Opening Kaeng Krachan Elephant Park (Zoo Zurich)

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As I worked the early shift yesterday and the Zoo in Zurich was exceptionally opened until 10 p.m., I called D. during my lunch break and asked him, whether he fancied going to the zoo and have a look at the brand new elephant park “Kaeng Krachan”. The construction works started in May 2011. The architecture is simply amazing – I especially like how the roof is swung, and also how the visitor is slowly introduced to the natural environment of the elephants when approaching the elephant park.

View on Kaeng Krachan Elephant Park at Zoo Zurich, Switzerland

View on Kaeng Krachan Elephant Park at Zoo Zurich, Switzerland

Water plays a very central role in the new elephant park; there are water basins in the open-air enclosure as well as  inside the elephant house.  Inside the house, the visitors even have the possibility to see the elephant bathing from underneath the water surface through a huge window. On the outside there’s also a kind of shower that the elephants can handle themselves. There’s also a lovely restaurant on the upper floor of the elephant house with a fantastic view.

View from the restaurant's terrace inside the elephant house of Kaeng Krachan

View from the restaurant’s terrace inside the elephant house of Kaeng Krachan

We enjoyed a walk around the park, where we also found other animals in lovely decorated terrariums, such as scorpions and java mouse-deers. It’s really a fantastic park, and absolutely worth a visit, especially when you weren’t at the zoo during the last few years.

Elephant "Maxi" at Kaeng Karchan Park at the Zurich Zoo

Elephant “Maxi” at Kaeng Karchan Park at the Zurich Zoo

And there will be another huge change in the life of the elephants coming later this year: Elephant-Lady Indi will have a baby this year! 🙂 According to the zoo’s website, the pregnancy of an Asian elephant takes 20-22 months, and Indi is pregnant since August 2012… 🙂


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Keeping busy… :-)

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In order to keep myself from falling into depressive episodes due to my bipolar personality disorder, it’s vital for me to keep busy. This becomes even more important during my semester’s break. I’ll spend my day in the western, french part of Switzerland, trying to turn the next few geocaches of the “SWISS-MONOPOLY”-geocaching series into smileys. I got up at 4:30, boarded the train at 5:36 a.m. and I will arrive in Geneva at about 8:40…

Plan:
Geneva
Lausanne
Neuchâtel
La Chaux de Fonds
Biel / Bienne

🙂

I’m still quite sleepy, despite the Energy Drink, but I’m really willing to accomplish this mission. 🙂

What are you up to today?

Hugs to all of you,
Sluníčko


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Yes, I’m still alive…

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Hey everyone,

sorry for not posting anything on here for six weeks, but I there was just too much going on in my life as well as in my psyche, as I had a depressive episode again, which really blocks me from writing every single time – grrr! But, I was not stuck in that depressive episode for the whole 6 weeks, I also went abroad – I’ve been to London & Brighton with my mother for five days, and then I spent almost a week in Czech Republic, which feels more and more like home to me.

After returning home, I had to study for the final exams of the spring semester, and I also had to write a few papers that were due during the last 2 weeks.

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Our new shoe cabinet… I love it ❤

I don’t know whether you guys know the feeling of simply wanting to run away, to some place you’ve never been to.. To some place you don’t even know where that is. Just leave everything behind, start all over again?! That’s a feeling that I have had quite often during the last two months… and as usually, I start trying to embellish my apartment, clean up, put new furniture and decoration up etc. etc. Not that anything would really push me away here, where I live, but sometimes I feel like nothing really keeps me here either. I know that I would miss my friends and family terribly, but well, I can’t help it, the feeling just keeps coming back.
D. and I started the project by finally buying a shoe cabinet at “Conforama”. I liked the design of it a lot, as we had a great time in London back in September 2012… 🙂 And as I’ve been just there in my Easter break, I loved the idea of having a tiny little piece of London in our apartment even more. 🙂 And even more I love the fact that I won’t have to search through a chaotic pile of shoes in every morning… 😀

