08.05.2018 – Sights sights sights (Abu Dhabi)


You know, I had that plan of going running in some of the mornings – because I really gotta get used to running in the heat, not knowing what temperature is gonna be during my half marathon in July. But what was waiting for me here in Abu Dhabi beat it all – and beat me up.

I went for a run really early in the orning, because it´s the lowest temperatures – so just around 30°C. The 4km one way to the beach were bloody hell. I felt like I was dying and I´ve never been sweating as much as I have been during this run.

It´s been the slowest run ever, and I´ve been drinking tons. And then once at the beach, the dip in the sea was the best thing ever -so refreshing, swimming a round and two and some more, before putting on the clothing again and then taking a little run besides the water right

away before going back to the pavement and suffering even more on the way back to the hotel.

 

That was the point where I decided to not do another run – the humidity was the main issue, it felt like I had run a marathon in sauna, fully dressed. And it also didn´t exactly feel healthy to be saying the least. So once showered, the breakfast felt like THE thing in the world – never been so happy about breakfast like this morning.

Afterwards I got packed up for sightseeing – planned on taking this hop-on-hop-off bus, supposed to be running every half an hour according to

the app. But once I found the stop (walking 1,5km in the heat), I had to face the fact that it was just running once an hour. I was pissed, because it´s totally useless. That on top of my failed purchase of a ticket online, it made me a grumpy girl. Once the bus came I was happy though – free cold water, good commentary and sitting on the top floor in the wind was really lovely!

The first stop after mine would´ve been the WTC mall, but I stayed on the bus – and planned to do it on another day when I will focus on shopping 😉 The fort, which was the second stop was – from what I had read – not accessible because of construction work, which kinda made me sad. So no hopping off there either. The first stop I took was the Heritage Village – with old traditions, crafting and everything. It was interesting to see old weapons, ancient jewellery, and such things – it gave a first glimpse on how it all started and I love such things. not a typical museum, but outside, built like a little village as the name suggests already.

I hopped onto the bus again and then hopped off at the end of the tour at Marina Mall – a massive mall where you actually have information brochures with maps to really get anywhere. And it´s one of those places where you freeze to death when entering from the outside. I had some snacks there, and wandered around a bit more because I had the plan to go onto the little Dhow (ancient wooden ship) cruise that was also included. And I still had plenty of time, and so I did also after a little bit of shopping. And it had 40°C outside – it sucked when trying to find where the cruise was supposed to start. But at least I met two other Germans whilst searching. It was a nice time to talk about experiences and sightseeing and everything. The Dhow cruise was nothing special, nice to relax a bit but that´s it pretty much. A nice slow-down in this big and buzzing city.

Afterwards I hopped onto the bus again, and we passed by the Ethihad Towers, with the Observation Deck – also something I was gonna do later on on another day. ext stop: Sheikh Zayed Center – which was unfortunately already closed, as the evening was approaching with big steps. So we just drove by, and as it´s not around the corner, I was not gonna be returning there.

The main goal for the day still was to come: the Sheikh Zayed Mosque (or also called “Grand Mosque”).

For me personally the most important part of sightseeing in Abu Dhabi – because I am always keen on learning about different cultures and religions, and this mosque is the place to go – take off the shoes, get a dress to cover you up to be allowed to enter.

The dress is made of polyester, which makes you melt outside on the way from the changing place to the entrance of the mosque. but it´s worth it. It´s stunning what they built, I mean I know churches and smaller mosques but nothing compares to this. You see the love and passion for worshipping their god when looking at the details.

It looks like brand new and so beautiful with all the lamps, details and everything. I am still lacking the words to describe this experience – it was simply breathtaking. Every step in there.

And then I was there at a time of Maghrib prayer – which was making goose bumps when you heard the muezzin…It felt magical. Maybe it WAS magical, I don´t know. I really felt caught in this moment.

After listening to this and observing the whole moment from already outside of the mosque, I hopped onto a cap fully exhausted, went to the hotel and jumped into the restaurant to have some dinner. I hadn´t been eating for long and the heat really had worn me out. So massive food enjoying just happened – with several dishes and a dessert at the end. but I totally deserved that!

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Greece – Photo Attack!

