Monday, April 29, 2013

Facebook

I admit. I do love Facebook. I love it because it allows me to stay in touch with people that don't live nearby and I love it because the "i like" pages keep me updated on subjects that interest me.
What I also like is that I got to know aspects of my friends that I didn't know of. It shows so much of about who we are - I don't think that each one of us knows how much actually.

Want some examples?

There is one guy who is posting only pictures of cars. Big potent cars (I won't name it - let's just say that it's an Italian car). Then there is this other guy who photographs all the meals he's eating in restaurants (I suggested that he should start a food blog!). One friend is all about sharing interesting articles of the New York Times (mostly controversial stuff). Then you'll find those who post pictures of their dogs, fishes, cats etc or pictures of them being at some kind of party, gatherings, etc. Others are only talking about the trips they're doing/they've done/will do and post pictures accordingly (me being one of those, I suppose SMILE). Some chicks share the latest sound / video to which music they danced on in the club the last weekend. Some of them share their or others (philosophical) thoughts. Others play bizarre games (bizzare only to me, mind you, as I am not into games).

It's fascinating. And touching. And interesting. And funny. And informative.

I love Facebook!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Madeira - Flowers

Madeira is known for its flowers - rightly so!





Monday, April 22, 2013

Madeira - The Coolest Traffic Sign Ever


I had never seen one of those in my life... I later found out that around the corner was the village's retirement home!

Madeira - Funchal (capital city)

We spent almost two days in Funchal, the capital of Madeira because we had a craving for shopping and good restaurants / coffee shops.
On Tuesday we had originally planned to go to the beach but when we saw the cloudy sky, we spontaneously decided to go shopping instead (the girls, of course, were totally excited! You tell a 14 and 11 years old chick: let's go shopping - she won't say no, that's for sure!).
It was nice being in the city again (city girls remain city girls at heart SMILE). Besides some very nice shopping, we walked the city and even took the funicular to Funchal Monte (don't expect any pictures of the ride up and down the hill with the funicular - I am afraid of heights and therefore was concentrated on NOT looking down, i.e. no pictures taken). It's a very cute city.


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Madeira - Western / Southern Part

We left Porto Moniz in a very happy mood. The sun was shining and the days we spent on the Northern Shore were actually quite nice (I got a sunburn!). Driving west ... brought ... fog. We found out that this is quite normal for Madeira - I mean, the changing weather. I am no meteorologist but it sounds logical to me. Firstly, we have Atlantic Weather, then hot southern weather meets cold northern winds. Unstable weather - said in two words.

We drove to the most western point of the island, called Ponta do Pargo. The guide said that there was quite a view and a lighthouse as well (which, by the way, is only open on Wednesday. Do you think that this is strange? Not at all. Welcome to Madeira. Here they take life easy :-)). When we arrived, fortunately, the wind had blown away the fog and we actually had a view:



This flower (I always forget its name) growths like weed in Madeira. Back on mainland Europe it's a rather costly flower to buy...
We continued our drive along the Southern Shore and I must admit it was a bit disappointing. Or maybe I kept comparing it to the wonderful Northern Shore (I know! One should never compare!). The guide promised villages with "Mediterranean Flair" and we were very much looking forward to this feeling.
I should never had read these words because when I read "Mediterranean" then I think of the real thing and I should have known that I would be disappointed. We were on an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean - how on earth could they copy the Mediterranean Flair??? Well, I learned (as it happens on almost every trip) that expectations were my worse enemy.
We got through the cloudy day rather well though and enjoyed the pool of our hotel in Ponta do Sol so much the better! Just in time for the sundown the sun came out and we enjoyed the view from a restaurant on the beach in Ponta do Sol, enjoying (for once!) a good meal :-)
All's well that ends well!

I just realized that I haven't taken one picture of the Southern Coast. Strange. Even though I made up with this part of the island two days later while roasting in the sun in Calheta on the only beach of Madeira that has yellow sand (imported from Morocco - crazy what they do for tourists, don't you think?), I apparently didn't find it necessary to take pictures :-)

Friday, April 19, 2013

Madeira - Seen On A Door in Machico (Eastern Part)

The Island of Madeira made out of ...

keyboard keys!

Madeira - Already Remembering

I've neglected you. I am sorry! During the last couple of days of our Madeira trip we were sleeping in hotels were there was only WiFi in the hotel lobby and therefore updating this page was rather difficult. Don't you worry though. I will show you pictures / tell you stories of our trip along the Western and Southern part of the islands as well as some of the capital of Madeira, Funchal.

