Thursday 24 December 2009

The Christmas Market in Frankfurt

FuFu Life in Frankfurt - Chapter Six
21th - 22th December 2009

Taken from FuFu's room, C 64.

Taken from the 4th floor where FuFu is living currently.

"Jingle bell, jingle bell..."

Hohohoho... finally my Christmas break has started. But, still couldn't get the assignment i planned to be finished before Christmas, i blame the Christmas festivity here that successfully has influenced me to lay back together with the rest. What a shame!

Anyway according to my German friends and professors, it's rare to have a White Christmas here in Frankfurt. Probably FuFu is here this year, so the cold current suddenly visited Europe and it started to snow since last Friday in Frankfurt. Gonna have a white Christmas again after leaving Japan two years ago. Lucky!

The room with blue curtain is FuFu's lovely nest.

Yay... it's white everywhere.

There's six (A, B, C, D, E, F) block of student apartments.

Heading to the train station.

Waiting the train for the last lecture before the Christmas break.

It can be very dirty when the snow is started to melt.

So after the last lecture of the year, i went to Frankfurter Weihnachtsmarkt (Frankfurt Christmas market) with friends. More than 200 lovingly decorated stalls transformed the picturesque Römerberg to a beautiful and lively Christmas market that offering many Frankfurt specialties to imaginative arts and crafts.

It's getting dark from 4pm.

One of the decorated stalls that selling chocolates.

The market was held since 1393 and nowadays with the coming of the advent season, ten of thousands of visitors would go there strolling around the market, enjoying a warm Glühwein (mulled wine), buying accessories for the decorations, gifts, and also taking in the wonderful Christmas Spirit until 8pm.

The famous Frankfurter Weihnachtsmarkt at Römerberg.

The Christmas candles.

FuFu wishes to get any one of these houses.

And bring a Santa back home.

The merry-go-round.

The main entertainment for kids of the event.

Ages FuFu hasn't had a ride.

Hohohoho, Mr. Santa is here.

Take any one of the Santa back home, please.

The first and most beautiful Christmas market FuFu has ever seen.

The giant heart chocolate cookies.

These eggs were nicely decorated. Only for Euro 5 each (RM26).

It would be getting crowded during dinner time.

The stalls selling souvenir and accessories for Christmas tree.

The chocolate sticks =p

The Snowman~

It's time to leave for dinner.

Saoyonara, see you again Frankfurter Weihnachtsmarkt.

Hohohoho, last but not least, FuFu wanna wish all of his readers Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

P/S 1 : FuFu had just back from one of the most famous German Christmas markets in Nürnberg (3.5hours from Frankfurt by the regional train). Going to bed now.

P/S 2 : The entries of Mercedes Benz Museum and Porsche Museum will be postponed due to the festive season. FuFu promised he would get the pictures organised as soon as possible. Stay tuned ya.

Wednesday 16 December 2009

A Fruitful and Wonderful Field Trip

FuFu Life in Frankfurt - Chapter Five
9th - 10th November 2009

Germany (or the European countries) has foreseen the future trend of sustainable development since few decades ago. The government, city planners and architects has been putting a lot of efforts in transforming the country to be one of the top sustainable countries without compromising with the future generations. And this is one of the reasons why i chose here to further my studies in Urban Planning (or Urban Agglomerations).

You can visit the website for the course i am doing now here.

I am glad that we had the chance visiting some of the best example of the sustainable development in Freiburg, Türbingen and Stuttgart. It was a two day one night field trip. Kudos to Professor Peterek and the coordinator Caroline who drove us all the way from Frankfurt to Freiburg early morning at 6am.

Started the journey from 6am and reached the destination at 9am.

Here we arrived the first stop of the field trip.

The grass track bed for the linear train running through the city.

Located in the extreme southwest of Germany, straddled the Dreisam River at the foot of Scholossberg and close to Switzerland, Freiburg was the first destination of our field trip for the course of Urban and City-regional Development. The new district of Riesefeld, situated in the west of Freiburg and providing 4200 residential units for about 10,000 to 12,000 inhabitants, is one of the largest new development projects in Germany in the past few decades.

Freiburg is one of the successful sustainable cities in Germany.

The girls of the full time master course.

The cold current suddenly attacked the country on our excursion day.

Freezing cold, but the professor still patiently explained everything.

The students also paid full attention.

But it's hard to concentrate as the weather was really bad.

Investigating the function of the community facility provided.

Raise up your hand and support the sustainable development.

Let us checked out the development at the residential compound!

The neighbourhood indeed was sustainably plan for the residents.

The concept is somehow applicable to our housing development.

Okay, let FuFu study a bit more first and tell you guys later.

Every household has their own garden at the back.

The traffic calming street is one of the sustainable key elements.

Facade with vibrant colours makes the city more sustainable?

Green facade (prolly 10years later) makes the city more sustainable?

Is the contemporary architecture equally to sustainable?

The scooters are still using in part of Germany.

It's freaking cold after a long field trip.

Fortunately we could have cup of nice coffee to warm up the body.

A cup of super fine Cuppucino (Euro 2.50).