I am sure you all waited for it and wondered when I´d be sharing those holiday photos taken with a proper camera and not just those snapshots with my phoen camera. And here you go now – i took a while to go through all those masses of photos, sort them, edit them, copyright them…

Enjoy them in 3…2…1…


Parga & Surroundings

https://carinaullmannphotography1.wordpress.com/2016/08/05/parga-surroundings-greece-2016/


Around Sivota

https://carinaullmannphotography1.wordpress.com/2016/08/05/sivota-surroundings-greece-2016/


Ammoudia & its river delta

https://carinaullmannphotography1.wordpress.com/2016/08/05/ammoudia/


River walk in the river Acheron (when the water was still “doable”)

https://carinaullmannphotography1.wordpress.com/2016/08/05/river-walk-acheron-greece-2016/


Necromantio

https://carinaullmannphotography1.wordpress.com/2016/08/05/nekromantio-greece-2016/


Ioannina

https://carinaullmannphotography1.wordpress.com/2016/08/05/ioannina-greece-2016/


Everything else

https://carinaullmannphotography1.wordpress.com/2016/08/05/random-photos-greece-2016/

Flashback – Vacations – 07.07.2016 – River oh so blue

Shame on me, I totally forgot to really write a diary entry on this day when still in Sivota, so I also missed out on actually writing this blog entry, but now I need to catch up because the day is worth it writing about it.

Ammoudia – I had seen photos before and thought they´re all just nicely edited, you know, photoshop makes dull worlds beautfiful.

But after a longer ride (we passed by a lake fully covered with sea roses, all closed but still – how is that even possible?) we finally made it to the river and the river delta, settling first for a quick drink and food before we then went onto the boat for a trip up the river and also on the sear for an hour.

And the colors – I was really stunned, not only about the colors, the plants but also about the animals. It was so great to watch, and though I initially had planned to stay out of the sun to spare my skin, I ended up photographing a lot in the hot sun, not caring anymore. Because…sunburn passes by, and so does this trip and experience and I wanted to take it all in. Take photos to capture and spread this beauty, as much as possible. It was hot, sweaty and after a while my head started hurting from the sun, but once we got onto the sea and there was more wind, it immediately improved – but was a challenge to photograph on a boat that´s going up and down all the time. Try focussing there…it´s been a challenge but nothing is impossible, and having the wind blowing in my face and twisting my hair…i just loved it.

And you know what made the trip also really good? A beach. A beach NOT with stones but with fucking SAND! Finally I didn´t need any swimming shoes anymore to into the water (I will not mention now the piece of shit that was floating around there…ups, too late).

And that beach and the water was how I always remembered beaches around GReece – you were slowly getting deeper into the water, you had waves and waves to jumo into and pretty warm overall water. It was not a long stay at the beach because we stillhad quite a drive back to Sivota, but just right to refresh and cool down a bit before hopping back into the van.

And after this exhausting day, it was time for a shower, some time to lay back on the bed and then – attack attack on the grill because it was barbecue time again!

Flashback – Vacations – 05.07.2016 -Enter the boat!


Another rather early day and nope, no beach! Instead a free boat tour on a nice old looking small boat with Greek wine and Greek music, sunshine and mostly nice company. I ended up sitting on the front part of the boat for the best view, worth it to be slightly burned from the sun for some time and really nice shots from e.g. the blue lagoon (also called “piscina” due to its color) and some little caves that the boat driver entered with us. To be fair, having trust issues with people I really don’t know, I was thinking if we were gonna play Titanic when entering the first cave but…heeeey I can write this, thus we all survived!

Afterwards we were so sweated and feeling done, that we did pretty much nothing but relaxing until the later afternoon where we went to the stone beach shortly after the harbour for a quick dip into the sea to refresh and swim a bit – with those terribly hot temperatures that we had lately you really get used to spend as much time in the cold sea as possible – funfact: the weather forecast never really gets it right, we had like 40°C in the sun yesterday, but it just showed we would have around 30…well, yeah, good job.