Let me just anticipate something though. I got back yesterday evening - I opened the door of my apartment a bit after midnight ... totally wet ... due to the rain! Great. I have left while it was raining and got back while it was raining. Well, you'll tell me there is some continuity in this and that continuity is good. You may be right. It was rather hard though to come back and getting wet as a welcome greeting :-)

I am back to work today (lucky for me I can work from home, from time to time, and today is the time :-)), already did my laundry and will sort out my photos tonight. Therefore - more to follow!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Madeira - day three

We ended our day of yesterday ... sunbathing (I got my first sun burn of the season!). We arrived in Porto Muniz. There is nothing particular in this rather little village beside ... their natural pool. Totally amazing. The ocean has formed the rocks in such ways (and helped by humans later on) that you can now take a bath in the ocean but feel like you are in a pool. It's difficult to describe. Maybe a picture will help clarify:


The water was too cold for me (it's always too cold for me - remember the bit about NOT being a water bunny? - I am NO water bunny) but lying in the sun is more my thing (hence my sun burn hahahha).
Today, Sunday, we decided to take it easy and we spend some time at the Aquarium, went visiting a nearby village and ended our day ... sunbathing. Today, though, was another story. The winds were rather strong and the waves rather high! While we were quietly enjoying the sun, we didn't see the wave arrive and ... got all wet! We changed places three times and got wet three times. After the first shock, we had to laugh. All the shrieking, jumping up, grabing our stuff and running away... I think we were a funny bunch to watch :-)

Madeira - day two

We left the Eastern Coast while the sun was shining brightly! Our vacation had officially begun. We drove from Santo do Serra up to the Northern Shore of the Island. I was very much looking forward to visit the village of Santana, where, according to our guide book, we would find kind of triangular houses...

Pretty cool, don't you think? Santana had breathtaking views to offer as well:

We could have walked down to this beach but the guide said that the path would be rather steep - therefore we decided to take the funicular :-)

The Northern Shore was breathtakingly beautiful. The cliffs. The ocean. The vegetation. Wonderful.


 On the road to our next destination, we stopped to take the picture you see above (with the white flowers). Suddenly, a guy started talking to us and showed us the fruits he sold on the roadside. We were astonished to find out that there were 8 (eight!!) dîfferent kind of passion fruits. A discovery for me and my three companions! He was nice enough to let us taste the different kinds and we bought 4 of them!!! One kind, for example, looks like a banana but then has the "inside" of a passion fruit. Delicious. We bought enough fruits for the next couple of days and now our lunch consists of passion fruit (among other food, of course).
Speaking of food. I am sorry to tell you that the food is not good. It remembers me of my La Gomera vacation. They have fresh fish but are unable to cook it well (either is too dry or then it has no taste). Tonight I ate the worst pizza of my life. One could think that cooking pizza is rather simple, right? Well, apparently it's not simple enough for them. We keep hoping that the next restaurant will be the right one! Hope dies last - apparently - we'll see :-)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Madeira - day one

After a good night with plenty of sleep ... I woke up to ... cloudy skies. Well. What to say? The weather cannot be changed and getting nervous because of it doesn't help. On the contrary.
The zen approach (maybe) helped because while having breakfast ... the sun came out! Later, a guy explained us that this is how it usually is. It's often foggy in the mornings (the temperatures are not cold though) and nature looks like haunted or something. Really cool, by the way. I have never been to the jungle but this is how I imagine it would look like.

We first drove to Ribeiro Frio - it's on the inside of the island. It was foggy but wonderful. The flowers. The trees. The smells. Wonderful. Driving there we almost killed a sheep. No joking. Look for yourselves:


They suddenly came out of nowhere and for a second I felt like being in Scotland :-) The view is certainly different!


It was pretty coold to drive in and out the fog!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Madeira - arrival

A smooth flight (even if a bit delayed but not too much) later we are here: Madeira. First impressions? Deep blue sea and green mountains and flowers all over. And warm temperatures. Cloudy, unfortunately. It even started raining a bit before we left for dinner but we are too tired anyway and therefore we don't care too much.

