference Carina joined me and we spent  a few days touristing. The city of Tübingen (located 30 km from Stuttgart), is an old student town with a university dating from 1477. The castle Hohentübingen (with records from 1078) is now part of the university, where DNA was first isolated by Friedich Miescher. Below is a picture of the entrance to the castle:

Tübingen was not bombed during the second world war and the inner city has kept its old town charm. Many of the building are from the middle ages and below is a few pictures of the inner city as well as the buildings located on the Neckar river:

We visited some of the traditional German restaurants and explored the local Swabian gastronomy which included various sausages, spätzle (thick egg based noodles), maultaschen (ravioli-like pasta filled with bacon, bratwurst spinach and onions), and of course beer:

Situated close to Tübingen is the famous Hohenzollern castle. The castle is the ancestral seat of the house of Hohenzollern, the last emperors that reigned over Germany. This castle could have been from many fairytales with its spiral towers, high walls, drawbridge, dungeons, and majestic statues peering over the surrounding forrest. The castle is situated on a hilltop which made it somewhat inconvinient for the servants that transported goods. However, the location served as a efficient stronghold up until the second word war:

This was a nice short visit and we hope to return to see more of Germany.