• Trips

    Saalfeld Fairy Grottoes

    During the bridging days between Christmas and New Year, it was once again time to make a few small excursions. In addition to visiting relatives and ice skating, we also wanted to go to a new place we hadn’t been to before: the Fairy Grottoes in Saalfeld. We had already been to the Dragon’s Cave in Syrau, the Wieliczka Salt Mine in Poland, or the Turda Salt Mine in Romania – now we wanted to visit this nearby mine, although “near” is relative here. By car, it would have been about an hour’s drive to the south, but we traveled by train and bus via Jena Göschwitz, so the journey…

  • Cats

    Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit with Cats

    I’ve always enjoyed playing fun racers like Mario Kart 64, Crash Team Racing, or Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. In 2020, Nintendo came up with a new idea—quite convenient since most people were at home due to Corona: a Mario Kart game that you could play right in your living room, “Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit.” It was an AR game, Augmented Reality, where the game events are projected into the real world with a camera (or the other way around by bringing the real world into the game). Such features are common on smartphones, but it was something new on a console. Nevertheless, it was foreseeable that it might…

  • General

    Alligatoah Concert in Erfurt

    Recently, we attended our second Alligatoah concert after the one in Leipzig. This time, the concert took place in Erfurt, which is practically just around the corner. Initially, it was supposed to be held in the Thüringenhalle, but it was closed this year due to the risk of collapse. Therefore, the concert took place in the Messehalle. We got there quite quickly by train and tram. I was wearing my tour shirt from Leipzig, and Nathalie had her white fan shirt. When we arrived, about 15 minutes before admission and over 2 hours before the concert started, some queues had already formed, but shortly after 6 pm, we were already…

  • Trips

    Ilmtal Cycle Path and Falconry

    In late summer 2023, we decided to go on a short bike tour while the weather was still good. A few years ago, we cycled south from Weimar towards Hohenfelden Reservoir. However, the bike path turned out to be a real challenge as we had to push our bikes uphill through an overgrown forest. Surprisingly, even today, Google does not feature the Ilmtal Cycle Path. This time, we relied solely on road signs, without a navigation system, and rode to the neighboring town of Kranichfeld, from where we had taken the train back the last time. Depending on how early we would arrive, we planned to visit the castles there…

  • Trips

    The Drei(n)schlag 2023

    In mid-August, a special event took place here in Thuringia. It was called the “Drei(n)schlag” (Three Strike). This is a fireworks display celebrated irregularly since 2002 in the area between Erfurt and Gotha at the “Drei Gleichen” (Three Equals) hills. The Three Gleichen consist of three castles (Burg Gleichen, Mühlburg, and Veste Wachsenburg), which got their name from the “Dreinschlag” when allegedly on May 31, 1231, lightning struck all three castles simultaneously, causing them to blaze like torches. Conveniently, an autobahn runs between the castles, and a train station is also not far away. Taking the train wasn’t an option due to the late evening timing of the fireworks (although…

  • General

    Model-Kit “Anubis” – The Series Is Complete!

    Anubis is the third and final model kit in my “Zone of the Enders” series. For those who have been following my blog posts, you know that my very first model kit was “Vic Viper,” and shortly after, I assembled “Jehuty.” Naturally, the last mecha (or “Orbital Frame” as they’re called in Z.O.E.) couldn’t be left out. However, things didn’t go smoothly during the assembly this time… In general, Anubis doesn’t differ significantly from the other model kits. It’s actually the “easiest” to assemble because it doesn’t have stickers like Vic Viper nor tiny parts like Vic Viper or Jehuty. Nevertheless, the kit was delivered in a box twice the…

  • General

    Model-Kit “Valimar”

    Actually, after the model kits of ‘Vic Viper’ and ‘Jehuty,’ ‘Anubis’ was supposed to follow, but it had to be put on hold because I lost a few parts. So far, my approach to working on model kits has always been as follows: This was supposed to ‘save time’ because I would first remove the parts from the grids with the appropriate tools and then assemble them, creating a logical division of work without constantly switching between tasks. Unfortunately, this proved to be inconvenient and did not actually save time for two reasons. Firstly, with many similar-looking pieces, it’s very challenging to find them accurately in the bags. Secondly, in…

  • Cats

    Cats in the Park

    Let’s start from the beginning: A friend of Nathalie’s from Aikido also has two cats. To give them some variety and prevent them from always being indoors (since they are strictly indoor cats), he occasionally takes them to the park. We were eager to see this, so one day we decided to join him and his cats at the park. While one cat comfortably settled in the grass, the other didn’t want to leave its carrier at all. We were curious to see how our cats would behave in the park. Yuri would probably be quite adventurous (even as a little kitten, he was very curious), but Iva could be…

  • Trips

    The Napoleon Trail near Jena

    The Napoleonpfad is an approximately 8km circular hiking trail near Jena that Nathalie, René, Dominik, and I hiked recently. But first, how did we come to choose this particular trail to hike? We had already been hiking twice in Jena. Once on the Jenzig-Hufeisen-Kunitz trail and once on a trail near René’s place. During the second hike, we noticed that we intersected with another hiking trail, and even more exciting, René mentioned that he had developed an app for that particular trail at his company! Of course, for Nathalie, that was reason enough (as if she needed any reason in general to go hiking) to explore this trail and try…

  • General

    Trails to Azure: New chest messages and more

    After playing more through the Trails series, I would like to write a second blog post featuring the remaining amusing chest messages I have come across. I won’t go into detail again about what the series is about, as I already covered that extensively in my previous post. Since the last post, I played “Trails from Zero” on the Nintendo Switch, followed by “Trails in the Sky the 3rd” on Steam, and then the new “Trails to Azure” on the Nintendo Switch. As the latter is the sequel to Zero, I will start with it in this post, building upon some of the chest messages mentioned in the previous post.…