Hiking up to the Devils Mountain, graffiti paradise

Are you ready for a hike to the Dragons Mountain or are you the person waiting for the sequel premiere of how to train your dragon. Let me tell you I am both.
It was a great Excursion on a Saturday, though the weather could have been better.
It is no joke that the mountain is literally known as Devil’s Mountain and Devil’s Lake, though Dragons Mountain is common likewise. It is pretty much the largest hill in Berlin, a miniature manmade mountain from a pile of rubble from WWII ” trummerbergs ”.
Standing on top of the Teufelsberg you can see the entire panoramic landscape.

In the early 60s Americans had their radars and NSA station there.

Now after the reunion a big magnate thought to build large lofts and double maisonette but his project failed.
It is now a privately owned space where you can see how nature recovered by itself without the need of a human need. Other forms include artistic Street art of international artists which lay their piece of artwork onto the ruins.

The place has transformed into a graffiti paradise where artists let their artwork speak for itself.

Without doubt never have I seen so much beautifully designed graffiti art, as it is now on display in the ruins of the old NSA radar station.

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My impressions on Berlins Green Week vs Fruit Logistica 2014

The Green Week exhibition is a great way of having a family day out and get educated on the way with educational and scientific research topics or a kid friendly education package, it shouldn’t be missed when you are coming to Berlin in the beginning of February or living in Berlin. The Green Week exhibition is held every year in Berlin. Regional and nationalwide stands for fresh and processed foods as well as animal shows and international country stands are exhibited.

In contrast is the Fruit Logistica more business and company oriented. Who attends pays a greater fee, 20 Euros for a day. Students half the price. It’s a great way though to get to know the latest technical innovations involving processes of testing quality parameters of fruits or processing vegetables. Furthermore it is a good place to get into contact with prospective clients and discuss a deal over lunch break. There are many technical advances that is worth a visit just to see what has been established so far. I found it very interesting and worthwhile and would do it again next year if the chance presents itself.

Berlin – Green Week

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Russian Presentation

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Spaghetti with organic coloration: root beet, curcuma

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Queen bee and beekeeper

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Carved vegetables

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Rosa pomelo

Fruit Logistica 2014 #Berlin
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My pictures of the European World premiere in Berlin: The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug

Never say never…Do what comes in your mind and don’t think of any consequences…Just have fun!! This what I had yesterday.

I love movies …I loved the Trilogy of The Lord of the Rings and I was as evenly amazed by the movie of the Hobbit. Advertisements around the city made me aware that a premiere of the movie would take place but I didn’t give it much thought until Sunday night, when I lay awake scrolling through the events that might take my attention and will provide me with a reason to go out of my room to have some fun.

This was such an event. The European world premiere of The Hobbit: the desolation of smaug with red carpet coverage and lifestreaming worldwide at 6pm CET on Monday 9th December 2013 at the Potsdamerplatz, Sony Centre in Berlin.

I am not the kind of fan who would stand up queuing from the early morning, I am a fan of movies who would have liked to make a new experience and see the actors who made this movie one of a kind. I went there at 4:30 pm and arrived at 5pm 1 hour before the event started and just enough time to find myself a good spot.

I have thought there will be a lot more people present. As it seemed the rain cooled most of the mood off as well as being the 1st working day of the week in Germany where someone after an 8 h long shift would rather have a cozy warm house or a bed in mind than going to an event standing in the cold, in the back rows just trying to get a good look or shot of the actors and other participants.Yet for my opinion, it was full enough.

The cinema Imaxx was closed for other movies. The only movie that was shown in the night was The Hobbit.

I wished that the weather were better and it were not raining. I wished I had found myself a better spot instead of the third line that I was standing at, trying to get one good shot of the many that I took, one which is not totally blurry and you can actually see the person which I wanted to take a picture in the first place. I was proposing too many wishes for that night that didn’t come out as expected. The Important matter is that this winter I was glad I was there in such an event.This is the first of such events that I ever participated inside and it was an overall great experience.

Here are the (not so blurry) pictures I took at the event.

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The event of the year Marathon in Magdeburg, Germany

To the 9th time Magdeburg was holding a Marathon event on Sunday 21.10.2012 and this time I was there. I cannot believe it is around three weeks ago while all the while every moment is so fresh in front of my eyes.
It is the first of such events that I participate and I was amazingly surprised by the willing helping hands and organizations who let this event start and end successful. I was one of the helpers, who gave out the starting materials to the participating members. Though it has been a long time I enjoyed it very much.

