Month: November 2016

Have you ever heard of Hveragerði in Iceland?

Guesthouse Iceland, Guesthouse Reykjavik, Reykjavik, Iceland, Guesthouse Frumskogar, Hvergardi, Hotel, Accomodation

Avoid the expensive Reykjavik and visit Hveragerði with loads of thermal baths and greenhouses. Stay in a peaceful town to nature. Hveragerði is only a 35-minute drive from Reykjavik and it is a great starting point to visit main attractions in Iceland! To get to Hveragerði, you should rent a car. In general, it is cheaper to rent a car and explore the country this way if you are traveling with more than one. Furthermore, you are more flexible and able to make new plans if the weather condition changes. You can even spend several days in Hveragerði for hiking, playing golf, riding horses, visiting an art museum or culinary delight.

Guesthouse Iceland, Guesthouse Reykjavik, Reykjavik, Iceland, Guesthouse Frumskogar, Hvergardi, Hotel, Accomodation

Place to stay

I spent three days at an apartment, at the lovely Guesthouse Frumskógar. I really liked that a supermarket, a bakery, tourist information, gift shops, petrol station and restaurants were just 2 minutes away by car. It is a good base to visit the famous Golden Circle, which is an hour and a half drive away and to visit Seljalandsfoss, Skógafoss Waterfalls and Reynisdrangar, which is about the same distance as the Golden Circle and also a beautiful route.

I lived in a spacious apartment with my own bathroom. The apartment was really clean, the Wi-Fi worked great as well as the heating. I liked the choice of books in the apartment. Every morning, I could listen to the stylish radio and in the evening,watch the television with candlelight and sip on delicious tea. The kitchen has everything you need for cooking a meal.

Outside you have the possibility to use the hot tub or steam sauna. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the time to use it. I loved that I could just park in front of the apartment.

An apartment for two people costs around 115€/night and a double room with a shared bathroom costs around 80€/night.

Where to eat?

Restaurant Hver at Hotel Ork, offers a very delicious à la carte menu or Christmas buffet during the holidays. I ate a slowly cooked lamb fillet, potato terrine, root vegetable and herb stock. As for dessert, I had chocolate mousse with homemade raspberry sauce. The tasteful and modern decorated restaurant has a really comfortable atmosphere and you will just feel good. The service is excellent! Very friendly and courteous.

Entertainment

Guesthouse Iceland, Guesthouse Reykjavik, Reykjavik, Iceland, Guesthouse Frumskogar, Hvergardi, Hotel, Accomodation

 One evening, I went to an exciting horse show at Fakasel Horse Park. The show is perfect if you want to know more about the history of Icelandic horses. A cat joined me on the tribune to watch the show, which made me feel good and comfortable. The show was about 40 minutes and the rider have made a great effort to entertain the audience. After the show, we could meet the horses and pet the horses backstage. If you are hungry before or after the show, you can have dinner or drinks at the restaurant.

Guesthouse Iceland, Guesthouse Reykjavik, Reykjavik, Iceland, Guesthouse Frumskogar, Hvergardi, Hotel, Accomodation

Price for the evening show:

Adults: Kr. 5.200.-

Children aged 0-12 years old: Kr. 2.600.-

 

How to crash your car in Iceland? Be aware of these 5 signs!

Car Rental, Route 1, Route 1 Car Rental, Iceland, Car

Actually, Iceland has only one main route… Route 1! The ring road goes around the whole island and is about 1330 km long. It is hard to get lost because this road connects all the villages on the island. Additionally, major attractions are by the route 1 such as Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls. Even though it is difficult to get lost, you have to be carefully if you drive in Iceland for your first time. Luckily, Íris from Route 1 Car Rental informed me about the roads in Iceland. Of course, you cannot remember everything what you are told not to do (at least I can’t) and you have to experience the roads by yourself.

Car Rental, Route 1, Route 1 Car Rental, Iceland, Car

If it is your first time in Iceland, I would recommend to rent a car like my Suzuki Jimny, which I got from Route 1 Car Rental. Why I recommend you a 4×4 for your first time? Well, if you are not used to the “off roads” and the signs, a small SUV will save your life! So it is worth it to pay around 86€ for a day! The pick up in Reykjavik is for free and it costs 18€ at the airport, which is still much cheaper than the fee of their compeitiors.