But we did not only get a new shoe cabinet, we also got a few plants and decoration for our beautiful balcony. We bought a “fuchsia”, a small lavender tree, a lavender bush, a peony and a rambler rose, which should all be frost resistant and embellish our balcony for many years. I love the scent of lavender. It always reminds me of the summer and autumn holidays I used to spend with my family in southern France close to the Mediterranean Sea, and it always helps calming down after a stressful day at uni or at work. We also try to raise some tomatoes and pepperonis and chillies on our balcony, and I’m really wondering what we will be harvesting in the next few weeks… 😀 And we put up brand new solar lights… 🙂 I can’t wait to spend log evenings with friends, some barbecue and some cocktails on there… Summer’s just my favorite time of the year… 🙂

My Balcony May 2014

My newly decorated balcony… Even my tomcat Belial loves it 🙂

So, and now I should definitely get my Czech books and do some exercises, otherwise my Czech-German-Tandem-partner Lukáš won’t be amused at all… :-S But it is so much fun to study a new language and realizing that you are finally making progress… 🙂


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Morocco-Trip 2014 – Day 4

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We got up early at the Hotel where we stayed for the night. As the dinner wasn’t really good, my cousin, his wife, and the befriended couple had a hard night with a lot of stomach-ache and feeling miserable. Although we all had the same for dinner (they only had 2 dishes on their menu, kefta an cheese omelettes), I haven’t had such problems… So I was playing with some stray dogs on the parking lot of the hotel and fed them some meat, as they were only skin and bones… It took me quite a while to gain their trust, but in the end, they couldn’t get enough cuddles… 😀 Seeing all those homeless and malnourished animals in the streets was one thing that I will never get used to… I’m really an animal-lover, no matter whether cats, dogs, foxes, birds…. just any animal is dear to me.

After having fed the dogs, we boarded our cars and drove away from the hotel, in the direction of Ouarzazate. We stopped after half an hour of driving in order to have breakfast at Üse’s and Silä’s Camper somewhere in free nature. It was the perfect harmony… A goat herder passed along with about 50 goats, a lot of very young goats included… It was really cute to see them. 🙂

We drove off, and I really enjoyed the sights passing by my window… just before we entered the city of Ouarzazate, we were stopped by the Royal Police… He asked my cousin, why the girl on the backseat isn’t wearing her safety belt… As my cousin is not really a master of the French language, I opened my window and told & showed the guy, that I was wearing my safety belt. He claimed that I just put it on when he stopped me… Well… I guess he didn’t expect me to speak up to him… But I find it so annoying when people want to tell me that I was a liar… I love the French language, and I was always good at speaking it as well… So we had quite an argument.. Then he asked me whether we were French… I denied… He wanted to know where we were from, then… I told them that we were coming from Switzerland, the German part of Switzerland, to be more precisely, and all of the sudden he let us go… I don’t really know what he wanted from us, and I also don’t really understand why he called me a liar, but well… I was quite happy to leave that unfriendly officer behind on the street… -.-

When we arrived in Ouarzazate, we went to a hotel that my cousin already knew from his last Morocco-Trip. The Hotel is called “Auberge Le Carrefour”. It’s owned by a Moroccan couple. The wife’s name is Fatima, and she’s just the most humble, caring and lovely young Lady I’ve met during the whole Morocco-Trip. She was really happy to see my cousin again, and she seemed very pleased to meet his wife and me, too. She’s also a fabulous cook – you can really feel how much love she puts into every dish she’s serving her guests. I had the best couscous of my entire life… 🙂

But, before we were having dinner, we wanted to do some sightseeing. So we went to “Ksa Ait Benhaddou”, a beautiful fortress, which was also featured as setting of various films, e.g. The Mummy (1999) and Gladiator (2000). Although there were a lot of tourists inside this fortress, I really enjoyed strolling through a city so different to everything I’ve ever seen in my entire life. 🙂 But again, I want to let the images do the talking for me. 🙂


