Roasted Almonds Like On A Fair

Roasted Almonds Like On A Fair

Roasted Almonds Like On A Fair - Delicious And Simple To Prepare At Home

Do you also love roasted almonds? On the Bremer Freimarkt and the Bremer Weihnachtsmarkt there are so many stalls where you can buy roasted almonds and that's why I decided to write down a simple recipe here. For me, the roasted almonds are a classic and are definitely part of a visit to any fair. Of course, almonds are especially tasty when they are still very fresh!

This year I didn't want to wait as long for the next fair and so I thought about making my own roasted almonds at home. What should I say? It is very simple and you will surely succeed. The list of ingredients for the simple portion is short:

  • Almonds (200 gr)
  • Sugar (120 gr)
  • Water (40 ml = 2 small shot glasses)
  • You should consider about 20-30 minutes for the production of 200 grams of almonds. Perfect for in between!

What else do you need to get started? A large pan, a wooden spoon, a board or baking tray with baking paper and two forks. A kitchen thermometer is also helpful to measure the temperature of the sugar.

You don't need any more and you're ready to go.

First round: Bring sugar and almonds together.

In the first step the sugar is brought to the boil in the pan with the water. Use the kitchen thermometer to check the temperature of the sugar water. At about 120 degrees the almonds have their first big appearance. Stir the almonds into the sugar water. Remove the pan from the heat and continue stirring until the almond mixture is cold. The sugar then turns white and a sugar crust forms on the almonds.

Half time.

Now it's round two with the almost burnt almonds. Put the pan back on the stove. At medium heat, heat the almonds slowly, stirring constantly. This will take a while until it really starts. You will see that the sugar slowly begins to caramelise. Do not forget to stir. You should stir the almonds at least until the sugar is completely caramelized and the almonds "shine".

You can also determine the "roasting" over time. In any case, you have done most of the way but a short final spurt is waiting:

Tilt the mass onto the prepared baking tray, put the pan aside and spread the mass quickly with the forks on the tray. Here you have to be really fast, because the almonds solidify very fast and otherwise you only have a lump of burnt almonds in front of you.

Congratulations! You look at the finished sheet with the burned almonds! Wait a short moment, because the almonds are very hot. I can only recommend you from my own experience to produce larger quantities directly. Homemade roasted almonds are really very tasty and taste even better than the almonds from the fair. 200 grams can disappear very quickly...

Tip: homemade roasted almonds are also suitable as a great souvenir or small gift. Of course, you can also simply change the recipe and replace the almonds with other nuts.

I wish you all the best! Have you ever tried to make your favourite food from the fair yourself at home?

German Weser Cycle Path Experience by Pedelec

German Weser Cycle Path Experience by Pedelec

Experiences on the German Weser River Cycle Path by Pedelec

[Article contains advertising – all self-tested and approved]

In recent years we have always smiled at the pedelec or simply the colloquial e-bike and joined the chorus of the most common preconceptions:

  • we are still too young for e-bikes
  • E-bikes are only for unathletic people
  • Riding e-bikes without pedaling
  • E-bikes are not fast enough
  • much too expensive for a bicycle

After almost 2000 km we have ridden so far, we change sides and ask ourselves why we have not bought an e-bike (pedelec) earlier. We have made our first rides on the Weser cycle path. Before the actual report about our pedelec experiences on the Weser river cycle path, we would like to answer general questions that we also asked ourselves before we bought our great pedelecs.

Why did we buy a pedelec?

Lack of sport, frequent traffic jams on the way to work at a relatively short distance and the possibility to commute by bike without sweating were the biggest arguments for the purchase of a pedelec. The decision took some time. After a test drive with a pedelec, the purchase was quickly decided. Maybe this article is also helpful for you when deciding to buy an e-bike or pedelec.

Let’s start with the most common questions we’ve asked ourselves:

What is the difference between an e-bike and a pedelec or S-Pedelec?

All wheels are motorized. The difference lies in the type of support. With a pedelec the motor support stops at 25 km/h and with the faster S-Pedelec at speeds of 45 km/h. The S-Pedelec must therefore be insured like a moped in Germany and may not be used on cycle paths (cost insurance approx. 70 euros /year). The supposed speed advantage is also to the biggest disadvantage of the S-Pedelec: You have to ride with it on the road and cycle paths are usually taboo. With Pedelec and S-Pedelec you have to pedal constantly to get the motor support. The actual e-bike rides like a moped without pedal support. Also here you need an insurance plate and you are not allowed to ride on bike paths any more. In addition, it is compulsory to wear a helmet on an e-bike. The term e-bike is generally used for all three types.

How fast does a pedelec go?

The pedelec is basically as fast as you pedal. The engine support stops at 25 km/h. If you drive faster, you kick “alone”. With Yamaha and Bosch engines, you have minimal friction from the engine at higher speeds. After the first 2000 km we can say that the normal support is enough for us.

The cycle paths are often not so great, so a speed of almost 25 km/h is completely sufficient. If you are thinking about changing from car to bike, a self-test on the way to work will give you the best insight. You will probably find that you will not be riding your normal bike at an average of 25 km/h (unless you are a racing cyclist or come to work with a tongue hanging and panting). Depending on support and route we are also on the next question:

Fahrradstraße - auf dem Weser-Radweg die Autobahn der Radfahrer

How far can I get with a pedelec?

The question about the range of the pedelec we asked ourselves again and again before the purchase. There is no clear answer to this question, as too many parameters can simply affect the range. In general, of course, the performance of the battery has a significant influence at first. The most common versions have 300, 400 or 500 Wh. Simply said: the higher the battery power, the longer the range and less often the battery needs to be charged. We therefore focussed directly for bicycles with a 500 Wh battery. Range is still determined by your driving style and comfort. In the lowest support levels (Eco + mode of the Yamaha PW motor) the range is indicated with up to 200 km. The stronger the motor, the higher the power consumption of the battery.

After our previous tours we usually use the standard support (Yamaha range 100 km) or Sport (Bosch CX engine: 90 km). Honestly, our motivation determines more the range of the bike tour and less the battery performance.

Just ask yourself how often you drive tours with a distance of 70 to 80 km or more? As normal riders we can reach relatively long distances with the pedelecs without much effort, which we would never have ridden with a normal bike. Incidentally, headwind and hilly roads are pulling hard on the battery power… You should pay attention to properly inflated tires, otherwise the “consumption” will also increase. Which brings us to the next question:

How often do I need to charge the battery of my pedelec?

The displays of the pedelecs show you relatively exactly how full the “tank” still is. Loading your pedelec is a simple procedure. Usually you can charge the battery directly at the bicycle or even directly, when removed from your bicycle. The chargers from Yamaha and Bosch are relatively compact (smaller would of course be even nicer), so you can take them with you on tours lasting several days. The charging time for our pedelec batteries is approx. 4 hours. You can recharge the battery overnight and would be 100% ready to start again in the morning (at least your bike).

The manufacturers guarantee 500 charging cycles with constant performance. After about 1000 cycles the battery should no longer function properly, according to the dealer. If the dealer’s information is more or less correct, then we should be able to achieve approx. 60 – 70,000 km mileage with one battery. That’s a lot of time you spend on the saddle. By the way, the electricity costs for one charge amount to approx. 15 cents. Just for fun, compare how far you can get with your car when you fill up 15 cents…

Insurance for pedelec or e-bike?

Especially since a pedelec, S-Pedelec or e-bike is more expensive than a “normal” bicycle, we recommend that you check the conditions of your household insurance again. It may well be that your household insurance does not necessarily cover the value of the pedelec.

There are now some insurance companies that offer special (and affordable) e-bike full cover insurance. It may make sense to take out supplementary insurance. Be sure to read the terms and conditions. Some insurance companies specify the type of bicycle lock. For us, Abus folding locks are sufficient, which are compactly mounted on the bicycle and should provide good protection.

Which pedelec is the right one for me?

For the right choice of pedelec you have to do many test rides. Take your time to compare different bicycles and motors. For example, we ride trekking bikes with the Bosch CX motor and the Yamaha PW motor. Both motors have their advantages and disadvantages: The Bosch motor has a power of 75 Nm and the Yamaha motor “only” 70 Nm.  During acceleration, the Bosch motor also gets off to a quick start with the control system. You only pedal a little and the motor accelerates. The acceleration also begins very directly.

Yamaha or Bosch motor or something completely different?

With the Yamaha motor, acceleration is slightly slower. In comparison, it looks as if the Yahama motor reacts a little more comfortably. Once you are travelling at cruising speed (and it’s really very fast) the motors don’t really differ anymore. Both manufacturers also offer simpler motors that are less powerful. We were not really pleased with the weak motors, as the price differences were small. Other manufacturers are Shimano or Brose, which we have not tested any more.

