A UK domain abroad
This is the personal webpage of Andie Gilmour.
I am a seasoned IT professional who together with my partner and cats upped sticks from the UK in 2008 and moved to live just north of Berlin.
Why did we make such a momentous move? Surely we must have been crazy? As the traditional song goes: Du Bist Verrückt, mein Kind, du musst nach Berlin, wo die Verrückten sind!
Well yes, we were crazy - crazy about Berlin. There is no city like it, and Land Brandenburg around it is also a beautiful thing.
On this page I have incorporated the most recent posts from my blog, which has chronicalled our move to Berlin and our lives and discoveries since. I hope you read it and can share with us our love for this crazy place.
Alternatively, you can subscribe to the Best of das Blog newsletter and get a periodic digest of the best monthly posts sent direct to your email box!
Mit freundliche Grüße!
Today is the first day of Spring!
There also happened to be a Solar Eclipse, which at our location started at 09:38, was at a maximum of about 75% occultation at 10:47, and ended at 11:58 (Central European Time).
Die Basdorfer Sonnenwarte was set-up (in our back garden) and ready to go!
Posted on 20 March 2015 | 6:06 am
Yes, woolly pigs. Or more particularly, Hungarian Mangalitza pigs. And even more particularly, blonde, swallow-bellied, and red Mangalitza.
More photos from Wildpark Schorfheide, but I make no excuses because I just have never seen anything like the rare breeds they have there before. The Wildpark do seem to be going off-message here though. They say that they are breeding animals like ones that once roamed this region after the ice-age, but woolly pigs, though rare, were developed as a breed in Austro-Hungary during the nineteenth century. But I will forgive the Wildpark because these pigs are so damn cute!
There is a German expression for the Swiss Army knife: eierlegende Wollmilchsau, which translates roughly as an 'egg-laying wool and milk-producing pig', i.e. a fit-for-all-purpose farm animal. These pigs seem to be a step in that direction!
Posted on 13 March 2015 | 4:48 pm
Wildpark Schorfheide is a nature park in Schorfheide-Chorin Biosphere Reserve, Brandenburg. The landscape of woods, heathland, and lakes was formed during the last ice age, and it is the aim of the Wildpark to breed animals that would have lived here back then.
Along with lynxes, wolves, otters, wisents (bison), aurochs, elk, wild boar, and ancient breeds of sheep, the nature park has herds of wild horses, particularly of Przewalski's horse. These wild horses are native to the Steppes of Central Asia, but are closely related to the kinds of horse (now extinct) that once grazed across the whole of Europe and Asia.
Przewalski's horses (named after the Russian explorer and geographer Nikolai Przhevalsky) are handsome creatures with a magnificent mane and colourings that come straight off the cave-walls of Lascaux.
Posted on 9 March 2015 | 7:46 am
It would be marvellous to claim that I photographed this gorgeous Eurasian Lynx in the forests of Brandenburg, but in fact I took it at the Wildpark Schorfheide near to Groß Schönebeck.
Posted on 9 March 2015 | 3:59 am
The European green woodpecker, Picus viridis, or Grünspecht in German, is a handsome bird, and we've been delighted to have one visit our garden.
The green woodpecker's favorite meal is ants, which is fine by us as our garden seems to become Ameisenstadt in the Summer!
Posted on 5 March 2015 | 6:44 am
Leipzig is 'the new Berlin', apparently. It certainly has lots of building sites, that's for sure. It is also one of my favorite German cities, and every time we go back, new buildings have sprung up or old ones have been renovated.
Leipzig is around 190km SW of Berlin and we usually get there by Deutsche Bahn, taking either about 1hr 20mins direct with the ICE, or 2hrs 30mins with a Regional Express and a change at Dessau. However, the trains are getting expensive and not reliable to run on time, so we thought we would try the bus instead.
We took a Flixbus, picking us up at Berlin Alexander Platz and whizzing us to Leipzig in 2hrs 40mins. A bit longer, but the price was just 8€ each there (and same again return - 32€ total for the both of us). That compares with about 70€ for a standard return each (or 44€ with a Quer-durchs-Land-Ticket) on the RE.
We can report that the buses are clean and comfortable, not over-booked by any means, have free wi-fi, power connections for your laptop or tablet, and an on-board toilet. The view from the window is a bit boring as unlike the train you don't pass through towns and villages - it is Autobahn most of the way. Would we travel by bus again? Yes, at this price, I think we probably would!
There is a useful website called busradar.com which let's you find the best prices, in English, or busliniensuche.de for the same comparison engine in German.
Here are some photos of our day in Leipzig to give you an impression of this wonderful Saxony city:
Posted on 2 March 2015 | 7:12 am