Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Taking Good Care


Tonight I was packing a few clothes I had sold on a 2nd hand online platform. When I sell a piece of my wardrobe, I want it to look as nice as possible.  The new owner should be as happy as possible, when he/she opens the bag.

Selling my clothes has taught me a good lesson. Now I treat my clothes with the same diligence I treat those pieces I give away.

Removing a tiny loose thread? Clearing the woolen sweater from pilling? Those steps are standard before I pack a piece of garment.

Reasdy to be handed over to the new owner

The garments in my closet receive the same TLC. The process reminds me of friends of ours. They  had been living in their apartment for a very long time and sold the apartment. They moved into a newer, nicer apartment. Shortly before they moved out, they renovated the old apartment. It was only then, that they realised how pretty their old apartment actually was. They had neglected it far too long. "Now" is always a good time to take good care.

Another thing I've learned, thanks to lifestyle bloggers from the US and AUS,  the difference a hand written note makes.

I might have had the right material for a steep career in merchandising.  ;-)

Happy grooming! November feels like the perfect time for quiet tasks like these.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

10 Good Reasons For Travelling Off-Season


We have not reached the end of the Venice Travel Diary yet, but since the trees are heavily shedding their leaves, it't time for an intermezzo. 

Before and after our week in Venice we've spent a few days in Carinthia. Yes, Carinthia, the Southern province in Austria, the region only 3 hours away from Vienna, which I love over above any other region in Austria.

We love to take vacations during off-season. Being DINKS, having the freedom to travel off-season, I see many only advantages. 

#1: Stress-free parking space

Search for a (free) parking lot, close to a lake side? Something we hardly ever never experience. (pictured: not our car)

 #2: Colourful nature
Blossoms? Are highly overrated. Plants go through their most interesting phase in autumn.

 #3: Most of the staff will be on leave (*)

With most of the staff is on leave, we can approach interesting places such as the "Parkhotel" in Pörtschach at the Lake Wörthersee unhindered.
(*) this is an advantage as long as you don't want to stay in a hotel. 

Nobody showed up and interrogated us.

Personalhaus = hotel for hotel staff
Parkhotel = hotel for tourists

Still exploring the grounds of the Parkhotel. Pictured: the alleyway to the private tennis court
The tennis court seen from below, standing at the seafront

... which brings me to

 #4: Pleasant walks in the sunlight

Company at the seafront at Lake Wörthersee next to the Parkhotel
During high-season it would be impossible for me to enjoy a walk in direct sunlight. But now, with the temperatures around 16°C, direct sunlight is enjoyable any daytime.

#5: Everything around you says "Break"
The lake off-season is remote. A remote sight is inviting. It invites me to do .. nothing.

#6: You can actually hear nature 

During high-season there is a lot going on on a public beach. Kids jumping into the water aka shrieking girls, mobile phones ringing, motorboats in front of you, honking cars in the back. But now, during off-season, all you can hear is the sound of dry grass, moving gently in the autumn breeze. 

 #7: You will develop a slower path
The spectacular colours around slow your path. So much to see, so much to capture. #teamcolourlove
Shades of green and yellow, spotted on a banal parking lot next to the street

#8: You have the chance to enjoy Panoramafreiheit at its best 
In Austria we are allowed to take pictures of private property as long as we stand on public ground. 
Since most of the oweners of the villas around Lake Wörthersee are away off-season, you can enjoy your right of the Panoramafreiheit unhindered.

The ability of houses to transform over time, how they transform over time, is something that fascinates me. 

Two examples:

Pictured below is a perfect match, where the car compliments the house really well. I mean, imagine a Hyundai. No, don't imagine a Hyundai! Just look at the old Volvo:

This lettering is wearing an expiration date, unfortunately.
 Some of the more recent buildings leave me rather clueless:

 #9: You can stop for silly poses anywhere, anytime. No one around to look.

Seems "Sushi Bruch" became the successor of the once so famous ...

.... Mixed Grill.

# 10: After a pleasant day you will enjoy a stress-free ride back home

Empty roads during off-season (picture taken on our way to the lake)

Off-season in Venice? Is something we still need to find. Nevertheless, we've enjoyed those busy days in Venice. More stories to come soon!

Have a nice Sunday,

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Venice Travel Diary Part 4: Taking Your Time

Hello again!

today I'd like to take you back to our first day in Venice, when we started our Venice experience at the Palazzo Santa Sofia, better known as "Ca' d'Oro", facing the Canale Grande.

