Monthly Archives: May 2016

Hiking through an enchanted forest

HörrschbachRecently we did a great hike starting in Murrhardt a small city half an hour drive away from Stuttgart. The hike is 10km long and leads to two waterfalls and along a river wounding its way through the valley. The forest was glowing in all shades of green and the water was glittering and floating calmly past us. Hiking, especially along a water stream, is the best way for me to calm down and relax.

first waterfalls - Murrhardt

The hike starts in the center of Murrhardt leading you straight out of the town into the forest (Download the route and a description here). After twenty minutes we arrived at the first waterfall at the beginning of the valley. Up to this point, the way is pretty easy to walk on, but from there the ground gets more muddy following the stream to the end of the valley.

Since I have been a little kid I most enjoyed hikes like this where we walked over roots of trees, stones and were you had to cross the river ocassionally – either on a bridge or just by using the bigger stones sticking out of the water.

Crossing the river After an hour of marvelling at all the different shades of green and having fun on and around the water, we finally arrived at the second waterfall.

second waterfall Murrhardt

The water was dripping down the moss-covered stones which wasn’t what I expected but was still very lovely to watch. However, when we reached the top of the waterfall, we realised that this wasn’t the waterfall in its full power. Because the fiver is dammed up and hikers can control the waterfall with a small flap. After opening this flap the waterfall gets more powerful.

second waterfall - Hörrschbachtal – Doesn’t this look beautiful? –

At the top of the waterfall you can have a nice break and eat your paked lunch or you keep going until you hit the waterfall restaurant at the top-end of the valley. We had our paked lunch with us and continued the walk through the forest back to Murrhardt.

It took us roughly three hours to finish the hike. Not because of the distance but more due to the uneven ground and the fun we had balancing on stones and trees along the way. Stopping from time to time to take photos ;).

Murrhardt

Make sure, you walk around in Murrhardt as well because the town is also really lovely and what better than having some ice-cream as a reward for finishing the hike?

Cars, planes, engines – paradies for all tech-lovers

Concorde - Auto & Technik Museum SinsheimAfter a really warm and nice past week, the long weekend was again very cold and rainy. My boyfriend always wanted to visit the Auto & Technik Museum (Car and technology museum) in Sinsheim and since the weather was dreadful and Sinsheim is just an hour away from Stuttgart we decided to give it a go.

I have to admit, that cars don’t attract my interest in general. I do like a well designed car (which will get clear in the pictures) but I can’t stare at 1.000 of different cars and marvel at their pace or power. So all in all, not the best starting conditions for a car and technology museum.

However, I was surprised that I actually quite enjoyed visiting it in the end…

Mercedes - Auto & technik Museum Sinsheimcars - Auto & Technik Museum SinsheimThe museum offers vehicles for every taste. The two exhibiton halls are so huge that you just don’t know where to look first. They exhibit cars, motorcycles, cycles, tractors, and other machines on the ground and when you look up you spot different sorts of planes hanging from the ceiling.

Planes - Auto & Technik Museum SinsheimIt is definitely heaven for everyone interested in engineering and technology.

turbine - Auto &Technik Museum Sinsheim

I have to admit I was fascinated by the huge machines and different sorts of planes. One highlight of the museum are the russian and french supersonic aircrafts on the roof of the museum which you can enter. Within these two planes, I felt very small knowing that people built these machines up to 50 years ago and achieved to fly faster than sound.

Another thing which really impressed me where the old steam engines. They are simply huge and kind of beautiful.

steam engine - Auto & Technik Museum SinsheimThe museum is open 365 days a year. There is a nice playground in the courtyard for children and if you like, you can combine your entry fee with a ticket to the IMAX cinema.

All in all, I did like the museum much more than I thought. With my background of not really being interested in cars, I enjoyed walking through the collection and just let myslef be amazed by the engineering knowledge on display.

I guess, I would have enjoyed it more if the museum would have had some kind of clear structure or story to tell. Most of the collection just seems like an accumulation of old and sometimes fancy things. So you find an old car next to a ship engine which might be next to an old jukebox. However, this chaos on the other hand has its own appeal and makes it possible to explore the exhibition follwoing your own interests and pace. So give it a go, when you are in the area of Sinsheim.

How about you? Are you into technology and old cars?

DIY – gift for travel enthusiasts

One of my best friends recently left for a three month placement in Mexico and I was struggling to find a fitting farewell present. I didn’t just want to buy anything but wanted to give her something she could actually use during her travel and which in the best case would remind her of me. So I remembered that I once sewed a neck cushion for another friend when she was moving to another city. I figured that this could be it, because you can always use a cushion on long distance flights and especially if you will spend some time in coaches exploring the country.

To sew a cushion isn’t really that difficult. All you need is a sewing machine, a square formed peace of basic fabric (double the size you want the cushion to be) and some colourful fabrics for the applications.

cushion– I decided to put “Have a good journey” in German on the cushion –

You start by drawing the letters or figures you want to applicate on your cushion. Then cut the templates out and do a first arrangement on the fabric, so you get a feeling for how the cushion will look later.

letter drawingFor applicating the letters onto the fabric I used some sort of fusible web. It is just easier to sew the letters onto the basic fabric. I guess with some needles and patience you could also do without it.

lettersWhen transferring your figures to the fusible web be careful and turn your templates to the left. If you forget your letters might be back-to-front.

letters arrangingironingAfter arranging the letters you just iron the whole cushion and the fusible web will connect both fabrics. After this, you sew the letters to the fabric. I chose red thread and a broad stitch so it was more a point of decoration than just connecting the letters to the fabric.

sewingI always do a trial run on a small piece of left-over fabric so I get a feeling for the machine and get back into sewing. After you sewed all the letters to the cushion, use a wide stitch to border the fabric, so it doesn’t dissolve later.

After that you turn the fabric up side down and fold the square in the middle so it has the size of your cushion. Then start sewing the sides together leaving a gap on one side for filling.

finalisingfillingBefore filling, of course turn the cushion on the right side. I used normal stuffing material which you can get in a well equipped crafting or sewing shop for the filling. Fill it till you think it has the wished density and then close the gap by hand.

finishFinally enjoy the satisfaction of creating something handmade and look forward to see the surprise in the eyes of your friend. I just love giving people selfmade presents, it is so personal. And of course I get a reason to do some crafting on top of it :).

What are your favourite present ideas? Any ideas for farewell presents?