If you buy two pedelecs you should consider carefully whether you choose the same motor manufacturer for your pedelec. It can make sense, for example, to exchange batteries with each other for different remaining running times or to take only one charger with you on the tour. The batteries and chargers from Bosch and Yamaha are not compatible to each other, which has already proved to be a disadvantage on one or the other track.

Do I need a bicycle helmet for a pedelec?

At the beginning we were very sceptical about the helmet. Impractical and just “why” was our attitude to the “eggshell”, which we have never worn on the normal bike. After a few kilometres it quickly became clear that such a helmet could be relatively practical and that the purchase would be disproportionate to a head injury and its possible effects. Meanwhile, we can no longer imagine normal cycling without a helmet. We strongly recommend that you wear a helmet to protect your head. That you’ll never need it!

What does a pedelec cost?

You can buy pedelecs everywhere. Discounters and DIY stores offer bikes for less than 1000 euros. The prices for pedelecs are, of course, higher than those of conventional bicycles. In our experience, you should think carefully about the purpose for which you want to use your bike. If you save here on the wrong end, you will probably not enjoy your new pedelec.

The very cheap bicycles usually only have weak batteries and even weaker motors and components (brakes, gear shift, etc.). Spend a little more so that you can ride a good bike and have a lot of fun with it.

Also take a close look at the equipment of the pedelec. We have further “optimized” the pedelec after the purchase by exchanging parts.

Ride on the Weser cycle path – well-equipped you can go on the track

After so many thoughtful considerations, we plunged into the adventure of “Pedelec” and chose the German Weser river cycle path as our first tour destination. According to its own statements, the Weser river Cycle Path is a “four-star” cycle path and easy to cycle on. You can ride it on a distance of just over 520 km from Hann.Münden along the Weser river downstream and almost always with a slight descent to the North Sea to Cuxhaven.

Theoretically, you can also double the distance, as the Weser river cycle path is signposted on both sides of the river. In addition to the actual route, there is the “alternative route”, which will certainly not be less beautiful. On the way you only have to look for the small signs, which are usually more than often to be seen. We really didn’t have to search in most places.

The route is grouped into 15 sections according to the official service booklet. There are plenty of hotels and hostels, restaurants, beer gardens and cafés described on all sections.

For the start we have chosen our own sections with a length of approx. 60 km. By the way, you have great possibilities to reach the larger starting points of your sections directly by train. More about train & bike in Germany in the further article.

We rode the path in a the wild north – south – change from Cuxhaven (Nort Sea coast) to Bremerhaven, from Bremerhaven via Brake to Lemwerder, from Porta Westfalica via Nienburg to Achim, from Achim to Vegesack and from Hameln to Porta Westfalica. The first sections from Hann.Münden to Hameln are still pending, which we will certainly deal with soon.

Schild Weser-Radweg - mit dem Pedelec auf dem Weser-Radweg

Pedelec and train riding

As absolute newbies to the topic bicycle journeys and train ride we were nevertheless positively surprised, how comfortably the combination of bicycle & train can be. The  German “country (state) tickets” and the additional bicycle day tickets for the pedelec or e-bike take you to the starting point of the tours for relatively little money. The “Lower-Saxony”-Ticket + 2 x bicycle tickets cost 27 + 2 x 5 €, which you can use for all rides in the regional trains for a full day (check details, there might be exceptions)

During our tours we never had problems to take the bikes on the train. You also get to know the railway and its stations in a new manner. A real highlight, however, are the elevators at the stations, which all have different widths and depths and, above all, different speeds. So take some time for a track change, which you won’t do as fast as on foot despite (or because of the bicycle). Regardless of this, the train ride is relaxing. The pedelecs stand securely in bicycle holders and cannot fall over. It is nevertheless recommended to lock the bikes, as the seats are often on the floor above the bicycles.

The current sections in a quick overview:

Cuxhaven – Bremerhaven – length approx. 56 km – final spurt on the German Weser cycle path

In Cuxhaven you should actually arrive on the last section, if you start from the south. For us it was the starting point for a passionate hobby. Arrived by train at the “main station” Cuxhaven, which is also the final station or the last station before the North Sea, we passed the harbour area and the beach areas in Duhnen and Döse, which improved more and more over the last few years. in terms of infrastructure for tourism. Depending on the tide you can see the North Sea or the endless Wadden Sea. Actually, it’s almost too bad to just ride by here. You ride once on the dike and then again under the dike top until it will go behind Saalenburg through the nature reserve along the dike road and the many small farmhouses to Dorum and the small fishing harbour in Dorum.

Take time for a break at the harbour and the snack bars. If you don’t have much time you should at least have a delicious fish sandwich. It couldn’t be fresher.

Well strengthened we continue towards Bremerhaven along the dikes. The tracks on the last sections are really well constructed and the flat country allows every cyclist to make good progress. From Dorum it is going to Wremen and the kilometres just fly there.

Shortly after Wremen you can already see the first harbour cranes of Bremerhaven. Here the Weser river cycle path, which otherwise leads almost only through the middle of nature, has a very industrial character and leads through the imposing harbour facilities of Bremerhaven. Lots of new cars wherever you look, container gantry cranes, large ships and, for some time now, cruise ships of all kinds, which have moored on one of the longest sea quays in the world.

In the harbour there is a central lookout tower, which was built in the original style from containers. From the tower you can see the “skyline” of Bremerhaven, which is only a stone’s throw or a few pedal steps away. If you have more time, we highly recommend a visit to the science museum Klimahaus or the “Deusches Auswandererhaus”  (Emigrant Museum). Both houses are incredibly exciting. In the Klimahaus you experience a world tour on the 8 degree of longitude once around the globe including the climate zones and in the Emigrant House you can authentically comprehend the emigration of the predominantly German migrants in the 18th century. Perhaps a topic that is more of interest than ever before… For us Bremerhaven was the end of the first pedelec tour that brought us to the following conclusion:

  • It is not the battery, but the saddle that determines the range
  • Driving a pedelec is a relaxed thing and a lot of fun
  • Without pedelec we would not have driven this route
  • The world gets bigger with the pedelec – you can see corners that you would otherwise only pass by car or never reach in the first place.

E-Bike and Pedelec Tuning

Fixed by the first stage of our pedelec career, we immediately thought about how we could make our bikes even better. When searching for “E-Bike or Pedelec Tuning”, numerous search results lead to alleged chip tunings with which you can set the speeds of the motors to seemingly infinite for little money. Apart from the risks and the loss of insurance cover, the narrow and sometimes bad cycle paths were not an option for us. We have therefore decided on a “comfort tuning” to increase the comfort.

With a few changes you can also “pimp up” your pedelec. First official action was the exchange of the grips for grips with mini bar ends. The exchange was extremely easy, because on one of the bicycles the grips were only secured by a screw with clamping (Haibike). With the second pedelec from Pegasus, the rubber grips could be easily removed after rinsing some water between the grips and the handlebars. The grips are available with mini bar ends in different lengths, which allow a change in the handlebar position. We use the lengths 2 and 3, which still look relatively elegant and are comfortable to drive.

The next optimization was to retrofit a saddle spring support to cushion unevenness and potholes on the bike path. As everywhere you can plunge into high costs. We have bought relatively simple saddle spring supports which fulfill their purpose of suspension well for us. Tip: there are many different diameters of saddle tubes. Just pull your saddle and tube out of the bracket. As a rule, the diameter is hammered onto the pipe. The most common pipe diameters are 27.2 and 31.6 mm.

At the same time we have exchanged the standard saddle of the pedelec for a cross-country version. The saddle is simply fixed with screws and can be changed very quickly. Here the added value of your pedelec can be significantly increased with relatively little effort.

In this context, the purchase of a small multi-purpose tool is recommended, which you should have with you on your tours. Why? More about this later. Back on the track…

Section Bremerhaven – Brake – Lemwerder – approx. 60 km. Between Sheep herds and super yachts

” Rail-bicycle-experienced” we started in Bremerhaven. After 2-3 kilometres through the town you will reach the ferry to Nordenham on the western side of the Weser. Even for us, who are from the region, it is exciting. From the ferry you can see the skyline of Bremerhaven and the endlessly long quay with its many container gantry cranes. What a picture when the weather is good!

Arrived in Nordenham, after passing through the city, you take the actual Weser river cycling path along the dike towards Brake and past the Unterweser nuclear power plant. Along the way you will see many herds of sheep, which are used for the care of the dyke. During a short break on the dike in Absen we sat on the park bench in the middle of a herd of sheep. Fortunately, sheep are relatively peaceful animals, unless they are challenged on their park bench! Back on the Weser cycling trail, you quickly head towards Brake at many small, tranquil villages and in Lienen over the Huntebrücke bridge towards Lemwerder.