Anyways, the dip in the sea felt good, I really enjoy swimming here though I am still not happy about looking down to the ground of the sea and see what is there – especially when it is huge plates of stone where you really do wonder what could be hiding underneath…

After dinner we went to the bakery opposite the hotel because they did not have my fave dessert today and I was pretty heartbroken to be fair…

Flashback – Vacations – 01.07.2016 – Parga

It is around 9 am, and we are dragging ourselves down the stairs for the great breakfast buffet, desperately trying to find a table without sun kissing us awake. Big breakfast for me again, focus today on sweet stuff like the pancakes and the marmalade and curd. Great combination, makes you not long for sweets anymore for the rest of the day. And yes it does work! At least for me…

Then around 11am we started our trip to Parga – the streets going by the coast, a lot of serpentines which I personally really wouldn’t like to be driving on my own. Was scary enough to sit in the little bus and go all the way up to Ali Pasha Castle – I wouldn’t even call this a street anymore, bloody hell! But this view from there, so good. I love ruins of castles and all of this in general, and once it has a stunning view it gets even more fascinating. To be fair, at first I really thought that this would have been Parga Castle, not knowing we were still quite a ride away from Parga and its castle.

Once arrived in Parga, it was nearly noon – and temperatures were up to I think 37°C – to be fair, most of this town was pretty ugly and consisting of only sales booths, so really not fancy. Aside from the nice harbour and water color, which was sooooo inviting. To recover a little we stopped at a little cafe/cocktail lounge called “Sugar Bar”, having a nice and fresh fruit cocktail whilst looking at the nice water.

And then Parga Castle – the elderly in the bus that came from our hotel to Parga aswell said it would not be worth the effort to go up there, but how wrong they were. It was quite a struggle to get up that hill in the burning noon sun. It was bloody hell but so worth it because the view was simply priceless. So good, no doubts.

The ride back then later on felt like it was taking forever, I was in the sun all the time and it really started to get me, didn’t feel too well anymore. Once back, I grabbed some stuff and went to the nearest beach for a quick swim, and I think that amount of sun there was that bit too much. Felt shaky and dizzy afterwards, dinner was able to fix most of it but not all – headache pill for the win. And much water.

Flashback: Brussels // Rückblick: Brüssel

Brussels – probably the perfect city for you if you´re into churches, at least from what I managed to see together with my friends. Not all of these churches are as beautiful as you might expect them to be, judging from the outside (“Never judge a book by its cover”). We´ve seen really nice ones, but also e.g. one where things inside were just not matching at all – the wooden chairs in the rather dark surroundings, the two light brown organs with metal pipes…and many more things that were just standing out – but in a clearly negative way. Also, there was one where I felt like it was going into the direction of “how to make most money out of it” – selling something here and there, I was surprised they did not take an entrance fee – because it clearly would have not been worth it.

In general the city seems to have many buildings in old style, which I always like due to the diversity and looks of their design. Thought also here, as in many cities, the mix of old and new is really not my cup of tea, it just looks wrong in my eyes and my feelings somehow. In those photos, you will see churches, old buildings and…funny things 😉

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Brüssel – wohl die perfekte Stadt für Euch, wenn ihr Kirchen mögt,  zumindest wenn ich das so bewerte von dem, was ich mit meinen Freunden gesehen habe. nicht all diese Kirchen waren so schön wie man erwartet hatte, wenn man das Äußere gesehen hatte (man soll ja nicht vom Äußeren auf´s Innere schließen). Wir haben einige wirklich nette Kirchen gesehen, aber auch eine wo z.B. das Innere gar nicht zusammenpasste – die hölzernen Stühle zusammen mit dem dunklen Umfeld, die beiden hellbraunen Orgeln mit Metallpfeifen…und viele weitere Dinge, die da hervorstachen – aber hier definitiv in einer negativen Art und Weise. Auch gab es eine Kirche, wo ich mich fragte, wieso man denn so offensichtlich versuchen muss, Geld zu machen – hier und da etwas verkaufen, da war ich überrascht, dass kein Eintritt fällig wurde – weil sich das echt nicht gelohnt hätte.

Generell scheint die Stadt einige Gebäude im alten Stile zu haben, was ich immer mag weil es einfach so unterschiedlich ist was das Design angeht. Aber auch hier ist die Mischung aus alten und neuen Gebäuden nicht wirklich meins war, es sieht einfach nur falsch aus in meinen Augen. Auf meinen Fotos seht ihr Kirchen, alte Geäude und…lustige Dinge 😉

 

Hello Brussels and Ancienne Belgique, it´s been nice to see you again…

Paavo and me, wearing his glasses

…even though I felt pretty lost around the venue in Brussels where I went for Apocalyptica (24/10/2015), because seemingly a lot changed during the many past years where I had not been there. But let´s start where it should be started – with the start of my trip in Cologne.

