I’m all excited about the Luminale 2016 light exhibition all over Frankfurt this week

Abena at the bar

I only heard about this light/art at night event while I was scrolling through Meetup.com checking out who and what was happening in Frankfurt. I saw a photography group were meeting up at Luminale 2016 and as always were ready to welcome newbies so I signed up and charged my cam.

When I checked out the website (click here) for the event I was pretty overwhelmed with the sheer amount of exhibits around the city. The programme was over 100 pages!

The event kicked off on march 14 and, as is happens I had to send my apologies to the photography lot because (Lord only knows how this happened) the train was late and then cancelled! For those of you who know Germans and Germany, lateness is just not an option so I was totally baffled while standing, freezing me bits off at the station.

I was also meeting some new buddies, who were very understanding. One was also running late… Obviously this friend was not German 😉

I digress! ..The light show.

Luminale 2016 is a city-wide light exhibition, on until March 18, when as soon as it gets dark the whole city comes alive with light and sound art installations, projections and interactive art at various different venues.

exhibit

I made another video! I think this is a slight improvement on the last one but still, I have a long way to go….. 😉

We wondered into the Trianon Light Show near Taunusanlage S-bahn.

Taunuslaunge1

In the S-bahn station we found a hologram of grafitti and artistic lighting.

station

After a while I was mesmorized by all of the city lights. There was something magical in the air.

Em and Varun1

Red light district

Even the red light district became art.

The German felsenmeer – it’s rock climbing but not as you know it..

It was a sunny day so my boyfriend Mario suggested we go climbing on rocks…
I thought he was getting confused with his English (being German) so I said “Don’t you mean rock climbing?”
It turned out that he actually meant what he said. We spent a bright morning climbing and scrambling over rocks at a felsenmeer, in the town of Reichenbach, which is something of a geological wonder.

rocks

I mean look at all of those rocks! Where did they come from?

felsenmeer closeup

Without going into a full blown geology lesson I can tell you that no one put them there and that their existence is the result of a type of weathering that happens when water gets into rock and turns into ice, thus expanding and breaking up the rock. Some people however will tell you that two giants had a fight and started chucking boulders at each other and kept on going until they created the “sea of rocks”, which is what felsenmeer actually means in German.

If you live in the southern hemisphere and you are going to travel to the north going to hang out at a felsenmeer is something you should try because these rock formations only exist in the northern part of the world and mostly in places like Iceland.

This one has boulders as big as trucks to trek over but if you don’t fancy climbing there is a woodland path that trails alongside.

Mario1

I would describe this felsenmeer as a play park created by mother nature –  pretty cool non?

We decided to climb from the bottom to the top for more of a challenge. Mario hopped from one rock to another without a care in the world. He can get to the top within an hour.

Abena1

I, on the other hand, was like a Bambi – all shaky legged and not knowing where to put my feet. It takes me twice as long to conquer the felsenmeer on a good day. I wouldn’t even attempt it if the weather is wet and the rocks are super slippery. Having said that, neither would Mario.

Good thing is there is a snack bar at the bottom and a restaurant at the top! We had no idea about the opening times of them so we took a picnic.

Feldberg11

It turned out to be a pretty awesome day and cheap too. It was a two hour drive from Frankfurt on the A5 in the direction of Darmstadt and Mannheim. We got off towards Reichenbach. Parking was just two euros and there was no charge to get in. I can’t wait to go back and give it another go 🙂

My well planned day trip in Gran Canaria was an epic fail! Here’s what happened…

The night before the ‘ill fated trip’ I checked the map of and found a route through the pretty towns of Arucas and Firgas and on to the highlight, which was a picnic in the forest beside the famous natural sight that is Roque Nublo. All of this is the north of the island, which is famous for its gorgeous mountainous terrain.

I woke up early and packed a picnic, warm clothes, yoga mats, blankets, a frisbee and some books. I had everything I thought we could possibly need. We set off in our hire car in good time and I knew my itinerary was going to please the whole family but there was something I didn’t take into consideration – those sheer drops along the mountain roads are certainly not for the faint-hearted and made for some tense moments, bad moods and arguments.

gc map iha

See look a the map. My idea was to take the highway from Maspalomas along the east side of the island up to Arucas, bypassing the long drive up through the mountains that lie in the middle of the island. The mountain route takes 3 hours but the highway takes about one hour so I thought, lets get to Arucas and then travel down through the mountains. See how lovely Arucas is. Everyone was so happy…

Arucas cathedral

The beautiful cathedral next to the car park leads onto the historic streets, which are lined with coffee shops and boutiques.

Arucas street scene

houses arucas

arucas cultural centre

arucas me and mario

arucas tower rum

Oh, and guess what? Arucas has a rum factory that does free tours and tastings. We tried about 10 different rums. The one aged 14 years put that smile on my face. My favourite, and the bottle we bought, was the toffee rum. I am so excited to splash that over some good quality vanilla ice cream. Yeah baby!

arucas rum drinking

Rum tasting before lunch!? We had little choice because factory is open from 9am to 2pm (click here for more information)

arucas tasting

arucas rum barrels

My thoughts were ‘I’m on to a winner here’ as we walked around with the tour. It was short and sweet, like the rum!

arucas rum pics

Lots of Spanish celebrities have been there and have put their mark on the aging barrels. It was so cool to see.

arucas rum barrel

arucas rum mario and me

I hadn’t even tasted the rum yet and I was feeling pretty awesome!

firgas water

I did a check. The whole family was happy and ready to move onto Firgas. We only needed a short half hour stay here because the main sight is the Paseo de Gran Canaria. It’s an artistic monument that pays tribute to the different towns of Gran Canaria with plaques lining a water feature.

arucas plaques

Further up are plaques on the ground representing all of the islands that make up the Canaries.

Tejede1

The next stop was what I was most looking forward to. The drive past Tejeda into the pine forests next to Roque Nublo where we would have our picnic and chill out for the rest of the day. As we drove higher my ears popped and the landscape gradually looked more green. We were so high we could see for miles. I thought it was breathtaking.

We made it to Tejeda…

Tejede

Pretty isn’t it? In the distance you can see Roque Nublo. It looks like a finger pointing towards the sky.

The drive to this point is impressive. Narrow mountain roads lined with blossoming almond trees. A treat. True wanderlust but when you look straight down all you can see is cliff edge and a sheer drop into the wilderness…

Rock noblu

The aim was to go higher but the whole family was NOT in agreement. It was too scary so I took the decision to picnic here and then head home afterwards.

You know those moments that are not funny at the time but you laugh at them afterwards? This was one of them. We thought the quickest route back was southwards on the mountain road past the famous Roque. I should have thought we would have to go all the way before going down. OMG, I was clenching my bum cheeks too. The road was super windy and right on the edge of the mountain and it went on for at least an hour. I thank goodness that my boyfriend Mario is a very skilled driver but, if those mountain roads put you or anyone you  know in a panic, don’t travel from Tejeda south towards Maspalomas, unless of course you want tears at bedtime!

Waking up in beautiful Schwangau

Mario dived off the paddle boat for a swim in Schwangau Lake

Mario dived off the paddle boat for a swim in Schwangau Lake

We are just 30 minutes from the Austrian border. Schwangau is home to two famous castles, which are nestled on the mountains next to a clear blue lake. Gorgeous. Wonderful for picnics, biking, boating and, if you can brave the cold water, swimming!
(Mario didn’t take a boat to the middle of the lake, strip totally naked and jump in 😉 )