Places like Ranzenbüttel, Motzen or Ritzenbüttel follow before you can see Abeking & Rasmussen and Lürssen, two of the world’s most famous yacht builders, all in one place in the city of Lemwerder next to the Weser river. Our section was finished in Lemwerder. A look-out tower with a beautiful view over Lemwerder and the Weser is located behind the Weser ferry to Vegesack (one of the northernmost districts of Bremen). For a break we recommend the crossing with the Weser ferry.

With a bit of luck you can see the insane and unaffordable super yachts at the equipment quays before they are delivered to their often anonymous buyers. Directly on the right side behind the ferry terminal you will find some rustic and cosy restaurants and beer gardens (all affordable again). A few meters further on is the rail station.

After these daily sections and the decision for the correct pedelecs we came then to the taste of the bicycle journeys. The Weser Cycle Path is the perfect starting route – easygoing and with a very beautiful landscape.

Section Porta Westfalica – Nienburg – Achim approx. 110 km – downstream to the north

We could not wait for the new weekend and the plans for the tour were quickly set. The distances should become longer and also have an overnight stay. No spoken, done. Riding the train and bike was no problem for us. We had installed the railway app on our mobile phone for a long time and the app for the Weser Cycle Path also helped us with many questions. We had not considered the number of accommodations in the “big” cities in our planning. If the price for the overnight stay does not matter to you, then you should book your overnight stay destinations in advance. We were very surprised how “popular” e. g. the accommodations in Nienburg on the Weser could be. Finally we found a nice place in the hotel “Zur Sonne”, where also the bikes had a safe shelter.

Zurück zum Ausgangspunkt, der schon eines der Highlights des ersten Tages werden sollte. In Porta Westfalica gibt es das Wilhelms-Denkmal auf dem Hausberg, was Ihr Euch unbedingt ansehen solltet. Mit dem Pedelec ist man schnell den Berg hinauf gefahren. Achtung: das zieht schon ein paar Kilometer aus dem Akku… Unabhängig davon hat man von dem Denkmal eine grandiose Aussicht über das Weser-Bergland, die einen vielversprechenden Tag erhoffen ließen. Nach einer schnellen Abfahrt (Spitze 45 km/h auf den Serpentinen) konnten wir auch direkt die Funktion der Bremsen unserer Pedelecs testen. Schade, dass Pedelecs in solchen Momenten nicht eigenständig wieder laden. Motiviert haben wir nach den ersten Schildern des Weser-Radwegs gesucht, die uns dann schnell auf den Weg Richtung Minden geführt haben.

Ausblick vom Wilhelmsdenkmal - mit dem Pedelec auf dem Weser-Radweg

On this part of the way you ride as close as on only a few other sections directly along the Weser, which is still a relatively small river here. We left Minden and Petershagen to the left to reach our destination Nienburg. Through Schlüsselburg (see Scheunenviertel) we passed Stolzenau and crossed the Weser to Nienburg. One of the experiences of the pedelec tours is a completely different perception of the surroundings for us. Where we drove simply along on other holidays by car, we probably saw many other great (and small) things just because of the “deceleration”. To be honest (sorry Nienburg), Nienburg would never have been on our holiday plan if the Weser cycle path hadn’t led through the city now. Thus we got to know Nienburg as a small lively town with a charming old town centre, which we will keep in good memory.

After a relaxing night we continued north with recharged batteries (pedelec & human). We made a short stopover in the beautiful city centre of Hoya, before we reached our goal of the section by crossing Verden (on the river Aller) back to the Weser with Achim. The sections between Porta Westfalica and Achim lead in most cases completely through nature, so that there is hardly any traffic. Hard to imagine, considering how densely populated Germany actually is.

The conclusion of the ride: our shaky bike bags are not nice anymore. As a summary: better bike bags are needed.

Pedelec equipment

The said bike bags were from a discount store and fulfilled their actual purpose of transport. They were not rainproof. An additional protective cover should ensure this function. So why buy new bike bags? We would not have bought new bike bags for easy tours. If you travel longer distances you will have to take off your bags more or less often (train journeys, elevators etc.). Again, the question of comfort moved us to buy more reasonable bike bags.

Bike bags – the pedelec as a packhorse

At the end, we decided on the popular Classic Backroller from Ortlieb. The big advantages are the little details: components can also be purchased separately in the case of a defect. The bags are really rock-solid and can be released with one pull. So far after the perfect summer we had no chance to test how waterproof the bags, which are closed by a roll down closure, really are.

Nach ein paar Durchgängen öffnen / schließen die Taschen in kürzester Zeit. Die LKW Plane wird schon vor Wind und Wetter schützen. Tipp: schaut Euch genau Euren Gepäckträger und die Schrauben an. Das Haibike markiert durch die hervorstehenden Schrauben leider sehr genau an den Gepäcktaschen, wo sie anliegen. Schade, dass die Fahrrad- Konstrukteure an dieser Stelle keine flachen Schrauben eingesetzt haben. So bleibt Euch nur die Schrauben selbst zu tauschen oder die Taschen mit einem entsprechenden Schutz selbst zu versehen (z. B. schwarzes Isolierband). Kleiner Tipp mit großer Wirkung: schaut Euch auch an, wo die Klemmen der Packtaschen am Gepäckträger „greifen“. Diesen Bereich solltet Ihr ggf. auch mit etwas Isolierband schützen. Das Isolierband schützt die Lackierung vom Gepäckträger und kann leicht ausgetauscht werden.

Handlebar bags with click-fix

For little things we bought a handlebar bag with the click-fix system. The handlebar bag is extremely easy to attach to and detach from the wheel thanks to the “click system”. It does not affect the steering and water bottles, money etc. are quickly reachable. The selection of compatible bags for the system is almost endless and limited only by the own taste.

Frame bag for mobile phone or money

As a smaller alternative to the handlebar bag, a frame bag is recommended, in which at least a mobile phone and money can be stored. The frame pockets are usually quickly attached to the frame using touch-and-close fasteners and fixed to the handlebars.

From Achim via Bremen to Vegesack – about 50 km – where the Weser becomes big

We could not have completed our actual plan to drive from Nienburg along the Weser to Bremen because of the empty battery. So it was obvious to drive down this supposedly small section “just as quickly” again to close the gap on our map. From the small train station in Achim you are quickly back on the Weser cycle path, which is now leading somewhat remotely parallel to the Weser river. After a few easy kilometres you reach Bremen and see the first harbour areas. It becomes more urban without leaving the paths in the countryside. In Bremen the signs to the cycle path became a bit confusing. So it was all the better that we rode the pedelec down places in the city that we had never seen before, even though we lived here for a long time. In Bremen you have the comfortable choice on which side of the Weser you want to cycle.

Westliches oder östliches Weser-Ufer in Bremen?

Von der westlichen Seite siehst Du mehr die “Skyline” der Stadt. Auf der östlichen Seite bist Du näher an der Innenstadt mit den weltberühmten Bremer Stadtmusikanten und der Schlachte mit ihren vielen einladenden Biergärten. Wir haben uns entschieden die westliche Strecke zu fahren und sind am Weserwehr auf die andere Seite des Flusses gefahren. Neben dem Weserwehr ist übrigens auch die letzte der 12 Weserschleusen, mit dem der Fluss für die Binnenschifffahrt befahrbar gemacht wird. Wie schleusen funktionieren, kannst Du Dir direkt ansehen oder auch auf den vorherigen Teilstücken des Weser-Radwegs erleben.

Weser Stadion Bremen - mit dem Pedelec auf dem Weser-Radweg

Our highlights on the ride through Bremen were the free view of the Weser Stadium, the famous sailing ship Alexander von Humboldt and the city beaches on the Weser, which we will certainly visit when the weather will be fine. It would go well beyond the report to write more about Bremen. Just stay longer in Bremen and take your time for a city tour. In winter we recommend the beautiful Christmas market or before that in autumn the well-known Bremer FreimarktBy this link you can look with a 25 Euro credit (new customers) at AirBnB for beautiful accommodations. (Affiliate Link AirBnB). If you prefer to stay in hotels, you can search directly at Booking.com by this link (Affiliate Booking.com)

It was a new experience for us to cycle through quarters that we had previously only passed by car. Cycling seems to broaden the horizon and no cycling without pedelec…

Behind Woltmershausen the trail is heading north along the river Weser

The wind gets stormier and you have to pedal more. On the way to Lemwerder you drive directly along the Weser. Here you can already see the first big ships that feel like “arm length” passing by you. Not only the mountainous routes reduce the power of the pedelec battery, but also the “stiff breeze”, which blows from the front into your face. You will notice it on this apparently short section. After you left Bremen with the view of the steelworks industrial area on the other side of the river, you head down the river towards Lemwerder.