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The event did not know age nor did it know distances. For everyone there was a discipline to choose. These were Marathon with 42km, half marathon, mini marathon for children and Nordic Walking. For all participants, the end line was the same. It was an unforgettable event with the goal to stand next year in their shoes and be cheered on for running with Magdeburg.

My trip to Frankfurt a.M – Germany, many lessons learned

I thought I have been very well organized planning my stay in Frankfurt am Main the fifth largest city in Germany with one of the biggest international Airport bases and train station platforms as well as counting to the financial center of Europe.
I was very surprised to acknowledge that the way to the hotel is another story. There are several options one can make, first travelers to Frankfurt like me have on their first day of arrival not very much luck to save money, this is what happened to me.

My flight to Frankfurt Germany was a transit flight through Cyprus from the early morning 5th October 2012. I had to wait 2 hours in Larnaca but I used my time wisely and didn’t feel bored at all. Just look at my breakfast, it was a delicious memory, I can still taste. Love everything sweet.

Atrium Cafe - Waffles and icecream

Yet the flight was very tiring and when I arrived at Frankfurt international airport only one thought was in my mind, to arrive at the hotel in a short, inexpensive way. I wanted to save so I could use the money for tourist attractions, refreshments and so on.

There are several ways to reach your destination. Mine was to use the train or subway railway station to the main train station. A decision wisely taken as I learned to know.

Between the airport and the main train station is an approximate distance of 15km calculated, when you decide to take a taxi from the airport you need to know that the basic charge starts now at 6,00€ (~ $ 7.70) and for every consecutive km in the day you pay 1,38€ (~ $1.78) extra charges apply for night trips and in case of booking ahead waiting time and cancellation. Day trip fee amounts to 26,70 € (~ $34.60).

To reach the railway station from the Frankfurt airport is very easy, you hardly get lost since there are so many information billboards around and friendly airport staff to help you around once in need.
Also Frankfurt railway route search is very easy and is available for various languages. Furthermore having some German language knowledge is very advantageous. I am glad to see that even driving in the night time doesn’t change the fare of the ticket: 4,10 €. This search resulted in a one-way travel per person. When driving by night this is the best option to take. Driving by day you could save an extra 2,30. (~ $3) in case you take the day ticket for Frankfurt. The day ticket provides you with unlimited drive times from 9am till midnight  with public transportation, these are underground railway,subway railway and bus within Frankfurt City. The Frankfurt day ticket which includes the Airport costs 8 €. Normal Frankfurt Ticket without Airport 6,20 €.

Short way ticket from the main train station Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof via subway railway to my Hotel in an area called Galluswarte costs 1,60 €. Sadly I didn’t use that option. Instead I drove the rest of the way with a taxi. Taxi charge 6,50 €.

Specially for tourists there are Frankfurt Card tickets available at train and airport stations which include free and unlimited public transportation system within Frankfurt City and Frankfurt Airport for either one or two days, 50 % price reduction on admission to selected Frankfurt Museums and attractions, and other various discounts as well.
This was my choice.

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Frankfurt City has so much to offer yet I didn’t have all the time to see everything. Follow these links to amazing pictures and information around sightseeing in Frankfurt.

http://terencesjones.wordpress.com/2012/07/26/downtown-frankfurt-a-one-day-trip/

Picture Blog Sky view from the top

http://aicer01.blogspot.de/2012/09/germany-tour-day-7-22nd-sept.html

http://theglamnomad.wordpress.com/2012/08/07/frankfurt-germany/

Tips and Sightseeing in Frankfurt

I decided to make my own city tour through the shopping districts and city sights and see to where it carries me on then.

Left to right: Old opera house nighttime, view opposite opera house, Shopping center Zeil, Frankfurt main train station shot from driving subway.

The next day I selected two museums of my own choice.

Botanical Garden – Palmengarten

I love parks because you see the effort and detail spend to present numerous galleries, greenhouses and colorful landscape design which present to me a peaceful and tranquil environment to spend the day out in nature away from the hectic and crowded city-life. The park can be enjoyed year round even in my case on cloudy days. Since there were some reconstruction work still going on the normal price was reduced to 5€ and I entered with 2,50€. Here are some of my good shots.