The lion at Ca' d'Oro is not too fond of the waterbuses, moving thousands of tourists and a few locals through the canal.
You can tell I have been travelling with company. This trip comes with a lot of "Making of"-shots. Some of them ... staged. aheem. ;-)
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! The palazzo is right at the Vaporetto stop Ca' d'Oro.
The terrace with the scenic views are a tourist attraction at the palazzo, but it would be a pitty if you missed the inner yard at Ca' d'Oro which dates back to 1430! Almost 600 years ... *sigh* Reading how old this place is, moves me to tears. As does the sight of the Palazzo Ducale in the morning sun. There is something about these pure old places ... I find them very, very touching. 

Detail at the inner yard at Ca' d'Oro
Me, uplifted after the visit at Ca' d'Oro
Such a typical sight. We obviously did not visit Venice during off-season.

"Do not disturb", aka Paula is taking a picture
A very rare moment of zen in a calle (calle=alleyway)
I was sooo uplifted, I even enjoyed the sight of waste in the San Marco basin. Well, those green, yellow, red and brown leaves and cedar needles DID look nice. I missed the plastic.
The famous spot in front of the Punta della Dogana at the Fondamenta Salute (fondamenta = path along a canal) in the late afternoon sunlight. Me, queueing up for the scenic shot with no one in the photo except for me. Mood: relaxed
The crowds at the Fondamenta Zattere, close to the Punta della Dogana were not that bad. But it was so quite warm in the bright sunlight, so we decided to take a waterbus and cross over the San Marco basin and pay Giudecca, an island in the south ot the basin a visit, where the Fondamenta is facing north.
Old structures at the Giuletta, vis a vis the Hilton Molino Stucky Venice (not pictured)

Italy in Venice: Campo S. Gerardo/Giudecca in bright sunlight, later in the day, late October
Doing what locals do: resting on a bench, still at Campo S.Gerardo/Giudecca
View towards the cruise ship terminal with a private yacht in front. Not any yacht, but Heidi Horten's Carinthia VII
Looking at the Università Iuav di Venezia (architecture school)
Locals love plants. One pot is never enough. :-)
Remote calmness around the corner
Fondamenta Zatere just one stop away #waterbuslove (panorama: Mr Paula)
Now that I have completed this posting, I see that the first day turned into a veritable "whereabouts: Venice". Now I see why I enjoyed the day so much.

Venice Travel Diary Part 3: Travelling With Style


tonight Mr Paula and I returned from Venice. After my lucky trip earlier this year we decided to explore the Lido and Venezia together.

When I was packing my bags back home, I made one decision, which had some impact on the whole trip: I decided against fleece, GoreTex, Sympatex and waterproof jackets. Instead I brought loden, cashmere and new wool. And, most important: no backbag, but a small tiny purse and a shopper. After a week and hours on my feet I can say: the concept was a good one. I enjoyed my unusual non-sportive appearance so much. Or as my friend B said in 2 words: Molto elegante!

Venice, the city where even pizza furnaces come with style. Pictured: il forno at ROSSOPOMODORO near San Marco

I don't know about you and how it makes you feel to be a tourist in a city where the citizens are molto elegante. I enjoyed the fact that my appearance leaned more towards "molto elegante" and less towards "tourist". I guess this photo says it all:

Tourists at the Palazzo Ducale, including me.

Me, casual day, at the Ca' d'Oro, wearing a coat instead of Jack Wolfskin_mammut_Northland_northface_etc_etc
Earlier today at the Lido di Venezia

Me, channeling Bärbel  - Bärbel with a capital B like BOLD in the BEST way :-)
 Those shadows at the Palazzo del Cinema in the morning light were fun.

Me where I belong: on a bike, circling the Lido di Venezia

Yes, thy bike was not my size. So what! ;-p
There was no need at all for any Jack Wolfskin_mammut_Northland_northface_etc_etc gear. I'm glad I've opened this chapter. Many more adventures in style to come, which is probably nothing spectacular to report in your biography, but to me this trip has been setting new standards.

Yep, there is more to say about Venice, which makes this posting Part 1. 
More small adventures to come. 

Before I end Part 1, let me solve one "riddle". 
This is what I have been looking at at the Palazzo Ducale  photo at the beginning of this posting) – another bridge in Venice:

Best wishes,