On the final part of the section of the Weser Cycle Path in Lemwerder you will have the opportunity to see many great street art pictures on the embankment wall. There are really great graffiti! If you want to finish the day here, as we did, you can simply take the Weser ferry to Vegesack and from there you can take the train back. The station in Vegesack is in direct near to the ferry terminal.

Second last section – from Hameln to Porta Westfalica via Rinteln – almost 60 km – a chapter of a steep learning curve

We approached the section from Hameln to Porta Westfalica with good plans. After a relaxing night in the city of the famous Pied Piper of Hameln (hotel suggestions on Booking.com via this link -Affiliate) we started highly motivated. On these sections you will ride through the Weser Mountains and the foothills. The area is really beautiful and the bike path is easy to ride. Passing the small village Fischbeck you come to Grossenwieden, where the day should take a completely different direction. Our way led with a small detour there. On our swerve we then helped another cyclist, who had fallen in a sloping curve. First decision of the tour: we should at least have a small first aid kit (affiliate link to Amazon) with us. After the short interruption and help we continued.

The yaw-rope ferry in Grossenwieden and a nice place for an unwanted pedelec break

When you arrive in Grossenwieden, you have the option to take a yaw rope ferry across the Weser. Yaw-rope ferries use the current and generally have no motorisation of their own. The ferry is held by a cable. At the ferry pier we were then allowed to deal even more with technology, as a flat tire at the rear wheel abruptly ended the ride. Fortunately the breakdown was in a very busy place on the Weser cycle path.

You’ll notice how helpful cyclists are. We were totally surprised and very grateful for the offered help.

Breakdown at the pedelec – what now? Time to consider an emergency set.

It may have been the absolute naivety that made us happily pedal without tools or spare tubes. The previous tours were so unproblematic! So we were sitting with our luck or just bad luck in a huge life belt on the ground and were stuck. Unfortunately, even the helpful ” riders ” had no suitable equipment with them. The learning curve for the next tours was very steep at this point: spare bike tube (affiliate link to Amazon) and tools belong in the panniers – that we never need it of course!

The Schlauch-o-mat – a gift from heaven

Our rescue was a Schlauch-o-mat, which was “only” 12 km away. On a Sunday at over 30 °C, a “cigarette machine for bicycle tubes” seems like a gift from heaven! (Attention only takes coins! :-)). After this intermediate lap we changed the tube at the rear tire to do the final kilometres. We would have loved to have a look at the old town of Rinteln with the Old Town Festival. Our motivation and also the time pressure to take the right train took away our enthusiasm – maybe next year again with a lot of air on the tires!

Hochseilfähre in Grossenwieden - mit dem Pedelec auf dem Weser-Radweg - da ist erstmal die Luft raus.

Apps for pedelecs

We recommend that you download common apps to your mobile phone that can help you navigate. Google Maps, for example, helped us a lot with the setting for cyclists. Also the app of the German Railway is very helpful to check connections and to book tickets (how we can still book the bike tickets remains a secret). Through Booking.com or AirBnB you can usually also book accommodation for the night at short notice.

A good cell phone battery is required with every app that uses GPS. Strangely enough, the pedelecs do not have a USB port to use the existing battery. This means that an additional power bank is needed to extend the range of the mobile phone battery.

Last but not least, a universal mobile phone holder is recommended: either in a frame bag or directly on the handlebar. When purchasing, make sure that the holder is designed to hold future mobile phone models securely.

In-between conclusion – Weser river cycle path by pedelec

Since the purchase of our pedelecs we have cycled as much as probably not our entire life before the “pedelec age”. The start of this kind of vacation gave us a lot of pleasure and also the learning curves were sometimes involuntarily steep. With the right amount of humour and calmness you can also get over these curves.

The Weser Cycle Path can certainly also be done wonderfully with the “normal” bike. Real uphill sections or other surprises do not cross your path. Already today we can say that the remaining section from Hann.Münden to Hameln will certainly be a great destination for another short holiday.

If you are considering buying an e-bike or pedelec, don’t let yourself be influenced by the prejudices. We see the pedelec more as a bicycle 2.0 – technology finally is developing. If first “bikes” would be so fantastic, then pedals with chain and gears would never have made it to today’s bike.

Do you ride pedelec or e-bike? What are your experiences?

Sardinia vacation, the Caribbean of Europe. Endless beaches

Sardinia vacation, the Caribbean of Europe. Endless beaches

Sardinia Vacation in the Caribbean of Europe

Sardinia Vacation in the north or better in the south of the island? We could not decide on this question either and have therefore decided to make a direct comparison. So we split our holiday into a week “Sardinia’s South” and a week “Sardinia’s North”. After two weeks we can successfully say that both regions have their great charms. The south of the island (especially the southwest) is much quieter than the north. If you are looking for a region that is more developed and offers more opportunities, the north of the island is the better destination for you.

Sardinia vacation – the north rocks!

A little south of Olbia lies the small village of Budoni, which became our starting point. Of course, you can also spend the night in a much more sophisticated way. In Porto Cervo on the world-famous Costa Smeralda you are in the jet set and can pop the corks or take your yacht for a few cruises.

From Budoni you can also reach all the important points on the north coast by car. When planning your trip you should keep in mind that the routes on Sardinia take a bit more time than comparable routes in Germany. Vacation on Sardinia means in any case also in the north much beaches and still more sea!

Our “house beach” during our vacation in Sardinia

There are a large number of holiday apartments, houses and camping sites in Budoni and its surroundings. Through the usual online portals you will surely find a great accommodation according to your requirements. Our house was only 100 meters away from the beach – what a luxury. By the way, in September you travel already in the low season, so that you will have a lot of space on the beach. Also at the Cala di Budoni it goes fortunately very gently into the water.

Surroundings of Budoni

Just twenty minutes from Budoni is the town of Ottili, where you will also find a small harbour. In the ice cream parlour directly at the harbour you can also sit and enjoy a delicious gelato.

In the evening you should definitely go to St. Teodoro again. In the small village the city centre is closed for cars. You can walk through the streets of the city and look at the many small shops and boutiques or dine in one of the many restaurants. At the end of the evening we recommend a nightcap on the terrace of the bar directly at the market. By the way, you can also find the tourist information of the region at the market. The staff are very helpful and will certainly give you good tips for your Sardinia holiday.

The North of Sardinia

On your Sardinia vacation, the chances of bad weather are really low. What is great for the tourists brings many problems for the locals. One day we had also just rain. What do you do on your Sardinia vacation in bad weather? It remains Olbia in the north, where you can move through the shopping centres. Alternatively, and especially if you also have a rental car, we recommend you to go to Alghero. The journey time of almost two hours is definitely worthwhile and the chance of better weather on the west coast is high.

Alghero in the north-west of Sardinia

After our “escape” from the rain we experienced Alghero and were very impressed. You’ll probably have to do a few turns for the parking lot. Italian city centres are not exactly designed for larger quantities of cars. Tip: Take the coastal road out of town, where it is quicker to find a parking space. You can enjoy the sea on the way along the protection wall towards the old town of Alghero and take some great photos of the old town including the defence tower. After the first snapshots we go directly behind the tower into the old town of Alghero with its many small alleys and squares. If you are a fan of Italian old towns, then you will love Alghero. Let yourself be enchanted by the life on site or enjoy the bustle with a delicious espresso in one of the cafes in Alghero’s squares. If you have had enough of the old town, you can also simply walk on the city wall, which separates the old town from the sea and on which you have a wonderful view of the sea, the harbour and also the old town. On the city wall can also take a wonderful break and recover again.

Alghero and surroundings – the Grotta di Nettuno

There is still a sporty challenge for you on the west coast just north of Alghero with the Grotta di Nettuno. A stalactite cave awaits you, to which the access leads over a path with many stairs along the steep coast. The views are spectacular! If you prefer the comfortable way, you can also take a boat directly to the cave. The way over the stairs is definitely interesting. At the bottom of the cave you can buy a ticket for a guided tour. The cave is relatively large and has stalactite columns, some 12 metres high. You learn how fast stalactites and stalagmites grow and especially in which direction they have to grow. Make sure you take something to drink with you when the sun shines. You can only buy tickets at the cave but no drinks 😉 ! A visit to the cave is a good combination for a day trip in connection with a visit to Alghero!

Sardinia vacation means beach vacation

You will find many great beaches in Budoni and its surroundings. As a special recommendation we recommend you to visit the beaches in the National Park Oasi Biderosa. In the high season it makes sense to reserve one of the few tickets in advance, in fact only a limited number of cars and visitors are admitted. In the low season your chances are higher to get a ticket spontaneously on the spot. The guide at the park’s entrance will be happy to recommend a suitable section for the weather. You will have a great day on an almost lonely beach where time will certainly pass far too quickly.