Be aware of the following signs:

  • Single lane bridge – Only one car can cross the bridge.
  • Gravel road – Honestly, if you are not used to it, drive especially slowly. Your tires can lose grip if you are too fast.
  • Pavement changes to gravel – A gravel road is coming up. Same rules as mentioned above.
  • Danger of sudden icy conditions – As it can be really cold in Iceland, icy really means icy!
  • Blind crest – I did not like this sign. It means that you cannot see what is coming! Keep on the right side of your road.

Don’t forget that all off-road driving is illegal! During the wintertime, roads can be very icy. Reduce speed if you are not used to this. Don’t just stop on the road for a picture. There are almost every place  for taking a picture. Check conditions before you start your trip because I did not and ended up in front of a road, which is closed during wintertime. It took me 40 minutes more to get to my destination. Call 112 for an emergency. And always remember to Fasten Ur Seatbelts!

Car Rental, Route 1, Route 1 Car Rental, Iceland, Car

TICK TACK – die Zeit läuft (rückwärts)

Werbung

Eine durchaus spannende Erzählweise verspricht das Buch „TICK TACK – Wie lange kannst du lügen?“. Die Geschichte ist, entgegen aller mir bekannten Thriller, „rückwärts“ gebaut, d. h. die Story beginnt mit Tag 15 und endet mit Tag 1. Das Buch ist broschiert und hat eine angenehme Haptik. Die Schrift ist leicht erhaben.

Nach einer kurzen Einführung springt die Geschichte in die Zukunft, genauer gesagt 15 Tage danach. Und schon nach wenigen Seiten war mir klar: Hier habe ich einen echten Pageturner in der Hand! Der Erzählstil ist sehr ungewöhnlich, sobald man sich aber dran gewöhnt hat, fliegt man nur so durch die Seiten. Ich habe solch eine Erzählweise noch nie gesehen und fand es sehr spannend, eine Geschichte mal „anders herum“ zu entdecken. Aber um was genau geht es in dem Buch? Der Klappentext verrät schon mal ein wenig:

15 Tage. 2 Freundinnen. 1 Mord.
Zehn Jahre ist es her, dass Nic ihre Heimatstadt von einem Tag auf den anderen verließ. Doch die Erinnerungen an die Nacht, in der ihre beste Freundin Corinne spurlos verschwand, haben sie nie losgelassen. Hatte jemand aus ihrem Freundeskreis etwas damit zu tun? Eines Tages erhält sie eine geheimnisvolle Nachricht: „Dieses Mädchen. Ich habe es gesehen.“ Nic weiß, dass nur eine damit gemeint sein kann – Corinne. Sie fährt zurück in das von dunklen Wäldern umgebene Städtchen, um herauszufinden, was damals wirklich geschah. Doch schon am selben Abend verschwindet erneut ein Mädchen – das Mädchen, das ihnen allen damals ein Alibi geliefert hatte …
Zwei Wochen später wird die Leiche einer jungen Frau gefunden. Wer ist sie? Was ist in der Zwischenzeit passiert? Auf unheimlich geschickte Weise erzählt Megan Miranda diese Geschichte rückwärts. Von Tag 15 zu Tag 14 zu Tag 13 bis schließlich zurück bis zu Tag 1 offenbart sich uns nach und nach, was seit Nics Rückkehr passiert ist – und was zehn Jahre zuvor mit Corinne geschah.

„Dieses Mädchen. Ich habe es gesehen.“ – genau diese Nachricht ihres Vaters und ein Anruf ihres Bruders verleiten Nic dazu, in ihre alte Heimat Cooley Ridge zurückzukehren, der sie vor 10 Jahren den Rücken gekehrt hat. Zu diesem Zeitpunkt verschwand ihre beste Freundin Corinne auf einem Jahrmarkt spurlos. Was aber war geschehen? Hatte Nics Umzug mit Corinnes Verschwinden zu tun?

