Sunday, December 30, 2012

Twilight at Miedwie Lake

We decided to spend the last Sunday of 2012 at Miedwie Lake. Since we made the decision pretty late, we were just in time for a sunset.

Miedwie is situated at the suburbs of Szczecin, yet we have never been there. Some time ago it was perfectly renovated and it shows. I mean, the subject of renovation was not the lake itself, rather everything around. As a result, there is a really nice promenade around, a lot of piers and an outdoor amphitheatre.


I found the walk pretty soothing. There were few people, water was waving tranquilly, it was calm around. We strolled on a wooden platform (we had to be cautious not to slip down to the bog aside) admiring the nature.

When we reached the amphitheatre the sun was already gone and it was getting dark. On top of that, not so far on the horizon we saw storm clouds which was not a very good prediction for us. So we just had a short glance on the birds flying over the lake and headed back to the car. After a while we got caught by the rain, hopefully we won't get sick again.

Friday, December 28, 2012

New Year's News

Since I met my wife 8 years ago we have been unable to predict how our life will look like even one year in advance. Like everybody, we make some plans but life always surprises us and rearranges them. Fortunately fate usually prepares for us something better than we can imagine on our own. I hope there will be no difference this time because instead of settling down in our city with 4 cats, apartment, garden and decent jobs, I will move to Geneva to work at CERN next year and I hope Ania will join me soon. So from March 2013 I will live as shown below (photos from time when Ania worked in CERN).

Friday, December 14, 2012

Christmas market in Szczecin

We try to profit from the surrounding Christmas atmosphere as much as possible. Personally, I love all the hustle and bustle at this time of the year. I love "Last Christmas" by Wham, plastic Santa Clauses in shop windows, all the lights in the streets and Christmas advertisements (although this year there is another leitmotive in TV - the end of the world that is supposed to happen 21/12/2012).

Szczecin is not best known for Christmas markets, in fact I think it's the first time ever we have something organised. Anyway, I saw a reindeer photo on FB and it was obvious to me that I must go there!

I must admit that Ducal Castle in Szczecin is the perfect choice of a place for such an event. In general, it's a pretty place but it became even better with all the stalls around. Ginger bread, self brewed beer, mulled wine and pottery - these were the most frequent goodies sold on the market. We bought something for us to - a ginger bread hut that will decorate our  Christmas table.

What was the best for me were the animals. Except for the before mentioned reindeer (who were cute but rather motionless and jaded) there was a crib installed. The crib was extraordinary. Maria had nails painted blue and Joseph had an ugly wig. They were both drinking mulled wine. But the animals were awesome.

It was very cold and the event was getting to an end so we didn't stay very long. Since we had two occasions to celebrate, we went to a sushi restaurant to enjoy the Friday evening and celebrate our successes.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Winter in Szczecin

Winter is a graceful moment for taking pictures. The multitude of glimmering street lights, Christmas instalations and white snow make a decent photo set. Even cold weather doesn't put us off from going outdoor for a walk.

All the photos were taken in Kasprowicza Park vicinity in two days time. First day it was snowing so badly that all the pictures got blurry and gloomy but I like them anyway. The second day it stopped snowing and Radek could play with a camera a bit - doing collages of our griffin monument (griffin is the emblem of Szczecin) or funky Christmas tree photos.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Weihnachtsmarkt in Berlin

Christmas is coming, on St. Nicholas day I heard "Last Christmas" by Wham on the radio - it's a definite sign! In order to catch a bit of a Christmas spirit, we decided to go to Berlin. We've never seen the city in winter and everyone said it was remarkable in snow and lights. Luckily, Goethe Institut (where we both learn German) organised a trip to Weihnachtsmärkte in the capital city of Germany so we gladly put ourselves on a participants' list.

We arrived on the Hauptbahnhof - a newly built railway station that cost around 1 billion EUR. All right, it's quite a cost, but the result is stunning. It's really a very modern and pretty place (yes, a pretty railway station - how odd is that?). What I liked particularly was the huge Christmas tree placed in front of the glazed front.

The organisers prepared an itinerary for us:
- Hauptbahnhof,
- Reichstag,
- Brandenburger Tor,
- Sony Centre, Potsdamer Platz Weihnachtsmarkt,
- WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt

We did the whole route twice - at the day time and in the evening. With no doubt, the evening route was a more attractive one.

At the Reichstag (parliament building of Germany) we did a group photo and moved quite quickly to the Brandenburger Tor where we found a lot of wonders (like an ice sculpture, Mario Bros or a waving bear).

On our way to the first Christmas Market we passed by the remnants of the Berlin Wall, Lego street exhibition and Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.

When we reached the first market it was relatively uncrowded. It was still bright and the weather was very cold. I liked the fact that I could stroll around the place quite freely. The stalls were superb! It was exactly what I thought of Weihnachtsmarkt. The aroma of Glühwein (mulled wine), apples in chocolate, hearts from gingerbread, hand-made marvels and freezing cold - it was all there!

At last a photo together...

After some time we went to see the other market - the one that is thought to be the most glamorous in whole Germany - WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt. Zauber in German means 'charm' and I find the name pretty descriptive. However, what I didn't like about this place was the crowd. It killed the atmosphere a bit, but I reckon that in the working week it must be a really amazing place.

Since it was really crowded, we decided to come back to the Potsdamer Platz Markt where we wanted to buy a souvenir (a wooden Christmas windmill spinning from the candles heat) and see everything again in the dark. It was worth it.

We finished the day (really tired and cold) by seeing again the monuments from the morning - but this time at night. The city looks so much different in the dark.