Diana Naindenel

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We are back!

Last Sunday afternoon we came back from Malta, after an awesome week sailing around these small, but stunning islands!

All of us – Michaela, Michael, Patrik and me – agree. We truly had a fantastic week on “our” Bavaria 39’ cruiser, called S/V “Felicity”! Not least because of Franco, our Italian skipper and instructor, who patiently taught us how to sail safely in theory and practice and gave us lots of precious tips! We really enjoyed each other’s company, also in the evenings, when we had a drink, discussed the day, cooked dinner and ate together. In my opinion we all fitted together perfectly!

Everyone had its tasks on the yacht! So no, M&M’s haven’t done “bugger all” during the week, but “worked” as much and hard as Patrik and I have (except the swotting for our practical education).

The weather was just perfect: Warm and sunny with nice winds, which suited us just fine, as “greenhorns” 

Last but not least, we proudly announce that. Patrik and even myself received the “Day Skipper” (practical) certificate by the end of the week! It was clear that Patrik would make it – Franco was more than happy with his skills. For me it was a big surprise. Since my aim was the “Competent Crew” + benefit as much as possible from Patrik’s day skipper education. So, I’m overjoyed!

That’s a quick overview. To keep you entertained and get you to look forward for more!

Soon we will meet M&M’s to sort out the 400+ photos and a couple of films, which will be displayed on our blog. So, stay tuned !

Here below are the routes day by day that we did during the week. Are not the exact course or routes but close to it.

          

 

Sweaty Saturday

Last Saturday we met M&M’s at 10 o’clock in the morning in Uesslingen (where Patrik and I live – they live in Schaffhausen), ‘cos we wanted to do a motorbike tour around Switzerland. The weather was already quite warm and sunny and the forecast said it would be up to 32 degrees C today…. Well, better than freezing (or so we thought)!

Michael planned the whole trip so he was our leader with his Triumph Speed Triple, then came Michaela with her rented Triumph Street Twin and the tail light formed Patrik and me with our Harley Softail.

  

After lunch the temperatures were (almost) beyond “being comfortable” with over 30 deg. C and we looked longingly at people we were passing, going in shorts and flip flops, or even more cruel: Those who were swimming in lakes and rivers…..

   

After 5 pm we said good bye to each other and took our last bit homeward.

I really must say, I can’t remember sweating so much, in my whole life. I could literally wring my t’shirt out when  we came home just after 6 pm. Just for the record: Usually, I am the one freezing in 22 deg. C and complaining about being cold, while everyone else I sweating…..

The remaining Saturday evening was lazy and we didn’t do much more than sitting in our garden, enjoyed our cold beer / white wine and talked about the fantastic day we’ve had!

On the enclosed maps you get an idea where we drove and at this point we would like to give a big compliment to Michael – it was a beautifully chosen route with a nice break every now and then. Just perfect!

        

 

Getting closer

Just another month and Patrik, me and our friends M&M’s are off to Malta, to spend one week on a sailing boat – yeah!! We are so excited and nearly can’t wait to start our adventure!

After having passed the sailing theory this summer, Patrik will continue and do the “Day Skipper” practical course, while I’ll do the “Competent Crew” training.

We decided to book with “Salana Sailing” because they offer various courses, plus our main wish was to sail around Malta – which they do. Certainly, we were also looking for a competent, English speaking, fun-loving provider and so far we haven’t been disappointed. The email contact we’ve had so far was very promising and professional. So we look really forward to meet our skipper and instructor and “our” boat, which will either be a Bavaria 39 or 46 Cruiser – we don’t know yet, which one will be our home for the week.

Since Patrik and I mainly want to do our practical sailing education, we figured that chartering a boat only for us might be the best thing to do. I’m sure, that way we will gain most of our training. Having M&M’s also on board is of course the icing on the cake – we’ll have so much fun together!

So, while Michaela and Michael will enjoy one week of getting “chauffeured” around the Malta islands, enjoy the (hopefully sunny and warm) weather, swimming, sun- bathing and being busy with doing next to nothing, Patrik and I will be working and learning and hopefully pass the course by the end of the week – fingers crossed!

Kitchen Experiments

If you followed our recipes, you most certainly realized that we enjoy a vegetarian kitchen. We have plenty of tasty ideas and only wish sometimes, we had a bit more time to cook them and write them down.

Nevertheless, I’m more and more interested and tempted by vegan food. I find it fascinating to turn a known (or unknown) menu not only into a vegetarian version but also into a vegan. Which ingredients have to be changed or replaced (and through what?) to get a satisfactorily result? How do I get the right consistence, taste or color, and how do I do scrambled eggs without eggs?

Since I like the “easy-peasy” recipes, I mainly try to use common ingredients, which can be bought in shops near us. I don’t like ingredients which I have to look up in the dictionary, to understand what it is.

And last but not least it’s a challenge for me to see, if I can satisfy Patrik’s taste. I mean, he is not even a 100% vegetarian, so of course, he was very skeptical at the beginning. But luckily he is open for new things and so far, his comments were benevolent. Meanwhile, I’m able to cook again, without him behind my back…watching 

So, if you see recipes marked like that ? , these are the vegan ones. I hope some of you get inspired and I would be happy to receive some comments and/or ideas.

A „Bling-Bling“ journey to Austria

 

It’s quite a while ago since Patrik and I, together with good friends of us, decided to take a trip to Innsbruck/Tyrol in Austria, mainly to visit the “Swarovski Crystal Worlds”. Michaela and Michael – who call themselves “M&M’s” – know the surrounding area and its places of interest very well, since Michaela is Austrian and has been living in Innsbruck for a few years. So that was quite handy, of course!

  

On Friday, May 20th, after work, M&M’s picked us up and exuberantly happy we started our upcoming weekend! Even the weather gods were on our side: The forecast for the weekend was sunny and warm!

The driving alone was impressive, over the “Voralberg” massif, which starts shortly after the Swiss border – there were still some snowy patches lying around on top of the pass.

After three hours we arrived at the hotel, enjoyed a lovely dinner and and planned the day after.

At eight o’clock on Saturday morning we had our breakfast and after nine we drove good-humored to the Swarovski world. It’s recommended to arrive there early, since there are busloads of tourists arriving during the day…. When we saw the huge parking lot (which was still almost empty), we thought it must be true!

Well, once inside……but look for yourself, I guess the pictures don’t need any comments…..

        

 

It truly was worth the visit, and – at least for me – it wasn’t easy to leave this wonderful, kitschy fantasy world behind!

After a cool drink we went to Innsbruck which is famous for its beautiful picturesque old town – especially “Das Goldene Dachl” = The Golden Roof.

  

Together with quite a lot of other tourists from all over the world, we really had a great time strolling around, went for a couple of drinks, sitting in the “promised-and-came-true” sunshine and had dinner in a typical Tyrol restaurant, which specialty is leather trousers, meat, potatoes and “sauerkraut”…. Not the place to be for a vegetarian, really, hahaha…. Anyway, I survived with a salad and some bread!

Finally, back at the hotel, we had a last drink together, before we went to bed and slept soundly and perfectly satisfied!

  

On Sunday morning, after breakfast and check-out we drove a little detour to the next village called “Hall”, had a look around at this lovely place and finally started our trip home, where we arrived in the afternoon – sun still shining and around 30 deg. ! After saying good bye to M&M’s and assuring each other what a great weekend it was, Patrik and I soon started our barbecue and we finished the evening with a tasty dinner. What a perfect ending after a fantastic weekend.

One more thing: Our neighbor looked after Odin again – so, NO, he neither had to fight dogs off our property, nor was he starving……

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