Bay of Orosei

A little further south is the Gulf of Orosei, of which you will have already seen fantastic pictures on the Internet. You can even rent inflatable boats at the harbours and see the coast from the sea. Unfortunately, the weather has skipped our plans, so we have saved this point for our next visit. Our alternative program was at least as attractive:

La Maddalena – the Caribbean of Europe in front of Sardinia

In the north of Sardinia you will find many small islands with beautiful bays, crystal clear waters and beaches “just like in the movies” with the archipelago around La Maddalena. In the port of Palau there are a really large number of providers who make trips to the island world every day. Have a look at some reviews on the popular portals. Most tours start at about 10.00 am. We recommend you to be in Palau in time. The route to the village is not very far, as with the other tours, but it can take some time due to the route. If you are there in time, you can also get a personal impression of the providers. You are spoilt for choice and can choose from a variety of ships depending on your budget. Our choice was due to our late arrival a sailboat. At the end of the day we were unknowingly lucky because the skipper was much more flexible with his boat than the big excursion boats. Like everything in life, it had its price. On the big boats you can go for about 40 €; with the sailors you will be there with about 80 €. For the price you will be driven through the incredibly beautiful island world and can refresh yourself on the many bathing stops in the Mediterranean. In any case we were glad at the end of the day that we didn’t go on the big boats. Our skipper and his wife showed us great beaches and also took care of our physical well-being with pasta and vino during the day. A completely successful day with an excursion, which we really like to recommend!

The hinterland of Sardinia – Monti, Budduso, Bitti

In September you may not always get a direct hit with the weather. One of the less sunny days we still used to look at the mountainous hinterland of Sardinia. Our tour took us from Budoni to Monti, where we can recommend a stopover at the “Cantina Sociale del Vermentino” – provided you like white wine. The Cantina is a winegrowers’ cooperative, from which you can also purchase directly. Interestingly, the term fuel station has a completely new character there. In the far hinterland you drive through forests of cork oaks and can also take pictures of the plain around Olbia.

You should make a stopover on the way through the mountainous route in any case also in Buddusò at one of the nuraghi temples or places of worship. Nuragic culture was a culture that developed in Sardinia around 1600 B.C. (and which even then built very durable buildings). The tour continues to Orune, where you can see the mystical fountain Su Tempiesu. When you set off on this tour you should definitely be interested in archaeological sites! In the south direction Nuoro we used the connection to the motorway direction Budoni again, in order to drive after the round trip again to our beautiful holiday house.

Conclusion of the Sardinia vacation

We can definitely recommend a vacation on Sardinia. The island is not as crowded as other islands (Balearic Islands, Gran Canaria, Tenerife). Depending on your interests you have to consider whether you want to have more hustle and bustle around you or whether the much quieter south suits you better. We will definitely go back to Sardinia again!

Vacation on Tenerife in January

Vacation on Tenerife in January

Vacation on Tenerife in January!

A volcano, black beaches and great canyons. And all this on one island? Our first holiday destination in 2018 should take us back to the Canary Islands. After Gran Canaria last April and Fuerteventura three years ago, Tenerife was our goal in January! Due to the winter in Germany we have been very excited about our vacation on Tenerife in January. We were curious about the island, which is said to be island of eternal spring. This time we went directly from Bremen to Tenerife with a low-cost airline. After almost 5 hours in a felt sardine box we were also happy when we could get off at Reina Sofía airport in the south of Tenerife. The welcome was very sunny and promised a great start to a wonderful vacation on Tenerife. If you are planning a vacation on Tenerife in January, you should consider whether you would like to stay in the south or north of the island. We have experienced both parts and will tell you about it.

Highlights on Tenerife

  • Visit of the volcano Teide 
  • Hike through the Masca canyon
  • Sunbathing on the black beach of Puerto de la Cruz
  • Visit of a very large aquapark “Siam-Park” and the zoo “Loro-Parque”.

Holidays in the north or south of Tenerife?

Our hotel was in the north of the island in the city of Puerto de la Cruz. If you want to go on holiday in Tenerife in January, you should keep in mind that the north is the rainy part of the island. The main destinations of the island are located in the south in Los Cristianos or Las Americas. Unfortunately, the hotels in both areas have been raised rather ruthlessly, so that one sees quite a lot of very functional but ugly buildings.

During a visit to Las Americas we were able to get our own impression. Finally, I was happy that our hotel was in Puerto de la Cruz. The north is also much greener than the south. Tenerife is “divided” by the volcano Teide, which with its 3718 metres is also the highest mountain in Spain. You can either go very sporty with a hike on a volcano or simply and comfortably take the cable car.  More about this later and back to the actual question.

Gaby would prefer the south with a future visit because of the better weather. I’d go back up north again. In any case, however, we would take a rental car directly at the airport for another holiday and we would do without the transfer. Why? We sat in the bus for about 2.5 – 3 hours until all guests were distributed and collected on the way back. I’m sure it depends on the hotel, but it’s already taken a lot of nerves. On Google Maps we saw in Puerto de la Cruz how we were driven around the hotel in big loops….

If you drive by car, you will be in the north in less than an hour from the south, regardless of whether you drive on the motorway in the east or on the mountain road in the west. Tenerife is not a very big island: in less than 2.5 hours you have driven once around the whole island. All roads are in very good condition.

If you like to swim in the sea, please note that when you go on holiday in Tenerife in January, the surf is usually too strong to swim in the north. In the south, on the other hand, the sea is also so calm in January that you can go swimming. Point for the south!

 

Tenerife – Transport and Traffic

We have experienced Tenerife with the rental car as a very compact island. The price for a rental car for one week (Polo, 2nd driver) was acceptable at € 125 and of course gave us the flexibility we might not have gotten with a bus. Refueling is with 0.91 € / litre for E10 pleasingly favorable. We’d like to have drained ourselves of a few liters for home.

If you don’t want to use the car, you can also take the buses from titsa (the public bus company) to get to the island easily and cheaply. We have met many pensioners who have been raving about the good connections. Most of them had a so-called bonus card, similar to a prepaid card, with which they could travel at even better rates. Even the Teide seems to have good connections.

In the villages themselves you can also take a cheap taxi. Especially in Puerto de la Cruz we used it several times and drove from the centre to our hotel (just under 1.5 km uphill) for just 3.50 €.

What to do on your vacation on Tenerife in January?

Even in winter you can do a lot of things on Tenerife. The weather is very mild and ideal for almost any kind of activity. Most things you can decide spontaneously for yourself. Many of the tours offered by the hotel’s tour operators were later considered more amused than money-cutting. In the ten days we have made a lot of great excursions, which we also recommend to you.

 

Teide – Spain’s highest mountain and an absolute must for a vaacation on Tenerife

As the world’s third largest island volcano (just under 7500 metres from the seabed) the Teide is already the defining landmark of the island. In good weather you can actually see the peak of Teide from almost every free place in Tenerife. Through many reports of other tourists we were full of energy to go to the Teide. For us it was one of the highlights on the island. The last eruption of the volcano occurred in November 1908.

If you want to go / drive on the Teide, you should consider in good time whether you want to go all the way to the summit. If you are planning to do this (which we recommend), then you must obtain a permit from the national park administration in good time (link to the webpage of the national park). Don’t panic; approval is fortunately free of charge. Just a limited number of tourists are allowed to reach the top of the mountain every day. We took this option too late and missed the last 160 meters to the summit due to the lack of permission. A good reason to come back to Tenerife!

Thin air and great views on the Teide

The view from the top station of the cable car is also impressive and literally breathtaking. The air at an altitude of 3555 meters is already relatively thin and an experience in itself. At the top you have one hour time to breathe the thin air and take great photos. You will probably need to acclimatize a little bit after leaving the cable car. We also needed a moment to get used to the air. It’s not the North German Plain you walk through! In any case, we had good luck with the weather and were able to see a great volcanic landscape and Tenerife in general with a clear view towards the south and lots of sunshine.

 

The mountain is calling.

Have a good look at a weather forecast before visiting Teide. There is always the risk that in case of bad weather, the cable car will be stopped and you will drive to the mountain for nothing. During our visit we had about 20 degrees Celsius at the hotel and on top of the mountain it was only 6 degrees Celsius. You should definitely wear suitable clothes. It may also be possible that roads are completely closed due to the weather.

What we also recommend to you is the online reservation or purchase of the cable car ticket in advance. Due to our spontaneous visit in the late morning we could only get tickets (per person up and down 27 € total) for the trip in the late afternoon. As one of the main attractions, many tourists visit Teide. The cable car runs from 9.00 am to 4.00 pm (departure). Click here to visit the website of the Teide cable car. The parking space situation at the valley station is limited. Early arrival secures a place.