Die Geschichte wird aus Nics Sicht erzählt, was mir persönlich sehr gut gefallen hat, da ich es liebe, wenn ich in die Gedanken der Protagonisten eintauchen kann. Der Schreibstil ist flüssig und leicht zu lesen, so dass man gut vorankommt. In Kombination mit dem ungewöhnlichen Erzählstil verleitet das den Lesern zum binge reading. In anfangs langsameren Schritten erfährt man, was sich zwischen Tag 15 und dem damaligen Verschwinden von Corinne vor zehn Jahren tatsächlich abgespielt hat. Man erfährt von Kapitel zu Kapitel mehr und die Puzzlestücke fügen sich nach und nach. Dabei nimmt die Geschichte ziemlich rasant an Fahrt auf und die Handlungen decken auf, was damals tatsächlich geschah. An diesem Punkt möchte man das Buch gar nicht mehr aus der Hand legen, weil man wissen möchte, wie es endet – oder besser gesagt: wie es anfing. Allerdings muss man gut aufpassen, um mit zu kommen 😉 Ich hatte während des Lesens einige Theorien, wurde dann aber eines besseren belehrt, da es einige Wendungen gab, die mich förmlich überrollt haben. Das Ende hat mich dann mit einem regelrechten „Wow-Effekt“ zurückgelassen, da die Auflösung ziemlich unerwartet ist. Das Buch ist spannend bis zur letzten Seite! Wer von „Gone Girl“ oder „Girl on the train“ begeistert war und einen guten Thriller lesen möchte, der hat mit „Tick Tack – Wie lange kannst du lügen?“ den richtigen Pageturner!

 

#INREACH16 – Can you pay your bills being an influencer?

Inreach 2016, Inreach16, #Inreach16, Influencer Marketing Conference, Social Influencer, Blogger, Berlin, Instagram, Inreach, Brandpunkt

Inreach 2016

Inreach 2016, Inreach16, #Inreach16, Influencer Marketing Conference, Social Influencer, Blogger, Berlin, Instagram, Inreach, Brandpunkt

On Monday, November 14th, I attend an insightful influencer marketing conference with 400 other participants. Mainly, the brands and influencer were talking about how to work together, because the market isn’t really transparent yet. Furthermore, the monetization and if a “creator” can pay its bills being an influencer were indirect topics in discussion. Nevertheless, no one did really say exact numbers. For this reason, influencer DB, ReachHearo, BrandnewIO, Collabary, and HitchOn created platforms to connect brands and influencers. Additionally, they are about to develop algorithms, which calculate an acceptable rate for both parties for a product placement, for example.

Inreach 2016, Inreach16, #Inreach16, Influencer Marketing Conference, Social Influencer, Blogger, Berlin, Instagram, Inreach, Brandpunkt

Brands, such as Adidas, Mercedes, Olympus, and Zalando showed how they do their influencer marketing. It was really impressive to see their marketing strategies and projects but they did not give insight on how they select their influencers, the criteria for selection, and what their margins are.

However, most of the brands were on the same page, that it is not always about the reach of the influencer but more about the creativity and the professionality of the influencer.

Heiko Hebig, who works at Instagram, showed the audience why people come to Instagram:

  • 64% follow friends & family
  • 50% follow interests
  • 26% follow public figures

Interestingly enough, the fashion Instagramer ,or those who are interested in fashion, are much more active than the rest. Did you know who are the TOP10 Instagram users in Germany?

  1. Toni Kroos: 9.9M
  2. Mesut Özil: 9.6M
  3. Mario Götze: 7.4M
  4. Lisa and Lena: 7.3M
  5. Bastian Schweinsteiger: 7.1M
  6. Manuel Neuer: 5.1M
  7. Bibi: 4.4M
  8. Marco Reuss: 4.3M
  9. Dagi Bee: 4.1M
  10. Jerome Boateng: 3.8M

My personal favourite was the presentation about the dump, True Fruits. Honestly, I laughed so hard during the presentation. Nicolas Lecloux, one of the founders, implied how important authenticity, humour, self-confidence, and creativity are. True Fruits invited influencers to an event called “#show me your mom”. They perceived that influencers won’t come if they would not have an original idea and they really want to know who they work with. Therefore, they thought that if they would invite the influencer and their mom, they would be more likely to come. They did not just invite the mom, they understood that the parents of an influencer do not know what their kid is doing and in addition, True Fruits, did not just talk about their product but also what an influencer does. A very original idea!

Overall, the event was very enlightening and I hope that I will be part of it next year again.