Moved on to another area after the coffee break.

Vauban is situated in the south of Freiburg, in the former area of a French barrack site, being developed as a new district for more than 5000 inhabitants and created 600 job opportunities. All these developments invested around Freiburg are aimed not letting the city from losing its own functions and attractiveness to become a dead or abandoned city.

The next stop was the solar panel showroom.

The Solar Fabrik.

Solar panels set everywhere provide enough electricity to the city.

Having solar panel on top of the roof would destroy the cityscape.

I think Malaysia should utilise the free and green solar energy.

Hopped on the van, moved to the next stop.

On the way walking to the historical city centre.

Posing in front of the little canal in the middle of the buildings.

The famous Doppelkirche of Freiburg.

The interior of the church.

Doppelkirche, in the heart of the new city quarter of Riesefeld, is a quite special buidling with both Evangelical and Catholic church coexist in one building that combined into a single ecumenical church. The city is surrounded by the famous black forest mountainous range.

The building in front of the church.

The stomachs were making noise. Divided in to two groups for lunch.

We chose the restaurant famous for its currywurst (curry sausage).

Set Lunch for Euro 6 (RM30.6).

The food was, however, served before the drinks.

Anyhow it's still a great lunch we had.

Yeah beer is not a must but good for lunch also.

FuFu's hearty yummilicious currywurst.

Currywurst with fried smashed tomato.

Currywurst with cheese and french fries.

Taking this picture while killing the time waiting for the rest.

Hopped on the van and headed to the youth hostel in Turbingen.

On the way, it suddenly snowed.

The professor stopped the van as we screamed over the first snow.

Gotta snapped the first snow in Germany.

Had a happy and funny snowball fight beside phototaking session.

The ever first snow in Europe for FuFu. Yay!

We jumped but the pictures were not good.

Alright, it's time to leave after overjoying the first snow.

It's already dark by the time we had arrived Turbingen.

After a short break, we walked around the historical inner city.

The square of the inner city (will be full with stalls during daytime).

The typical medieval German architecture.

Picture at the narrow alley before moved to the restaurant.

Dinner was Mexican food.

The ambience of the restaurant is nice.

Prost~ (cheers in German). Happy hour - 50% for all drinks.

FuFu hearts Mexican cocktails.

They loved their own drinks too.

FuFu had forgotten the name of these yummy Mexican dishes.

Some complained the food was too spicy.

FuFu's Mexican styled chicken spring rolls with salad.

Yummilicous Mexican food.

Overall, 8 out of 10marks was given to Mexican food.

Breakfast at the hostel - buffet style.

Bread, cheese, jam, butter, ham, salami, cereal, yogurt and coffee.

Nice reflection seen from the hostel.

A very nice place to settle down here if you like the German style.

Then, the few of us sneaking away to the inner city.

We wanted see the historical city since we were in Turbingen.

Stalls being set up from 8am at the core of the city.

Walking up to the castle.

Here, we came to the historical castle of Turbingen.

The castle is protected by the stone wall.

Situated above the neighbourhood.

FuFu with the girls in front the old castle.

The guys.

And the girls.

We were standing at higher than anyone in the city.

Obviously, FuFu didn't have enough sleep. Looked so sleepy!

The gerden in front of the castle.

Tower of the castle.

Leaving the castle.

The youth hostel.

The last sustainable housing development we had visited.

Tubingen is a university town located 80km south of Stuttgart. Its population has reached 87,000 and been growing annually mainly due to the in-migration from other surrounding smaller areas. It's expected at least 8,000 inhabitants will be moved to the city by 2020.

The professor was busy showing and explaining us everything.

While taking pictures, FuFu too paid attention to what the professor.

Good living environment is important while increasing the density.

A strong unique identity have to be given to the neighbourhood.

Open space is highly demanded and needed in Europe.

Even the verandah has table and chairs.

We have this in Malaysia but how many of us utilise this facility?

Plastic provided for your dog's shit. Is this sustainable?

Couldn't believe Chinese culture is being well promoted there.

See the sign!

Parken Vertoben = No Parking.

This kind of facade will be a trend in the future.

We need more of this type of compound everywhere in the world.

Piece of picture at the area FuFu loved the most.

Moving back to the starting point where the vans were parked.

Whose idea for this picture?

Ops, FuFu found many chance to have this kind of shot.

FuFu and Carolina from Madrid (Spain).

FuFu and Sinidu from Ethiopia (Africa).

FuFu and Polyana from Rio (Brazil).

FuFu and Ying-han from Taiwan.

The entrance of an apartment. Nice.

Conclusion was briefly done after visiting the few examples of the pattern for sustainable developments. It was really a fruitful field trip related to what we have been learning in the classroom. The trip undoubtedly had left us the impressive concepts over the sustainable elements proposed by the well-known urban planners.

Yeah, the field trip had ended. Headed to the museums in Stuttgart.

Ops, FuFu sitting on the few hundred thousand Euro Porsche.

Alright, for the next post, i would write about both the Mercedes Benz and Porsche Museums. So, stay tuned ya car lovers.