Waiting times for the cable car can also be easily used  with a hike in the volcanic area of Teide, as we have done. From the Parador station, there are a wide variety of different and varyingly demanding and long tours through the spectacular volcanic landscape of the Teide. You can get an overview of the different tours here: Hiking map of the Teide National Park

Plan a whole day for your visit to Teide. We were glad that we didn’t take a guided tour and recommend you to organize the visit yourself. During our next visit we will surely visit Teide in the evening hours to see the night sky of Tenerife.

By the way, after your visit you can put a check mark on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites you have visited. The Teide National Park has been one of them since 2007!

 

Hike through the Masca Canyon

Another great activity on Tenerife is the walk through the Masca canyon. This hike on Tenerife is certainly one of the most spectacular walks on the Canary Islands. We did the tour on our last days in Tenerife and had a great day.

On the way you walk a distance of just under five kilometres and over 600 metres in altitude through a very impressive canyon. On the way, the rock faces are up to 600 metres high and the canyon is less than 30 metres wide at the narrowest points. As a special challenge you have to climb a bit in some places (not much). You will be shown 54 landmarks to the sea. The typical option starts in the village of Masca and leads you along the path to the Atlantic Ocean, where you can take a boat trip to the village of Los Gigantes or take the direct way back. You can buy a boat ticket in the village or directly by the sea (January 2018 € 10, – / person). From Los Gigantes taxis will take you back to Masca for about 26-28 €.

Before the hike we recommend you to have a cup of coffee before the hike. In the restaurant behind the entrance you can also buy your boat tickets and can get tips about the hike. Be sure to be there early. Masca is an incredibly small village with very few parking spaces. We were there at 9:00 a. m. and we still had the free choice of parking space. If you arrive later or don’t want to drive to Santiago del Teide on some of the narrow serpentines, you better park your car in Santiago del Teide and drive to the village for relatively little money.

It depends on the equipment.

The hike itself is classified as difficult to very difficult on various websites. We then approached the matter with due respect. It is not a “Sunday walk”, but it is also not infinitely difficult. In any case, you must be sure-footed and (somehow) athletic. On some passages the path is narrow and on others you have to climb a little bit. You should definitely wear the right shoes. High heels and flip-flops are the worst possible choice. Have a look at the weather forecast here.

You can organize the tour through the canyon without any worries for yourself, even if there are providers at every corner for this tour. In principle, the canyon itself dictates the path. If you start in time enough, you will have the canyon or the path almost to yourself. On our way to the sea we hardly met more than 20 other hikers. In addition to the rush hour, the situation should look completely different according to the reports of other holidaymakers, which surely clouds the joy.

In any case, take enough water and if necessary some food for the way. We arrived with a relaxed walk (and many photo stops) after about 3 hours (and two liters of water and three bananas) happy and satisfied at the sea. The onion tactics in the choice of clothing certainly helped us. At the beginning we started off with a light drizzle and a rain jacket. At the end of the day it was as warm and sunny as you would imagine a nice day on holiday. If the weather is fine and you have your swimsuit with you, you can jump into the Atlantic Ocean from the jetty. In addition to the many great impressions, you may also take a nice sore muscle as a souvenir from the hike, which will remind you of your experiences the next day.

 

Waterparks – also ideal for a holiday on Tenerife in January

There are two larger theme parks on Tenerife for all water rats and water slide junkies. We visited the Siam Park, the world’s best rated water park according to TripAdvisor. If you are planning your holiday on Tenerife in January, it is certainly a good time for the Aquapark. If possible, visit the park on a Saturday (“bed change day”) and you will hardly have any waiting time at the many great slides. Read more in our separate report about the Siam Park. It was definitely a great visit!

Zoos in Tenerife

You can visit two zoos in Tenerife. During our holiday in Tenerife in January we visited the Loro-Parque, which is advertised all over the island. You have to decide for yourself how you like zoos and especially animal shows in zoos. We visited the Loro-Parque to get our own impression. The park is very spacious. There are shows with orcas, dolphins, sea lions and a bird show that are repeated several times a day. If you visit the park, we recommend you to be there early. If you go the regular way, it will soon fill up. We recommend that you turn left immediately after the entrance and go against the main stream. If you walk in a clockwise direction, you will experience the park relatively “alone” during an early visit. More about our visit to Loro-Parque in the following article.

 

Santa Cruz

Tenerife’s capital and hub of the island. We visited Santa Cruz twice. You can go shopping downtown. We recommend that you park your car at the “Nuestra Señora de Africa” market in the multi-storey car park and then go directly to the “Nuestra Señora de Africa” market hall. During your visit you should definitely visit the lower part of the market with the fish market. From the market it’s only a five minute walk to the pedestrian zone, where you can shop until your credit card (or wallet) glows. If you are interested in architecture, then the Auditorio de Tenerife is definitely a good destination for you.

Shopping in Tenerife

You’re Shopaholic? Tenerife has a large number of shopping centres. In the south you can shop directly in Las Americas and Siam Mall. If you are like us in the north, then the shopping mall La Villa is a great alternative to the bingo evening in the hotel. The shopping centre is open until 1.30 am (shops until 10 pm).

Puerto de la Cruz

The tourist centre in the north is the town of Puerto de la Cruz, built on the slopes of the Atlantic Ocean. Our hotel was near the Park Parque de La Sortija. In Puerto Cruz we recommend a walk through the old town. As a special highlight in the old town of Puerto de la Cruz there are 13 large streetart murals! Here you will find an overview of all 13 murals, which you can view on a detailed tour through the city centre. Link to the flyer of Puerto Streetart

Beaches in and around Puerto de la Cruz

If you are more of a beach fan, then you should definitely visit the city beach Playa Jardin. The beach has black sand, which you won’t find everywhere. In January on Tenerife it is still only quite crowded, so you should not have any problems finding a beach chair. By the way, the beach chair costs you only 3 €/day, which is a bargain compared to many other holiday destinations.

As an alternative to the city beach we recommend the natural beach Playa de Bollullo, which is just outside of Puerto de la Cruz and is one of the most beautiful natural beaches in the north of Tenerife. The beach is also popular with locals, so it is better to plan your visit during the week. Above the beach there are very few parking spaces.

 

 

As with Playa Jardin, you should take the flagging on the beaches seriously. The currents at the beaches should not be underestimated.

By the way, you can swim more quietly in the seawater in the waterscape Lago Martianez. This pool landscape was designed by the artist and architect César Manrique and shapes the promenade of Puerto de la Cruz. Admission is relatively cheap with 5,50 €.

What else we can recommend for your vacation on Tenerife in January.

For a visit to the north of the island, we recommend a visit to the Sunset290 Bar near Puerto de la Cruz. From the bar you can enjoy a delicious cocktail in your hand over the bay of Puerto de la Cruz and watch the sunset on the coastline.

Speaking of sunset – here we recommend the pass and viewpoint Mirador De Cherfe on the way to Masca canyon, which is one of the highest and most westerly points of the island. The sunset is great to watch from up there. We would be happy to give you the recommendation of a taxi driver who has pointed out to us that it is better to lock the rental car even with short photo stops.

Traumhafter Sonnenuntergang vom Mirador de Cherfe auf Teneriffa

Wonderful sunset from the Mirador de Cherfe on Tenerife

It is also interesting to note that there is a relatively short period of twilight after sunset. After less than 20 minutes it is already very dark. You will surely notice this during your holiday on Tenerife.

January is otherwise an ideal time for a vacation on Tenerife. There aren’t that many tourists on the island yet. With little effort you can plan your holiday on Tenerife so individually that you can enjoy your holiday to the fullest. Although the island is relatively small, it offers many possibilities for a great vacation. Our original plan with a day trip to Gomera was quickly rejected by our first vacation on Tenerife. We will certainly return to Tenerife at some point. We liked it very much!

If you want to read more about the Canary Islands, we recommend our report about Gran Canaria, which you can also experience outside of mass tourism. If you prefer safe swimming conditions, we recommend a holiday in Sardinia south west or Sardinias north or Sicily.

Have you ever been to Tenerife in January or at another time of the year? What were your experiences?

The following travel guides have also done a good job offline. We also recommend you to think about a USB adapter, which helped us very well in our hotel (with only one single socket in the room!).

You support our hobby with a purchase via the following affiliate links. The price at Amazon is not affected by this.

 

Hanover Events and Sightseeing

Hanover Events and Sightseeing

Hanover Events- Party on at the Maschseefest and in Linden

Hanover and events? If you think of Hannover, you will probably spontaneously come up with terms like business shows, Cebit,  airport Langenhagen, Hanover 96 or even zoo. If you think back a little, you will still throw in the world exhibition “Expo 2000”, which Hanover was the first German city to host. Politically interested people still call the state capital of Lower Saxony. For those who like to party, the Maschseefest is still there. There are many possibilities for companies in Hanover. However, many people think of Hanover as the “most boring city in Germany”, which is also the result of a quick search on Google. Gaby and I also had little relation to Hanover, despite the close distance to Bremen.