 

Where did I stay during my time in Berlin?

My apartment at Miniloft Apartment Hotel in Berlin was as amazing as the conference was! Truly, I was so delighted when I arrived. My next flat should look like this one! The interior design is contemporary, comfortable, unpretentious, and very stylish.

It was big enough for four people. The loft had a double bed and two sofa beds. I slept on all of them and I had a really good sleep! Moreover, it felt so urban with the huge window façade and by living right in the centre. The next tram, train, and bus station was only a minute away, as well as the main station, which was only ten minutes away by foot. Supermarkets and restaurants are right around the corner. If you need any information about what to do, just have a look at the unique and excellent guide provided by Miniloft Apartment Hotel. I should not forget to mention that the apartment was really clean!!

Miniloft Apartment Hotel Berlin, Miniloft, Apartment, Berlin Mitte, Hotel

It doesn’t matter if you are on a business trip, city trip or a family holiday, Miniloft Aprtment Hotel suits for all of you!

ALAAF YOU – Cologne’s carnival guide

Köln Karneval, Karnevalskostüm

If you haven’t been to Cologne, the 5th season is definitely the best time of the year. The fun starts on November 11th, 11:11 am, and ends in February or March. In between that time, you will meet several costumed and drunk people, who celebrate “Fastelovend”. The high season of parades and carnival session is between “Weiberfastnacht”, a Thursday, and Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday is famous for eating fish and finishing the 5th season.

Parade Carnival Cologne Weiberfastnacht

Where to go at “Weiberfastnacht”?

On the 11th of November, you will find most of the people in the old town. The famous carnival bands will open the season at the “Heumarkt” or “Altermarkt”.

You have to be early at those squares to get a good spot. As it is free, everyone wants to be there. Be aware that no glass bottles are allowed! After the musical highlights and drinking a couple of beers, you go to a pub. Which one? That depends on you! All students celebrate in the pubs in “Südstadt”. The pub, ”Zum Goldenen Schuss”, has a wide choice of drinks, fair prices, a great atmosphere and cool people.

Gaffel am Dom is also famous for its great parties for all ages!”

Gaffel am Dom, Parade, Carnival Cologne, Weiberfastnacht

Personally, I like the parties at the “Alten Wartesaal”. It is always great fun, and resides very close to the main train station, which makes it easy to get home.

The biggest carnival session will be on the 12th of November, this year, at the Kölnarena. Even if the tickets are around 30€, it is worth it! You will experience cologne carnival just within a few hours; all well-known carnival bands will be on stage, as well as carnival speakers and the best carnival dancing groups! I am sure that you will love it!

Parade Carnival Cologne Weiberfastnacht

What to eat?

Typical and traditional food in Cologne:

  • Himmel un Ääd (Heaven and Earth) – a mixture of mashed potatoes and apple pieces
  • Kölsche Kaviar – Not real caviar 😉 It is black pudding, rye oll and onions
  • Flönz – sausage and black pudding
  • Rheinisher Soorbrode – beef dish with a sauce of raisins, dumpling and red cabbage
  • Halver Hahn – Rye Roll with Dutch cheese, butter and mustard
  • Mett – MY FAVORITE!!! Ground pork with onions on a roll

Koelsch beer, served in 0,2 litre glasses, is a light ale and only brewed in Cologne. So don’t forget to try it!

Basically, all breweries such as “Früh”, “Sion”, “Malzmühle” etc. serve local food and are worth taking note of. They are also inexpensive. Once a year, I always visit brewery “Päffgen” and I love it!

Although the waiters, also known as “Köbes” in Cologne, aren’t the nicest, the atmosphere is always great!

What to wear?

Don’t worry if you have no costume yet. There a loads of shops in the city where you can buy a costume. Deiters, for example, has a wide range of costumes.

Köln Karneval, Karnevalskostüm

 

As a woman, you should always be careful. The shorter, the more dangerous it will be! 😉

Have you always wanted to dress up as super hero, clown or princess? If yes, carnival in Cologne will be the right place for you!

To get into the right mood & to know one traditional song, listen to “Viva Colonia”.

10 photos that will inspire you to visit Zurich!