It was yet another early morning, because at around 8.40am my Thalys left to Brussels – and I realized I had booked myself a 1st class seat, even though I was really sure that I had not booked it. But hey, free drink and a nice sweet snack, comfy seats and much space for the legs. I clearly could get used to this.

Then I had the not so smart idea to walk to the hostel that I had booked – but to be fair, stupid me. I should have taken the tram as I had printed the route with google maps for this one. But no, I had to pimp up my Weight Watchers activities score. So I walked. And walked. Got lost. Got lost again. Tested my French. Found my way and arrived at the hostel fully sweaty. Just to realize that I had forgotten to have a look at the earliest possible check-in time. It was 3pm, and that´s just not matching my plans. So I dropped off my luggage in the luggage room and then charged my phone and went to meet my friends at the venue, had a drink and then did some 2-3h of walking around in Brussels and finally seeing things. It clearly had not been the classical sightseeing, but it was enough for that day. I need to say – and I am sorry if anyone feels insulted by this – the center smells like piss. everywhere. Again and again. Around every corner. It is awful, and clearly makes me feel stomach sick.

Then I went to check in, brush teeth, brush up my look to actually start looking like a human being again – but hey, singer Franky had already seen me in my “I am totally exhausted and look like shit”-state whilst sightseeing, nothing to lose anymore. BUt still, looking good is essential – to show off the girl inside of me.

We then went to eat at the venue´s restaurant (Venue = AB = Ancienne Belgique) – not only was the food really good as you can see, but also there was a separate entrance for those people having eaten there. But only for tickets that you bought online – two of my friends had the Apocalyptica fan tickets and had to go and queue outside again. But you know what, saving spots is the least thing you can do in such a situation. And that´s what we did. And we all ended up in the front row – best spot. no doubts.

The show was great again, I really enjoyed it and actually was surprised how well balanced the sound was even in the first row. Being honest – seeing support band Tracer for the fourth time this tour was too much, it was really hard for me to get into the music again, even though I really tried. They played well again and I still enjoy their music, but it was too much.

Apocalyptica nevertheless – it never gets old. Okay, shame on me, it does – it was different this time, because I knew it was the last time for quite a few months. I was headbanging (and afterwards didn´t feel one of my fingers anymore due to my neck problems messing with my nerves), singing along, enjoying it with closed eyes. There are songs that I always enjoy, and especially “Hope Vol. 2” is a song that at first cracked me, but now is giving me so much comfort – I would´ve never believed this would happen if anyone would´ve told me. And still, I am and will stay a big support of Franky being with the band – he is not only a great singer and matches perfect with the band, but also a really cool guy – no doubts. And I really hope that all of the band´s fans will finally understand it, as his voices touches me so much and I hope it does the same for everyone else. I know it probably isn´t but…it will happen, you simply cannot stay away from this, you just need to open up to all of this beauty.

Franky and me

After the show I managed to forget to actually get me a tourshirt – well fine, 25€ for my savings, I approve that. I plan to save as much money as possible during the next months, as I have not planned any trips or whatsoever until…I don´t even know when. I´ve been waiting for the guys, and it´s been worth it, but in the end I was cold and really happy when I was back at the hostel to take a quick shower and then drop into bed. With a smile on my face.

Weeks, rushing by // Wochen, sie fliegen an einem vorbei

It´s been pretty much about 3 weeks that I have not been blogging about “daily business” in that sense. Instead I´ve focussed on food, weight watchers and special occasions or events to share with you. Now I finally get some time to catch up with the less bombastic but maybe still interesting parts of my life.

Health and sports

I have physiotherapy sessions and it is baby steps for my neck and shoulders. There is some progress visible, but I fear this is still gonna be a long road to go for me until I am fully back to normal. Therefore I still cannot play badminton, and that´s why I am focussing on going to gym and doing yoga and my ab challenge to support my weight watchers programme.

Work

Wind of change is blowing, but I will not be telling you anything detailed until it is all secured and settled – so stay curious for a while longer^^

Press work

I struggle to get things done and written down and everything, and am close to quitting to be fully honest. I somehow don´t feel like having the necessary time for it all, and I rather don´t do things at all than just with little power behind my actions.

