Where Is My White Christmas?

Ralph and the snowmanThis was this time last year in our back yard in near Frankfurt, Germany!

Today it was 8C and no sign of snow, there are blossoms starting to emerge for gods sake… I want snow ball fights, skidding down hills on sleds, silly snowmen…

I’m going somewhere really hot for a really long time in a couple of weeks, I need this!

R

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Last German Christmas Markets

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Well Christmas is almost here and so is our family leaving Germany. One of our favorite places at this time of year here in Germany is the Christmas markets. They spring up in most German towns a few weeks before Christmas selling all manner of trinkets, Christmas decorations and crafts. But what I love most is The Food! Actually I find the markets a bit overwhelming for us dogs because of the crowds of Humans. All that noise and confusion but oh man, the food is delicious if I can beg, borrow or steal it from my Humans that is.

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At the Rudesheim Christmas market they had a really nice display of Humans and sheep. I have no idea why but I thought it fun to try and round up the sheep. I tried but they were fake, go figure!

My Humans seem to enjoy the vast variety of hot drinks from hot chocolates to Glühwein (mulled wine). The mugs they came in are just as varied and often unique to a market or town. I know this because my Humans seemed to have amassed a vast collection of them at home!

And as mentioned already the food is varied and all great, if not a little worrying for the ole waistline (yep I take care of myself you know). Here are a few pictures of my favs from the markets…

 

Top left is the very yummy Karttoffel-Puffer, basically a hash brown but with a much more tasty batter and eaten mostly with apple sauce

Top right is the famous Flammkuchen. It’s like a German version of a pizza with potatoes, ham and a creamy sauce but there are many other topping to be had.

Bottom left is the very yummy (so I’m told as apparently it’s not good for me Human ruse) chocolate covered fruits.

Bottom right is my absolute favorite, a Flammlach. This is salmon lightly smoke cooked at the stall then served on fresh baked bread with lettuce and salad dressing.

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Me scoring a piece of Flammkuchen. See the look em in the eye trick and a deft paw works wonders eh?

 

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Things are getting a bit busy (its Christmas Eve as I write this) around here, it might be a while before I get another chance to put paw to keyboard. My Humans are wrapping me pressies, hoping for more balls of course, you can never have too many. Now to finish off this post here are a few general pictures of the markets to give you a feel for the atmosphere, enjoy.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

R

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A Border Collie Returning Across Borders

Yep, heading home to Frankfurt, Germany.

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We are at the ferry port at Dover, England. Check out the cool Combi-Vans traveling with us on the ferry.

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OK the weather is better than our earlier crossing but still I’m apprehensive, I still have to stay in The Car for two hours so I’ll do what I do great, sleep then!

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I’m a little sad about leaving England for what will most probably be my last time. Sigh… Good bye White Cliffs of Dover.

 

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Well we made it across the English Channel no problem. First stop as always is to stock up with yummy French food in Dunkirk at the local Auchan Supermarket. Now this time guys, more Human treats like that fabulous French ham for me eh?

 

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We are off! Heading across France for the Belgian border, all buckled up and snuggling into Princess Human with my usual worry about the world look. Boss Human says I’m old beyond my years. I say I’m wise beyond me years. The world out there is a dodgy dangerous place you know…

 

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So… a Border Collie crossing borders again…  Another long queue of cars and trucks as we approach the Belgian border but we get through fairly quickly this time. Onward into Belgium then, around Brussels on its always busy R0 ring road. We then slingshot out onto the E40 motorway towards Liege. Not far now to the German border and the border town of Aachen beyond.

We cross the German border before Aachen, no problems but then 20 or so kilometers into Germany anther big road block disguised as road works with heavily armed police inspected cars and trucks. Blinding lights shining in our windows… With our car’s foreign GB plates I thought we were gonnas but no,  apart from Grumpy Human going the wrong way once waved through which caused much yelling and cursing in German and pointing of said rather large guns we were on our way.

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Keep calm and relax as my pillow says…

Next we swing by the beautiful city of Cologne and onto the last stretch of 100 miles or so down the A3 to Frankfurt. Easy peasy eh?

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And home at last!!!

R

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Eccentric England

As you know me and me Humans are visiting England.  I’m having great fun catching up with mates and revisiting my old haunts in England. I do have to tell you about the eccentricity of the English seaside though.

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Visiting the coastal village of Southwold in the English county of Suffolk we came across the local pier which juts out some 200 m into the North Sea.

Now I am not making this up, honest! They have a dog walking machine on the pier! It has a real working mechanical dog and treadmill for pulling along its poor Humans. Here are a few pictures.

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I even saw a contraption for testing older Humans that need a walking frame. It was a kind of game of chicken with older Humans and cars!

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Turns out there were many strange machines there all designed and built by an English Engineer-Cartoonist by the name of Tim Hunkin.

Well more later as I head home to Germany…

R

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A Border Collie Crossing Borders

Well I made it to England. Sorry about my blurry eyes and silly Human… What a trip. Easy to drive from Frankfurt through Germany and Belgium but once we got to the French border near Dunkirk whoohh, big road block and huge delays as security checked all vehicles coming in to France. The knock on from the Paris incident of course. Rather pleased actually, makes me and my Humans feel safer.

Any way once through that we had elected to use the Ferry route to Dover, England. Big mistake. A huge storm arrives delaying our departure then what a ride at sea… And guess what? Us dogs are locked in our cars for the crossing while our Humans are aloud out on the ship, not fair! Our car was up the front so it was not pleasant with the rocking and rolling for several hours.

Glad to say I arrived fine but a little ruffled as my picture will attest!

More later

R