Category: Travel

Indonesia Part I – Jakarta

Indonesia Part I – Jakarta

Almost a month and a half after our Golden Week trip to Indonesia, it’s time to catch up on the blog posts. Thorben already shared a lot of pictures, so here come all the details … and more pictures :).

We planned our trip to Indonesia together with Marlyn (who’s from Indonesia), so our first and last stop was Jakarta, where her parents live. In total, we spent 4 nights in Jakarta and 6 on Flores – Part II coming soon!

Marlyn’s Birthday

Our first full day in Jakarta it was Marlyn’s birthday, so she made the plan and we just went along with whatever she wanted to do. Mostly, that meant eating a LOT of Indonesian food. We started with going to a local market, had some food there and also bought some fruit we had never seen before. Next, Marlyn wanted to eat something that translates to “brain brain” – she said there is no brain inside, just fish and flour. No way to confirm her story so we just went with it 🙂 We also had a seafood omelette and the first of many plates of Nasi Goreng (fried rice). To get to a supermarket to buy some snacks, we took a tuk tuk. Our driver seemed quite excited to take around the only foreigners in sight 😉

After a short rest at home, it was time to eat yet again, so we went to another restaurant for some meatball soup. Also, we picked up the birthday cake, which we had after dinner (yes, more food) at a nice seafood restaurant overlooking the water.

Jakarta sights & food

On our second full day, Marlyn’s dad was our tour guide and took us around Jakarta for some sightseeing and more Indonesian food. We started with noodles and wonton soup for breakfast and then went to a banking museum which was inside a cool colonial building. We also saw Jakarta’s first train station and wandered around in an old market square. During our time in the city center, Thorben and I got interviewed by some students who wanted to practice their English.

The second part of the day, we visited a “mini Indonesia” theme park. They had lots of different buildings, showing the different cultures and architecture of the different islands. One place we visited in detail was the Komodo museum, in preparation for the next stop of our trip 🙂 There was also more food: we had a very late lunch/early dinner at another Indonesian restaurant and then picked up some “martabak”. Martabak could be described as diabetes and a heart attack rolled in one – it’s a giant cake slathered with butter, peanuts, chocolate and sweetened condensed milk, but it was super tasty!

Even more food

After coming back to Flores, we spent one more night in Jakarta. I think Marlyn’s mom was worried we didn’t eat at all during our 6 days away, so she prepared a huge feast for us. I forgot the name of everything but it was delicious!

Overall, our time in Jakarta was really fun, especially since Marlyn’s parents were so nice and took so much time to show us around and feed us 🙂 It was really cool to experience the city more from a local perspective and not just as a tourist.

A long weekend in Singapore

A long weekend in Singapore

Fourth time is the charm …or whatever the saying is 🙂 Last Friday was a public holiday in Shanghai (Mid-autumn festival), so I took the opportunity to visit my sister and her husband in Singapore.

I arrived Thursday night and flew back Sunday night, which gave us 3 full days to eat, explore, chill, catch up and eat some more.

Friday – Afternoon Tea and Singapore After Dark

Sandra had Friday off while Timo had to work, so we had a fun sister day. We explored her area a little and had some breakfast, then lounged by the pool for a while. In the afternoon, we headed to the Ritz-Carlton to have afternoon tea, which was my birthday present 🙂 The afternoon tea was really great, so much good food and it was all beautifully presented.

To walk it off, we headed to Chinatown in the evening because they had some lanterns for Mid-autumn festival. There wasn’t too much to see, so we decided to walk around Marina Bay once and visit the Merlion. Sadly, he wasn’t lit up, but it was still great to be back in my bay 🙂 On the way home, we also stopped at Lau Pa Sat, an old hawker center in the middle of the CBD. Luckily, after 20,000 steps, I was able to fit in another snack.

Saturday – Food, Flowers, and Food

Saturday, the air was really bad due to forest fires in Indonesia. The worst haze in 3 years and you could really see and smell it. We still managed to go out for breakfast and then went to Gardens by the Bay. Since my last visit almost 2 years ago, another exhibit opened. Floral Fantasy lived up to its name. The flowers were really pretty and we were lucky it wasn’t crowded, maybe because of the haze. Of course we took advantage of that and took many many pictures.

We spent the rest of the day indoors and my sister made us a really German dinner – Linsen mit Spätzle und Saitenwürstle 🙂 It was amazing. Tasted just like home.

Sunday – Pool Time and Brunch

On my last day, the haze was a bit less, so we hung out by the pool again and tried to work up an appetite by swimming a few laps. I’m pretty jealous this is just an elevator ride away – just one more reason to come back really soon!