My birthday

Yes, it is coming up soon – and because I´ve been asked so many times already if I will be partying: no, I won´t. I will be spending my day at work and the evening at a vietnamese restaurant with a close friend of mine. No partying, just a peaceful and laid back time with good food and no big fuss about me getting older I´ve never been a big fan of parties, and that´s probably not gonna change anytime soon…

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Jetzt sind schon fast 3 Wochen vergangen seit ich zuletzt über den “tagtäglichen Wahnsinn” meines Lebens berichtet habe. Stattdessen habe ich über Essen, Weight Watchers und besondere Events geschrieben. Jetzt habe ich endlich etwas Zeit um über die vielleicht nicht ganz so bombastischen Dinge – aber dennoch interessenten – meines Lebens zu berichten.

Gesundheit und Sport

Meine Physiotherapie schlägt langsam an, es sind Baby-Schritte für Nacken und Schultern. Man sieht ein bisschen an Fortschritt, aber ich habe die Befürchtung dass es noch einiges an Zeit brauchen wird, bis ich wieder vollkommen ehrgestellt bin. Daher kann ich immer noch nicht Badminton spielen, und gehe in den Fitnessraum, mache Yoga und meine Bauchmuskel-Challenge um mein Weight Watchers Programm zu unterstützen.

Arbeit

Ein frischer Wind fängt an zu wehen, aber ich werde euch solange keine Details geben, bis nicht alles in trocknen Tüchern ist – daher lasse ich euch jetzt noch ein bisschen mit eurer Neugier alleine^^

Presse-Arbeit

Ich kämpfe ein bisschen damit, Sachen gemacth und Berichte geschrieben zu bekommen und all das – und ich bin kurz davor wieder aufzuhören. Ich habe das Gefühl, dass ich einfach nicht genug Zeit dafür habe, und entweder ich mache etwas mit voller Kraft oder aber halt gar nicht.

Mein Geburtstag

Ja, der kommt sehr bald – und weil ich so oft gefragt wurde ob ich feiern werde oder nicht: nein, ich werde nicht feiern. Ich werde meinen Tag im Büro verbringen und am Abend werde ich dann mit einem Freund beim Vietnamesen essen gehe. Keine Party, einfach nur ein ruhiger und entspannter Abend mit gutem Essen und keinem großen drumherum nur weil ich älter werden – ich war nie ein fan von Parties, und werde das auch nie sein.

19.06.2012 – Time travelling in Tallinn? // 19.06.2012 – Zeitreise in Tallinn?

Full 24 hours in Tallinn – a lot of time for sightseeing, I thought, but the weather sort of ended the whole already at early afternoon – not mentioning that I woke up with a totally stiff neck, which was really painful and caused severe dizziness.
Anyways, we walked around a lot again, got lost a lot again and had a lot of fun again, even though all of the churches we wanted to see were either closed, or requested us to pay for entering or didn´t allow photographing inside *sighs*

I spent half of the day in bed and relaxing since I felt really not well to really go sightseeing once the sun was out again, I just was exhausted and in pain. But in the evening we then went to the medieval restaurant called Olde Hansa – a restaurant that is totally in medieval style: music, clothing of the waiters and waitresses, chairs, walls, light (candles), cups and everything. So epic – also the prices of the meals and the meal sizes were just great – what an awesome evening!

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Volle 24 Stunden in Tallinn – eine Menge Zeit um sich Sehenswürdigkeiten anzuschauen, aber das Wetter hat das Ganze irgendwie schon am frühen Nachmittag beendet – nicht zu erwähnen, dass ich mit einem total steigen Nacken aufwachte, was wirklich schmerzhaft war und Schwindel mit sich brachte.
Aber na ja, wir sind einmal mehr viel herumgelaufen, haben uns wieder verlaufen und hatten einmal mehr viel Spaß, auch wenn all die Kirchen, die wir sehen wollten, geschlossen waren, Eintritt verlangten oder es nicht erlaubten, drinnen zu fotografieren *seufz*

Ich habe den halben Tag im Bett verbracht um zu entspannen, da ich wirklich keine große Lust mehr hatte rauszugehen und rumzulaufen als die Sonne wieder schien, ich war einfach erschöpft und hatte Schmerzen. Abends sind wir dann ins mittelalterliche Restaurant Olde Hansa – ein Restaurant, das total im mittelalterlichen Stil: Musik, Kleidung der Kellner und Kellnerinnen, Stühle, Wände, Licht (Kerzen), Tassen und alles. So genial – auch die Preise des Essens und die Menge an Essen waren einfach toll – was für ein toller Abend!