ExperiMINTa ScienceCenter Frankfurt Interactive museum for young and old to experience different aspects of science first-hand in an easily understandable way and create a bond to bring kids nearer to science in a fun and creative way. It is a wonderful idea to combine playing and learning at a young age. Right now more focus is placed on the German kids and children, since I didn’t find any explanatory boards in English. So there is a space for improvement necessary when also foreign visitors are targeted or foreign tourist decide to visit this facility. I took the liberty to make some pictures of me and other voluntary children (many thanks to them) who helped me in this interactive hands-on project. It was a successful approach. What is your opinion?

from left to right: ExperiMINTa building; entrance bracelet; mirror distortion; giant spoon a) front b)back; slitted mirror; artificial Tornado; bridge building; book bridge with PC bridge Simulator; Soma cube dissection puzzle; Giant water soap bubble

I am actually not the backpacker type of traveling person, I like to travel comfortable staying in hotels, sightseeing and tourism but to save on money that can be spend on other attractions in town is and will be always a priority for me. This trip has given me a memorable stay with many lessons learned on the way, hoping also YOU will profit from.

Guest Post by Melissa Douthit on romance

In life we are going through many paths and while there we are not alone. We are surrounded by friends and the people we love.
This is a story of love still in its beginning and it is nurtured so it can grow stronger with time. Here is my review.

Many thanks given to Melissa Douthit who is sharing with us her thoughts on the emotions shared between two young people.

Excerpt from The Vanishing, pages 49-51:

She lowered the cowl of her cloak and held out her hand to help him up. “Didn’t anyone ever teach you that it isn’t wise to sneak up on a Cantonese?” she asked.

Grabbing her hand, he said: “A Cantonese?” She pulled him smoothly to his feet with very little effort. He marveled at her strength, still goggling at her in amazement. She was so strong for someone so petite. Then he furrowed his brows in puzzlement. “You don’t look Cantonese,” he added. It was true. She didn’t. The Cantonese were dark of hair and skin. Their eyes were usually dark as well, although some did have lighter shades of brown, hazel, and even green, but they were never this bright, nor this blue, like the sky on a cloudless, summer day, and they were never accompanied with the fair skin and the blond hair like the young woman before him. Stop gawking at her! he told himself silently. You look like an idiot! Yet, who was she? And why did she seem so familiar?

“Yeah, I hear that all the time but I was born and raised there,” she replied. “It’s the truth. I grew up with my Grandfather, Sebastian, and my Grandmother, Naelli. I don’t remember my mother and know virtually nothing of the rest of my family …” As she spoke, a memory of when he was eleven years old flashed in his mind. They were in the wine cellar of the Pandretti Inn and Winery, playing a game. Of course, she had been cheating at the time, as she always did. She had just jumped out of an empty wine barrel and tagged him the ghost when he said …

“Chalice?” She cocked her head in surprise at hearing her name. “Your family owns the old Inn and Winery on Canton Run, right?” She nodded and he continued: “I thought you were one of the Lost Ones. I couldn’t tell with your hood up. Wow, you have really gotten a lot bigger since the last time I saw you …” He paused, wincing as he moved his shoulder and felt a sharp pang. “… and a lot stronger too,” he added, rubbing the sore spot, hunching over slightly, with a pained expression. Apparently, the knock she had given him bruised a little more than just his pride.

Her face softened. “I’m sorry for that,” she said, gesturing toward his shoulder. “I don’t know my own strength sometimes.”

He shrugged it off as if to tell her not to worry about it. “Well, I learned my lesson, didn’t I?” he said. “I’m never going to try that again.” It did hurt but he wasn’t going to let her know. He had to act tough, he told himself, on principle.

She eyed him curiously. “You say you’ve seen me. Have we met before?”

“You don’t remember?” he asked with raised eyebrows. He was puzzled that she didn’t remember something that was so clear to him. Nine years earlier, when they were children, he had spent three years in Canton with her and her grandparents. His parents had had to leave on a search mission and his brothers had gone to stay with the Corbins. There had been no room for Jeremiah there and as Sebastian Pandretti had been in town visiting at the time, it was, according to his father, the best solution for him. He suddenly remembered Canton and the games she and he played when they were young. It seemed as if it were almost yesterday. “Ghost-in-the-Graveyard,” he continued, “in the wine cellar of the Inn? You cheated all the time.” He laughed. “You really don’t remember?” Sighing, he finally said: “Ah well, you were pretty young then.”

She studied him for a moment and then, suddenly, her face lit up in recognition. “Oh my gosh, no, I do remember!” she exclaimed. “Jeremiah?!” she asked and he nodded. “Jeremiah Maehbeck! How could I have forgotten?!”