It was therefore a great pleasure for us that Anja from Travelontoast.de and Janett von from Teilzeitreisender. de organized another great travelblogger meeting together with Hanover Tourismus and the hotel Crowne Plaza. After the weekend we can say that Hanover is a great destination and has a lot to offer for different activities! If you come from Bremen, you will be in the middle of Hanover in less than an hour if you have a free highway! More about our activities in Hanover now! Party on Hanover!

Discover Hanover.

After the check-in at Crown Plaza we had enough time to discover Hanover until we got to know the other travel loggers. Fortunately, the hotel’s location behind the main station is very central and ideal as base in Hannover. After about ten minutes of walking, we were already standing in the pedestrian zone at the “Kröpcke”. The Kröpcke-Platz is one of the central meeting points in Hanover. With the “Kröpcke-Uhr” you can also photograph one of Hannover’s landmarks. The pedestrian precinct (Georgstraße) of Hanover is one of the five most visited shopping streets after Frankfurt (Zeil), Munich (Kaufinger Straße), Düsseldorf (Flinger Straße) and Cologne (Schildergasse), acc. to Statista.

The weather was also good, so that we were able to explore the city centre in the sun. In addition to the typical retail chains that are now to be found in all major cities, there are also plenty of nice cafés in Hanover.

On our way back to the hotel we passed the Opera House of Hannover, which offers another great photo motif in the city. The inner city itself is unfortunately characterized by many functional buildings. So the next day our tour guide was able to report that the inner city was destroyed in World War II by about 90 %. If you want to see the old architecture of Hannover, you can still experience this in the outer city districts such as Linden.

Get to know other travelblogger

Anja and Janett had invited about 40 travelbloggers from all over Germany to the meeting. So it was exciting to meet other bloggers in the hotel’s own restaurant Schweizer Hof. For example, with Alexa and Daniel from “Hey Hannover” and Anna from “Anna Immer Unterwegs” and Max from  “Hostelmax” ,locals were also present. It was also exciting to exchange with other bloggers like Barbara from “Barbaralicious” or Oliver from “Woandersein.com” or to talk with Nina from “Gottundbratkartoffeln” about God and fried potatoes (translated name of her travelblog) and to get to know other bloggers from Bremen with Sarah and Stefan from “Küstenrausch.de”. Peter and Svenja of “Work-Travel-Balance” came from Düsseldorf. It was also nice to meet Tanja from Wellness-Bummler and Eva from “Burgdame” again or to chat with Jasmin from “Onmyjourney”. Unfortunately, the time was far too short to talk to all participants.

Hotel Crowne Plaza – a good city hotel in central location of Hannover

The hotel Crowne Plaza in Hannover is one of three German Crowne Plaza hotels and belongs to the IHG hotel group. It is rated with four stars in Hanover. The hotel is currently being completely renovated. On our floor all the work was happily completed. The room was modern and functional. It is important to note that there are possibilities to prepare coffee/tea in the room. How nice it would be if this were a standard in every hotel! Another highlight (for business travellers) is the iron, which also belongs to the standard equipment of the room. The hotel is otherwise predominantly a business hotel. Due to its location, it also offers normal tourists a good starting point for activities during a short holiday or city trip to Hanover on the weekend. If you arrive by car, you can park directly in the parking garage of the hotel. It’s a bit cheaper to park in the parking garage of the Labor Court, one street further on.

Eating at the Schweizer Hof – Crowne Plaza Hannover

The Crowne Plaza used the “get-to-know” evening and spoiled the guests with a very tasty meal under the motto “Little Kitchen Party”. Starting with smoked tofu, veal tartare or marinated original tomato, we went on to the “1-hour organic egg”, the suckling pig shoulder “BBQ Style” and the poached salmon. All in all very tasty and a nice start into a great weekend!

Hanover national drink and regional speciality – Lüttje Lage

The highlight was the dessert of the chocolate cake and the Fourme d’ Ambert. Sandra from Hannover Marketing didn’t miss to show us all the “Lüttje Lage”. “Lüttje Lage” is a high-percentage Hanoverian speciality consisting of a glass of grain and a small glass of beer, which is drunk together. The special challenge is to hold the two glasses in such a way that the grain runs into the beer glass and then into the mouth with the beer. It is of course a local experience that goes with it. Despite the fun, it was not really our thing…. Tastes are just different. More tasty was the Guinness in the English pub “Jack The Ripper’s” in a rustic vaulted cellar directly at the Kröpcke, which we visited at the end of the evening with some other bloggers.

Deep sleep and breakfast

We would also like to mention that the beds were super comfortable. The Crowne Plaza advertises with a “feeling of absolute relaxation” and a special sleep program that also includes aromatherapy. We could no longer determine whether the feeling of absolute relaxation came from the mattress, aromatherapy or simply the “Lüttje situation”. We both slept soundly. And so the next morning we went to the breakfast buffet in a relaxed atmosphere.

The breakfast buffet in Crowne Plaza is definitely one of the better buffets we have seen in hotels so far. Everything is available, what your heart desires in the morning and what you need for a good start into the day. The waitresses were in a good mood and very courteous.

Well strengthened on the way with #rbhannover!

Well strengthened it went then to the actual blogger meeting, which you can follow also with the hashtag #rbhannover with Twitter, Instagram or also Facebook .

Cumberlandsche Galerie – Instagram lecture by Anja

Together they went to the Cumberlandsche Galerie in the rear part of the Schauspielhaus as the first stop on our tour in Hanover. In the monument protected, large staircase, characterized by the wide stairs and cast-iron supports and railings, small plays are otherwise performed. The stage belongs to the four stages of the Staatsschauspiele Hannover. Our “performance” in the “most beautiful staircase of Hanover” consisted of the presentations of Hannover Tourismus and the Crown Plaza.

Finally, Anja gave a very exciting lecture on better use of Instagram (here a link to our account 🙂). The staircase gives an idea of how pompous the building around it must have been in those days. Unfortunately, with the exception of the staircase, it has been completely destroyed. If you want to take a look inside, we recommend to visit a play there or to test the Calamarimoon-Bar every Friday.

From the centre to Linden – City tour Hannover

Time to discover Hanover. Our goal was the district of Linden, which is now one of the hip areas of Hannover. If you like to party, the “Bermuda Triangle” is a good place to be, and you can move from one disco to the next and take some corner bars along the way. Our actual tour started at the Glocksee Zentrum, where we could admire a lot of street art. From the Glocksee-Zentrum you can see the Ihme Zentrum, which in the’ 60s was conceived as a “city in the city”.

Ihme Zentrum Hannover - ein besonderer Ort - Hannover Unternehmung

Due to many changes of ownership and lack of investment, the huge building complex is decaying. Behind the complex, you will pass the lively district of Linden, which was originally an old working class district.

Hannover Linden Streetart Bettfedernfabrik

Linden – a popular district

Today Linden is a popular neighbourhood for students, workers and all former students, which makes house prices soar. After a stop in the “living room” of Lindens, the bar “Centrum” at the market place of Linden, we could then still look at great old houses at the quiet Lichtenbergplatz. Afterwards we went via Limmerstraße to the ferryman festival at the old bedspring factory. Today the bedspring factory another cultural centre in Hanover. Did you know that people in Hanover speak of “limmern” when you go from one corner pub to the next in that area? It’s going particularly well on the Limmerstraße on a mild summer evening.

Thinks to do in Linden and on the way there

  • View Glocksee Center
  • Walk through the Ihme Centre
  • View streetart in Linden
  • “Limmern” on the Limmerstreet
  • Don’t get lost in the Bermuda triangle between clubs
  • Going out on Thursday evening at the Lindener Marktplatz at the “Centrum” to celebrate – instead of free beer for men, there is free prosecco for women.
  • Look at the beautiful old houses.

Der Lichtenbergplatz in Hannover mit den tollen alten Häusern

We liked Linden. It is a very lively district of Hannover (even if Linden was once a city in its own right) where you can surely live great. If you want to know more about lime trees, just have a look here – district tips or directly the district map (both from Hannover Tourismus).

The Maschsee Festival in Hanover – a culinary world tour

The travelblogger meeting in Hanover ended in the evening together at the Maschseefest. Our starting point was the Robinson pavilion, where we started the evening with some delicious cocktails with best weather.

So if you are planning a visit to Hannover, you should keep an eye on the Maschseefest. Hanover proves here once again that it is not the “most boring city in Germany”. In 2017 the festival at Maschsee went from 02.08. – 20.08.2017.

For 2018 you can schedule August 1st-19th and for 2019 you can enter the period from July 31st to August 18th. Unconsciously, the Maschseefest is also an ideal meeting place for travelbloggers. There are so many different international dishes! Feelings can feed around the world and remember (or plan a trip) for sure.

