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For the last week, there has been november-y high-pressure weather: Dry, cold, with strange gusts of wind, and a thick ceiling of high fog blocking the sun. To make it more depressing, weather forecasts do not know anything about high fog and forecast "clear and sunny" while one is moving in a perpetual grey gloom. The only way out is up, and that's what N___ and I did today.

As mentioned yesterday, we went to visit I___ at a health resort about 90 minutes drive away. The resort is in a quiet little town in a low mountain range, at about 750 metres above sea level. While we were going there, the light became stronger, the sky whitened, the sun showed as a bright spot, and finally a pale blue sky became visible right overhead.

We walked through some nature preserve forest around a lake. The trees were covered in frozen mist that formed flaky needles of ice, and under the weak sun the ice thawed and every tree was like a rain cloud. On the ground, the raindrops froze again and surrounded every tree with a ring of flaky snow.

The lake was covered in mist still, and mirrored the pale white sky, so it felt like there was a vast cloudy nothing next to us. After some hours, more of the mist dissolved and the other side of the lake became visible.

Image: N___ and I right in the middle of nowhere )

We had a good lunch, and saw the busy work of beavers all along the shore.

Next part of the walk took us over some open fields in very weak sunshine, and then dusk came, so we went for coffee and cake in the only café in town that was not closed until start of the skiing season.

And then N___ and I drove back in a night which was icy and damp.

Very nice day. The air in the hills was so clean and fresh, and the light was amazing. It was well worth the drive.
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I'm back from vacation and have a lot to write up.

Until that gets done, here's a cat pic:
Jerry and Tully on the balcony, May 2010
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Winter might be officially over, but I'm still freezing.

Have a cat picture:
Tully is sceptical!cat
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Have updated my webpage with a bunch of recipes (in German): Schoko-Mandel Gugelhupf, Kürbis-Ingwer-Suppe, and how to cook eggplant in the mircrowave.

Am very tired. Maybe I banged my head harder the day before yesterday than I thought I did.

Also, here's a cat pic:
Jerry and Tully in a box
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Mar 2010 Cat pictures )
All these pictures were taken by [livejournal.com profile] flederkatz, Mar 1st to 6th 2010.
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Non-spherical cats behind the cut )
All these pictures were taken by [livejournal.com profile] flederkatz, Nov 8th to 13th 2009.
I backdated this because it took me five weeks until I got around to uploading it.

Cat gallery

Nov. 6th, 2009 08:29 pm
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Cat gallery behind the cut )
All these pictures were taken by [livejournal.com profile] mad_freddy, Nov 1st 2009, and edited by me.

Rain

Jun. 27th, 2007 07:27 pm
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I like rain. Which is good, because, considering how often I have been soaked to the skin in the last week or two, rain seems to like me, too.

OK, so I have a shiny new bicyle (no good images yet [ETA: images after cut at the bottom]) and spend a little more time outside than I would otherwise... but is that a reason why it should start to rain the moment I walk out of the office to have lunch?

Rain is fun, and pretty, and smells good, and is far preferable to summer heat. Especially if you have a dry place to go to at the end of the day, and towels and dry clothes, and a nice cup of tea. Getting drenched always reminds me of my teenage years. All those holidays spent outside, and the long commute to school...

Yesterday I had the first singing lesson since last summer, and of course while I was getting there, a fierce and enthusiastic rain storm turned the street drains into geysirs and the street into a river. Had I been driving home it would have been great, as it was, 'great' got tempered by me dripping on my teacher's carpet for an hour. On the way home, a cool evening sun was shining. 12°C. I like summer that way.

ETA:Images )
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Another Sunday, nice weather, but not enough hours of the daylight (not after sleeping until 10, at least) for exploring the countryside, so I was off to the city again, and if I didn't get to the Monterey Aquarium on this stay, I'd at least see the San Francisco Zoo. I set out in the pre-noon fog, which still obscured the sun when the BART train disappeared into the Bay Tunnel, changed into the MUNI metro/streetcar at Civic Center, and emerged under a blue sky in some place called "West Portal", after passing below all the seriously hilly places where even the usually stubbornly straight streets adapt to the shape of the land. Read more (with pictures) )
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Another Sunday of books and sightseeing. When I was here first, San Francisco seemed gigantic to me, but in fact it's not much bigger than Frankfurt (Main) with regards to population, and only half as large (but much more hilly!) space-wise. Which is strange, because San Francisco has these wide streets every 100 or 200 metres, most of which seem to be lined by small houses. Be that how it may, it means that, if you want to go exploring and are not in a hurry, (and have good shoes,) you can cover a lot of ground walking. Read more... )

BTW, here is a spectacular picture of San Francisco. The bridge to the right is the Bay Bridge. In the high resolution version you can clearly see the Golden Gate Bridge in the centre of the picture.

ETA: Now with images! Thanks, Marc!
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Another "it's not autumn if you're in California"-day, and I found myself on the move before 11am. Which seems to be a popular time to get going, as the BART train was more than half full and became crowded in Oakland (where the three East Bay lines meet). I had studied my maps and got to my chosen starting point at the south-eastern corner of Golden Gate Park with minimal fuss. What fuss there was, was created by twenty five-cent coins: Not only need you pay for the MUNI ticket with the exact amount of change, you need it in coins. The BART ticket machines will change a dollar note, but sometimes only into really small change.

The subway train became a streetcar and passed a bunch of cute, vaguely Victorian houses at the southern edge (if I got my geography right) of Haight-Ashbury. One small house was painted hot pink. I wonder if it was the same that Ceridwen and I saw when taking a guided tour. I have the photograph at home, but I didn't manage to get my cell phone out and running in time to make another photo for comparison. Some things remain a mystery.

More, with lots of small pictures )
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It's strange how things you learned as a kid shape your perception of how the world "should" be. Germany rises North-to-South, from the sea to the beaches, marshes and flatlands, then hills and higher hills and finally mountains. And that's still how I expect things to be. Mountainous seashores never cease to amaze me. So, as a glimpse on any map can tell you, in California I find a lot of amazing places.


Read more... )

ETA: Now with pictures!

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