Saturday, February 28, 2015

An Irish Summer in Lanzarote



We spent last week on holidays in Lanzarote, one of the Canary islands. When we were in Mallorca before, we couldn't help noticing how many Germans there were. Well Lanzarote seems to be a top destination for fellow Irish people as we heard familiar accents everywhere we went!


We also lost count of the amount of Irish pubs there are in Puerto del Carmen, the region where we stayed, but we managed to have a drink in several of them - I always try to support other Irish people living abroad! We enjoyed some great live music in one and even took part in the karaoke evening at another.


The Canary islands belong to Spain but because of their location close to Africa it is normally much warmer compared to the rest of Europe. We were rather unlucky with the weather while we were there though, which was reminiscent of an Irish summer - very changeable - one minute sunny and pleasant and the next overcast and rainy. so yeah, I felt quite at home, haha!


Puerto del Carmen has a seven kilometer long promenade beside lovely beaches and there are plenty of great restaurants, pubs, and cafes. The island is also covered with volcanoes and an excursion to the Timanfaya National Park is worth a visit. We opted for a half day trip which included some wine tasting. It probably sounds bad if I admit I was more looking forward to the latter, which ended up being a little disappointing with only one half glass to taste! There was also an option to ride camels up the volcanic mountains, which neither of us particularly wanted to do so we wandered around taking photos at that stage and then went back to the bus when it got too cold.


Visiting Lanzarote in February is still a little risky if you are counting on great weather and a beach holiday. The lowest temperature there during Winter would only be about 14 degrees so it's really quite pleasant all year around. That said the evenings were chilly and there was a very cold wind!

Still though, we had a fun relaxing time. Our next trip planned will be Dublin over the Easter break.


And our karaoke songs of choice in case you are wondering? I attempted "Help" by the Beatles and the GerMann had a go at the Garth Brooks classic "Friends in Low Places". Neither of us can sing particularly well but didn't matter since nobody knows us in Lanzarote!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Wishes for 2015 - wondering what the year might bring

You know it's strange, no one here has asked me about my New Year's resolutions. Maybe it's just not as much of a thing in Germany or maybe everyone has gotten less motivated to make New Year's resolutions that they ultimately end up breaking!

This year instead of making resolutions I decided to think instead of my hopes for the coming year.


Buy a house

We've been on the lookout for the right place for us for probably about a year at this stage. We've been to several viewings and even made an offer on a house we liked and got very close to actually buying but the negotiations fell through in the end. It's difficult. Since Baden-W├╝rttemberg is highly populated and has a strong economy with plenty of jobs, the price of land is expensive.

And of course location is very important. I don't want to end up buying a place that's really far from town and everything else and ending up with a long commute to work and it would affect our quality of life. Maybe we need to adjust our expectations or just keep waiting until we find the house or apartment of our dreams! Anyway the search continues.

Travel

I love to travel and see new places so I hope in 2015 we can go on some adventurous holidays, and not just back to Ireland, even though I love those trips too of course! I read once that experiences are what you remember such as a great weekend away with friends, and so it's better to spend your money on things like that as opposed to buying material items like new clothes or gadgets.

Have a baby

Well it's out there. Are you listening, universe/God? My not-so-secret-anymore hope is to get pregnant this year. That was also my wish for last year. It's getting to the stage where we may have to go to the doctor for help (though IVF scares me and I'm hoping it won't come to that!) but planning to give it another six months first. And in the meantime I'm trying to relax more, get healthy, try the alternative options and just be patient and enjoy the time when it's just the two of us!

Blog more

Blogging is a fun and creative outlet and I would like to keep it up and blog often this year. The main 'theme' of my blog is living abroad as an Irish person in Germany, but I also plan to write about my life generally and thoughts on all sorts of topics, just whatever I feel like writing about that day.

Improve my German

It's been awhile since I took a German course and I'm sure I'm regularly making all sorts of grammatical errors when speaking! I would like to try to take another refresher course, maybe even an online one which I could do from home. And I know I should push myself more to read in German.

And finally, make healthier choices.

Haha! Well I had to put it in there. I've been getting quite lazy about going to the gym the last while what with the weather so miserable and days so cold and dark but I hope to start going regularly again. And maybe start jogging again too. And food wise, just cooking more healthy meals from scratch, more vegetables, less red meat. Not always saying yes to cake.

And my resolution?


What about you? What are your hopes for what 2015 might bring? And yes I do realise that it's February already!