What else can you experience at the Maschseefest?

Besides the many different dining booths there are also several stages. Eating, dancing and partying by the lake are the secret recipe for a great evening. During our visit we were able to admire the torchlight swimming, which already provided a great atmosphere in the evening light. On our next visit to the Maschseefest we planned to visit the north, east and south shore as well as the western shore. Practically speaking, it is also possible to sail with the ships of the Maschsee fleet, so that you can comfortably travel from one shore to another. The week starts at 14.00 hrs and on Sunday already at 11.00 hrs.

As a digital helper for the Maschseefest program, you can download the Maschseefest app here

(iOs or Android).

Finally, a few general facts about Hannover:

  • 13th largest city in Germany
  • Capital of Lower Saxony
  • Location of the Cebit and the “Hannover Messe” as the world’s largest industrial trade fair (called the Fischbrötchen-Messe curiously enough in the first years after the Second World War)
  • Has a great park with the Herrenhäuser Gardens and impressive shows in the gardens with the international fireworks competition (here you can watch the streams from the past fireworks, recorded by NDR)
  • offers with the adventure zoo a great destination for excursions
  • has with Hannover 96 a first-class soccer team
  • Venue of the world’s largest “shooting festival” – 2018 from 29.06. – 08.07. – 2018
  • Location of a total of nine different universities and colleges
  • Well-known music groups like Scorpions, Fury in the Slaughterhouse, Lena Meyer-Landrut or Scooter come from Hannover or had their beginnings there.

We really liked the meeting and got to know Hanover as a very lively city.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Crowne Plaza Schweizer Hof Hotel and Hanover Tourism for the great organisation.

One weekend is of course too short to see everything in Hanover. We would be happy to come back again!

If you want to read more about Hanover, we recommend the overview of Hanover, where all reports of the participants should be listed:

https://www.hannover.de/Tourismus/Lifestyle-Nightlife/Hannover-Living-Stadtteiltipps/Bloggers-welcome/Reiseblogger-Treffen-Hannover

The travelblogger meeting even made it into the local newspaper, which reported directly about the meeting!

Newspaper “Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung” Article Travelblogger

 

Disclosure: The overnight stay at the Hotel Crowne Plaza was made possible in cooperation with Hannover Tourismus. The journey was at your own expense.

You kind of want to go to the beach? Just have a look at our report about Gran Canaria or the report of our first travelblogger meeting at the Baltic Sea in Travemünde.

New York A City That Never Sleeps

New York A City That Never Sleeps

New York – A City That Never Sleeps!

After 2004 and 2008 I visited New York again in summer 2013. I can say that the city is really great and exciting at any time of the year.

During my last vacation in New York, I booked a private accommodation via AirBnB (affiliate link) centrally in Manhattan – only 5 minutes walk from Times Square.

The journey was relaxed – the car was parked in the suburb of Secaucus and then we took the train directly to Manhattan to the Pennstation.

And so a great weekend should start.

  • Broadway and Times Square with the giant illuminated panels
  • Where Darth Vader meets Mickey Mouse and Buzz Lighting
  • How about riding a bike through New York?
  • Where to find a glass elevator
  • Recreation in the City Library
  • Walking around the Highline Park
  • Once at the command post of an aircraft carrier,

I quickly met my landlord and he showed me my accommodation – his apartment. In the evening I took the opportunity to visit Times Square again. A visit to the Times Squares is of course obligatory during the day with the many shops, but even more so in the evening when everything is brightly lit.

Broadway and Time Square

Near the Time Square is also Broadway with its many musicals and theatres (Broadway Tickets). It is advisable to check what you are playing before you go on holiday. Directly at Times Square you can also find many more or few famous comic figures, who can use the time between cartoons for a small tip and take photos with them. As I noticed, even Darth Vader had at least found a small job after the launch of his beloved Death Star in New York.

Eating in New York

On the recommendation of my host, I have certainly eaten the most delicious burger of recent years at the small chain 5napkinburger (www.5napkinburger.com). Reservation is recommended. On the firm plan I also had the visit of the sushi chain Todais, who unfortunately had closed their restaurant in New York at that time. Today there is a similar restaurant concept with the restaurant Ichiumi.

And so day one came to an end with a beer with my host. It was interesting to learn that he almost had to rent the apartment via AirBnb because of the horrendous rental prices in order to be able to live there at all. But how else can you stay more authentic in Manhattan, if not in a “real” appartment?

The next two days I explored New York by bike. It may sound weird at first, but New York is much more bike-friendly than many other cities. And with the dense, slow traffic, you can make even better progress.

Cycling in New York – CityBike

I can only recommend CityBike New York for this. Definitely a great experience. In the truest sense of the word. You drive through the city with a rental bike and can return it to about 100 places and pick it up. The costs are about 10, – Dollar per day (with Mastercard. no visas, one card / person for identification) very affordable. You start paying after 30 minutes driving time. Since the stations are very densely packed, it is easy to get through the city. Usually you don’t need more than 30 minutes from point of interest to point of interest. https://www.citibikenyc.com/

During my last visit I visited the Intrepid, an old aircraft carrier that has been converted into an aircraft museum. The Intrepid is located on the east side of Manhattan. In addition to many fighter jets you can now also see a space shuttle. Storm Sandy had damaged the shuttle during my visit. http://www.intrepidmuseum.org/ Here you can also print a quartet here.

Of course you can shop everywhere in New York. If the choice of shops is not enough, you can really get off to the second largest mall in America near New York – only about 1 hour drive from NY. Mall of America The visit to the mall would be to much for one weekend.

View on Manhattan

Back to Manhattan and up high. If you want to get an overview of the Manhattan, I can recommend the Empir

Bibo in Central Park

Bibo in Central Park

e-State-Building, which offers a magnificent panoramic view over Manhattan. Alternatively, the Rockefeller Center with the “Top of the Rock” is not less spectacular.  In my opinion, the visit is still worthwhile in the evenings, because you look at the whole of Manhattan to the south (no panoramic view). The elevator is already very interesting with the lighting in the elevator shaft upwards.

MOMA and Guggenheim Museum

Art lovers can of course visit the Guggenheim Museum or MOMA. In many places I lacked the necessary understanding of art (at a

previous visit already determined) and so I rather made a detour with my city bike to the Central Park for a wonderful ice cream and talked to Bibo.

 

Back on the way through Manhattan in southern direction you can also pass the Grand Central Station and the City Library. Both buildings are absolutely worth seeing and especially the reading rooms of the library have a very special atmosphere. They are already venerable halls.

In addition to the many street food stalls in New York, there is also a wide range of food halls to choose from (Here is a selection of Food Halls).

South of Manhattan

The newer Highline Park in southern Manhattan is also highly recommended. This park has been superbly converted from an old elevated railway into a park. You go for a walk between the skyscrapers. There are several points of entry into the Highline Park. (Highline Park). I liked the park very much and it really seemed like an oasis in the big city to me.

Arriving in the south of Manhattan I visited the Ground Zero memorial site. It is an oppressive place and as a monument very well done. One can only hope that the monument will lead to the right thoughts. Directly next door with the “One World Center” has already been created a further big building!

Not far away is Wall Street and the southern end of Manhattan with Battery Park. From there the ferries go to Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. I had already visited the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island on previous visits. If you have more than one weekend, I recommend it. Even if it’s a bit of a digression – whoever comes from Northern Germany should take the time beforehand and visit the museum “Das Auswandererhaus” (Emmigrant house) in Bremerhaven. With the visit to Ellis Island, the “emigration” becomes complete.

The way back to my apartment I drove in style with the CityBike bikes at the long bike path on the west side of Manhattan.

Brooklyn Bridge

Alternatively, of course, the eastern side is also a good place to get to the famous Brooklyn Bridge.

A few kilometres further north, you can also cross the East River by cable car.

All in all, of course, a weekend is far too short for one of the world’s liveliest cities. I think New York is great! I was able to experience different things with every visit – and I was certainly not there for the last time. Maybe the Trump Tower will be one of the most visited destinations in the city in the future? I wasn’t so convinced by the building… maybe it’s so good that the UNO is pretty close to Donald.

What do you associate with New York and what are your greatest memories of the city?

Here you can have a look at the private accommodations at AirBnB (Affiliate Link). Staying more authentic in the city is not possible.

After the good AirBnB experience I started to rent vacation apartments privately (e. g. on an old estate in Sicily overlooking Etna or Villa Vista in Torrox near Alhambra) instead of spending my holidays exclusively in hotels or traveling “all-inclusive”, which can of course also be comfortable (e. g. the four days in Kusadasi in Turkey or just recently on Gran Canaria with the luxury hotel Lopesan Villa Conde).