I wanna go to sleep now and hopefully tomorrow the sun will be our companion :-)

Madeira - I'm coming

I look out of the window and ... it's raining ... again! Can't believe it but today I actually don't care. Do you wanna know why?
Well, it's because in a couple of hours I will be sitting in a plane to ... Madeira (where weather.com tells me it's 20°C!).

I am packed. I am ready. And I can't wait to travel the island of Madeira. I will be traveling with one of my oldest friends and her two teenage daughters. We have rented a car and will drive all around the island. Four chicks on the road - so to speak :-)

What is there to say besides ... bon voyage? Nothing. Bon voyage :-)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Other's World: CHIROLOGY

Are you reading the title of this post and wondering what chirology means? To the public it's better known as "palm reading" (Handleser). When people (usually) hear "palm readers", they (usually) think of fairs or witches or, worse even, of charlatans. Are you one of those? Well, you may not be wrong but as in everything, there is always "another side". Palm readers that are serious about their business do exist and they help people. How to recognize one, you ask? I was told, for example, that a good palm reader will never read your future in your hands. Mrs B, who is a chirologue and has nicely enough agreed to this interview, explained to me that the lines of our hands change during our life. They change depending on what we are feeling, doing. They evolve with us. They reflect our life, in fact. Nothing more. Nothing less. You'll see the past in your hands - but no future I'm afraid, as the future has not yet "been lived".
The lines of our fingertips are another story. They never change (think of the imprints taken by the police).
I went to a chirology session a couple of weeks back. A lot was going on in my mind and I needed another viewpoint - kind of an outside view of who I am, what I am good at and where my weaknesses lie. A friend gave me Mrs B's phone number and I decided to give it a try. A wonderful decision on my part! In 1.5 hours Mrs B. somehow "summed up" my life. Almost to the point. It was amazing and it helped me to see "clearer".
After my session, I had to ask Mrs B. for an interview for my blog. I hope that you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed doing it.
The pictures are hers and you'll find the English version at the bottom - as usual: translation mistakes are all mine!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Funny... Or Maybe Not

It happened yesterday evening, on my way home. I saw that the drugstore around the corner of where I work had ... insect repellants as special offer!
I wanted to cry!
It was raining. It was cold. And I had forgotten my umbrella at home in the morning and therefore was getting all wet ... and cold! ... on April 8th ... and the drug store had had the brillant idea to do special offers on insect repellants?????????????????????? Were they kidding me or what????

I wanted not only to cry but to scream or to yell as well but the question was: At whom? At what? The weather god? I decided to keep silent, go home and NOT think about insect repellants.

This morning something different woke me up. At first I didn't get it. Why was my room so bright? Did I oversleep? Suddenly it came to me. The sun was shining ... brightly! I literally jumped out of the bed and felt totally good.

Walking by the drug store to go to work I couldn't stop grinning. It's not yet time to think about insect repellant but, hey, at least the sun is shining! Funny coincidence though - their special offering of insect repellant and the sun coming out after weeks of gray and cold weather. Should I offer the ladies of the drug store some flowers? Maybe they have some special connection to some weather god?

UPDATE 11 AM:
Sun has again disappeared behind some thick clouds and it just started to rain. Therefore, my dear ladies from the drug store: no flowers for you, I am afraid. And a suggestion: Why not put something else on special offer? Like... umbrellas? Vitamin C? Gingseng?`More appropriate for the season, I believe.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Thrift Shop

I am usually not a great fan of thrift shops (Brockenhaus) but today I felt like shopping and as my budget is rather tight these days (a lot of places to travel to), I decided to give it a try.

Oh wow. What a place. It felt like a journey to the past. Oh my. It's incredible how much stuff is given away! Strolling along the shelves felt really like a journey to the past. I swear I saw some dishes and other stuff that my mother had back in the eighties! It was amazing :-)
I bought three candle stick holders made out of iron that will look very nice with colored candles.
Then I bought some picture frames, a very nice scarf (see picture below) and a seed box for all my earrings.
But the coolest thing ever is ... rug beater. Do you think that I have gone crazy? Maybe. But this ... thing (that actually reminds me of my youth - my mother used to "threaten" me to beat me with it if I wouldn't do this or that ... which of course she never did!! and which of course I knew exactly she wouldn't do SMILE), well this thing ... looks very good on my wall. It's like a still life - I love it:


I think that it looks great on my wall! on the right you see one of the picture frames I bought

rug beater

scarf - design reminds me of the fifties - sixties...