He smiled as she said the words and caught a twinkle of joy in her eye at seeing him again. Then he suddenly realized what had been missing in his life this whole time. After all these years, he finally understood the emptiness inside of him and realized what could fill it – the only thing that could fill it. It was her.

As stated in the excerpt, the two main characters, Chalice and Jeremiah, knew each other as children.  When they meet again, they remember the friendship they shared as kids.  It begins to grow and blossom into something stronger throughout the first book, coming to fruition at the end.  In so many other YA stories I’ve read, a meet-cute is usually between two strangers who fall in love, but I wanted this one to be different.  The Vanishing is particularly romantic because Jeremiah feels something deep down, something missing from his life that he describes as a hole in his chest, and then finally learns what it is when he sees her again.  That is, his heart remembers.

After asking so many people their opinions on romantic relationships in YA stories, I decided I wanted Chalice and Jeremiah’s relationship to progress and mature in the second book.  I wanted it to be real.  I wanted the reader to see how close they are, not just emotionally but also physically, while at the same time maintaining the sweetness of their relationship, keeping it very mild and tasteful.  I’ve read so many YA series where the two main protagonists seem to be stuck in this kiss-and-talk-only mode.  For me, this seems a bit unrealistic for an 18-year-old and 21-year-old who want to be married.  But there is also another reason for the maturation of their relationship and it has to do with something that happens at the very end of the trilogy.  That’s all I can say on that because I don’t want to spoil it, but I believe readers will love it and find it very sweet … at least I hope they will.  I do.

Contest – Free Kindle

Enter a drawing and win a free Kindle by answering the following question:

Why is The Vanishing romantic?

To answer the question go to this link and fill in the information (place answer in Message field):

Contest ends March 10, 2012.  Winner will be announced March 11th on Melissa Douthit’s Blog.

The Firelight of Maalda on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

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Turkish Desperate housewives version hits arabic dubbed television

Since the premier of the american television series of Desperate Housewives in 2004 young and old worldwide me included is enjoying the show which is going into it’s 8th SEASON now. Of course it doesn’t stop there. Since the arrival of arabic dubbed turkish series in the Arab world in 2009 I find myself in turkish series fever, there are for everyone’s taste something, mostly composed of drama and a mix of romance in between.
Now to make it even more complex a new genre comes along with comedy and mystery in the new show of 2011 that is about 5 women that share the roles of the heroes of womanhood from “Desperate Housewives ” just in turkish version ( Umutsuz Ev Kadınları ) .
Today was its premiere on MBC4, a national channel of the Middle East. Instead of Desperate housewives they used the name Lost women:
نساء حاءرات

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The roles are as follows. Songül plays Yasmeen, Ceyda plays Rafif, Bennu plays Nermeen, Evrim in the role of Gabrielle.

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And Özge Özdere in place of Nicole Sheridan playing Amal in the dubbed version.
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The roles are as follows.

Songül plays Yasmeen ( Susan) is a fashion designer as I believe because of her models in the house. She is clumsy and recently divorced. Though her husband is engaged to another woman he doesn’t agree with Yasmeen to talk to other men even if the person is a new neighbor as Ghassan ( Mike Delfino) who is an electric engineer. She seems to like him and with motivational talking from her young daughter Deema ( Julie Mayer) she begins looking for him.

Rafif ( Lynette) now is a married woman struggling everyday with 4 young children while her husband is on business trips, she was employed in the bank as it appears while she meets with one of her old colleagues in the supermarket.

Nermeen ( Bree) is very picky and likes to control every move of her family that they feel imprisoned and become distant towards her.
Hanna ( Mary Alice) killed herself and left a mourning husband Jamil and her son Murad behind.

Zeina ( Gabrielle) former beauty queen married to luay ( Carlos) who is cheating on her but she doesn’t know it yet. The most important matter in her life is her beauty. And while she is bored in the day the neighbors son Firas, knows much about computers is spending the day teaching her how to use the computer.

Amal ( Edie Britt) was 2 times married and is searching for a new Love. She has also some cooking skills from Katherine Mayfair character. Now she is competing with Yasmeen for the attention of her new neighbor Ghassan.

Everyone has secrets and it is about to be revealed in the coming weeks.

With this new version of Desperate Housewives the MBC4 channel got a new viewer.

It is an entertaining alternative which I believe to be as successful as previous turkish series shown on Middle Eastern Television channels.