Zurich, Switzerland, Schweiz, Zürich, Zürichersee, Lake Zurich, Fasten Ur Seatbelts
Quaibrücke, Quay Bridge, Zurich, Zürich

Quaibrücke

Quaibrücke, Quay Bridge, Zurich, Zürich, Lake Zurich

Lake Zurich

Quaibrücke, Quay Bridge, Zurich, Zürich, Lake Zurich

Lake Zurich

Bürkliplatz, Quaibrücke, Quay Bridge, Zurich, Zürich, Lake Zurich

Bürkliplatz

Grossmünster,Quaibrücke, Quay Bridge, Zurich, Zürich, Lake Zurich

View from cathedral Grossmünster

Grossmünster,Quaibrücke, Quay Bridge, Zurich, Zürich, Lake Zurich

Münsterbrücke

Hotel Helvetia, Grossmünster,Quaibrücke, Quay Bridge, Zurich, Zürich, Lake Zurich

Hotel Helvetia

Cheese Fondue, Restaurant Swiss Chuchi, Grossmünster,Quaibrücke, Quay Bridge, Zurich, Zürich, Lake Zurich

Cheese Fondue

Cheese Fondue, Restaurant Swiss Chuchi, Grossmünster,Quaibrücke, Quay Bridge, Zurich, Zürich, Lake Zurich

View from Cathedral Grossmünster

Cheese Fondue, Restaurant Swiss Chuchi, Grossmünster,Quaibrücke, Quay Bridge, Zurich, Zürich, Lake Zurich

On my way to and from the Alpina Mountain Resort & Spa, I came across Zurich. I could not resist traveling  to Zurich without exploring the city.

I flew into Zurich, and did not expect such a huge airport. Honestly, if you fly to or from Zurich, plan with extra time to spare to have a look at all the shops at the airport. By the way, the airport is only 10 minutes away from the main station (by train). The main station, alone is worth it to come to Zurich! Don’t miss the Nana at the main station.

I stayed at the Hotel Helvetia which is a 7 minute walk away from the main station, or just one station by train. The train station is right in front of the hotel, but you cannot hear it in your room! My room was really big and clean. I love the modern furniture and living right in the city centre. I really felt an urban experience. The large windows made all the rooms bright and fresh.

Hotel Helvetia, Zürich, Schweiz, Zurich, Switzerland

After checking into the hotel, I decided to go back to the main station, as I heard that the best shopping area start at Bahnhofstrasse.

 

Definitely do not miss to cross Rennweg from Bahnhofstrasse 

 

Rennweg is one of the oldest streets of Zurich, what you will recognize for sure when you see the lovely traditional Swiss houses. You will not only see the colourful houses, but also many restaurants, cafes, and small shops. From Rennweg, cross Münzplatz and stop at the beautiful flower shop. From Münzplatz, you will go back to Bahnhofstrasse by crossing Augustinerstrasse. Now, you are situated in the luxurious part of Bahnhofstrasse. All luxury brands, which you know, are settled here. Don’t worry, if you need more money, you will come across Paradeplatz, which is the headquarter of the big Swiss banks and also one of the most expensive places of real estate.

 

Finally, you made it to Bürkliplatz, which will have the biggest surprise for you.

 

Bürkliplatz is right in front of lake Zurich. From here, you have the best view over the lake, as well as from the Quaibrücke (Quay Bridge). From here, walk to to cathedral Grossmünster. I wanted to climb up the tower to see Zurich from above. The 5-minute climb was totally worth it, and compared to all the expensive places in Zurich, it costs only 4CHF or 4€. Afterwards, I experienced the area around the Cathedral. You have to walk through the alleys and enjoy all the little shops.

Zürich, Schweiz, Zurich, Switzerland

Zürich, Schweiz, Zurich, Switzerland

 

You cannot visit Switzerland without trying cheese fondue!

 

Before I went back to my comfortable bed, I had a cheese fondue at restaurant Swiss Chuchi.  The courteous staff will explain how to eat a cheese fondue, and if you are not sure what to order, just ask them; they are more than happy to help you. It was the first time that I was served a cheese fondue with a cherry liquor, and it was really tasty!

Cheese Fondue, Restaurant Swiss Chuchi, Grossmünster,Quaibrücke, Quay Bridge, Zurich, Zürich, Lake Zurich

Walk around Zurich by yourself and watch my video about my trip!