Our final food adventure was brunch at the W where Marlyn’s cousin Santy is the pastry chef. She is a true artist, I could not stop taking pictures of all the beautiful cakes and dessert. The rest of the brunch buffet was amazing as well – there were 20 different cheeses! Of course we ate way too much and moved very little for the rest of the day 🙂

Thank you very much to my awesome hosts for a great long weekend. Until next time, Singapore!

BUGA Heilbronn

BUGA Heilbronn

Right now Heilbronn is hosting the BUGA (the federal garden exhibit, which happens every other year in a German city) and I got a ticket from my grandparents for my birthday. It was so great I went twice in one week and I have so many pictures, so it deserves it’s own post … here comes the flower overload:

My parents have a year pass so my dad and I went exploring on a Sunday afternoon for 5 hours and 17.000 steps. The area is huge with all sorts of plants, educational exhibits, 2 lakes with water fountains, food and wine and cocktail booths, 2 stages for concerts and performances and of course lots of pretty flowers.

I love the mascot they have – Karl, a garden gnome. I went on a mission to take pictures with all the different Karls I saw 🙂

On my last night at home we returned to the BUGA with a mission: to see the water show. In the middle of the area they have a man made lake with lots of fountains on it and every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, there is a half-hour water and light show with music. They had some special guests the day we went, so we got lucky and saw 2 shows in a row, “Der kleine Wassertropfen” (the little water drop) and “Deutsche Schlager” (German Hits). It was awesome!

Birthday celebrations part 2, 3 and 4

Birthday celebrations part 2, 3 and 4

Besides a fantastic birthday weekend, there were many more fun activities I haven’t posted pictures from, so here we go!

Afternoon tea at the Peninsula

Boramy and Tim took me to afternoon tea at the Peninsula a week after my birthday. I’ve been wanting to go so it was the perfect present. Savory snacks, little desserts, scones with clotted cream and unlimited tea – what more can you want? The food was really good and we hung out for almost 4 hours.

Girls only birthday party

A weekend after that, I had 8 girls over for pastries, cake, games and mimosas … and later pizza rolls, wine and gossip 😉 They helped me finish the rest of the eclairs and cream puffs from the baking extravaganza, so now there’s space in the freezer for another round!

Birthday celebrations in Germany

I just got back from a business trip to Germany, where I also got to spend a weekend with my family. I sent them a birthday wish list which included a family breakfast, dinner with the grandparents and a strawberry cake 🙂 All my wishes were fulfilled, yay to getting special birthday treatment!

Julia and Frank’s present was food related as well. First, they had me over at their place for ice cream, we visited Dieter the Donkey at the park and finally we had dinner together. With that dinner I got to check “Must have dish no. 3” off the list: Käsespätzle! (No. 1 and 2 are Butterbrezel and Maultaschen).

Up next: A tour of  the Zotter chocolate factory I got from friends and then celebrating with my sister in Singapore in September – she’s also taking me to an afternoon tea. Food gifts are the best 🙂

Kuching: Orang Utans, Sights and Beach

Kuching: Orang Utans, Sights and Beach

Besides celebrating Eid and eating lots of yummy Malay food, we also had a little bit of time left to explore more of Kuching.

Kuching Waterfront

Our hotel for the first 2 nights was located right at the Kuching waterfront and after the first day of eating, we took a walk along along the water. Syuke and Thorben quickly became an attraction for Chinese tourists, who wanted a picture of them 🙂

Semenggoh Nature Reserve

On our second morning we headed out of town to go looking for some monkeys, Orang Utans to be exact. In the past, the Semenggoh Nature Reserve rescued orphaned, injured or captive orang utans and trained them to live in the wild. Now, it’s a habitat where they live semi-wild.

There is a feeding twice a day where the caretakers put out some food, in case the orang utans couldn’t find enough in the forest. Depending on the season, some of them come to pick some up. We saw 2 male and 2 female orang utans and one of them even had a baby 🙂

Orang Utan Mural

After getting back from the real life Orang Utans, we stumbled across the Orang Utan Mural downtown. It’s a corner with some really cool street art.

More Food

Even during and after 2 1/2 days of open houses, we still had room for some more food 🙂 Below are pictures from some yummy cake we had at a cute cafe inside the old courthouse, and of a seafood dinner we went to with Syuke and some of his friends.

Beach time

Our last 2 days in Kuching were spent relaxing. We stayed at a cool little hotel, where each room is basically a cement roll. It was super cozy and also had access to the beach. The sign “Beware of crocodiles” kept us out of the water 😉