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Morocco-Trip 2014 – Day 3

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On the third day of our Morocco-Trip, we wanted to see more of the Atlas, so we decided to leave the camper of my cousin’s friend at the hotel and take our car for an Atlas-excursion. The streets were very narrow, and sometimes I almost couldn’t look out of the window, as I’m afraid of heights… But I enjoyed the ride and the picturesque landscape of Morocco… We had a short break on the road, taking some pictures and enjoying the scenery. When we arrived on top of the mountain, we entered a cozy little cafe, where the owner lit a fire for us and served us a few glasses of “Whiskey Berbère” (= mint tea) and some coffee. We enjoyed the cozy atmosphere and the silence up there for quite a while… I’ll stop writing here and let you see the beauty of the Atlas mountains through my photos… I hope you enjoy! 🙂

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View from our starting point of our atlas-tour…

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Feeling so close to the sky…

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Panorama from along the route

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Üse and our car – we all look so tiny compared to those massive rocks in the middle of nowhere… 

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An overhanging cliff – a weird feeling, knowing that there is so much stone above our heads when passing through 😀

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Having a short break and admiring the beautiful landscape

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Some information about the building of the street we just drove along.

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Enjoying the view and the sun…. *_*

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The tiny cafe/restaurant from outside, decorated with dozens of stickers coming from all over the world 🙂

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The owner of the Auberge – Restaurant – Camping du Col Tizi-n-Test lit a fire for us, as it was rather cold and windy up there, and he also brought us the obligatory mint-tea 🙂

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The whole Morocco-Traveling-Group, from left to right: Üse, me, Silä, Pia & Resu

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I’m so in love with the color’s of Morocco’s nature… *_*

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Beautiful view from the Atlas

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Sunset in front of our hotel in Agadir


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Recipe: Rhubarb-Liqueur

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I love the rhubarb-season a lot, and every year I can’t wait to get a bunch of them from the market, to try new recipes with them that I collected during the rest of the year. Today, I want to share a super-delicious rhubarb-liqueur-recipe with you. If filled in small and lovely decorated glass bottles, they make a perfect host gift for the next barbecue invitation or picnic at the lakeside. 🙂

You’ll need:Image
2kg of rhubarb
800g sugar
2 vanilla beans
2 bottles of brandy or vodka, whatever you prefer.

Cut the rhubarb in approximately 2cm-dices. Put them in a sealable vessel (I used a 5l canister) and add the sugar. Mix, so that the rhubarb is covered in sugar. Close the vessel and  allow to infuse for about 3-4 days.

Then cut the vanilla beans open and and put it into the vessel.Pour the brandy or vodka, leave closed for 14 days (you should open and close the canister every second day so the gasses may escape, so the vessel won’t burst) for fermentation.

After two weeks, sieve the liqueur and pour it into small glass bottles.

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Cheers! 🙂


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Mushroom Pesto

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I really try to take home-made food to work as often as possible – first and foremost when I have to work the late shift where I only have a 30-minutes lunch break… It tastes better than the take-away stuff from Coop or McDonalds, and it’s also way healthier… And I really love the envious glances of my working mates while eating, haha 😀

This recipe can be done really quickly, I made it this morning and I’ll enjoy it at work today… 🙂

For 2 servings you’ll need:

3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 small onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 spring onions, trimmed and coarsely chopped
50 ml olive oil
250g brown mushrooms, cut in pieces
1 handful of walnuts
1 cup of vegetable broth
3 tbsp dried tomatoes (in oil)
1/2 bunch of smooth parsley
 salt

Fry the garlic cloves and the onion with some olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the spring onions and fry briefly. Add the mushrooms and dried tomatoes as well as the vegetable broth and cool until everything is soft (should take about 5 minutes).

Mix parsley and the walnuts, add the pan’s contents and purée everything. Season to taste with some salt.

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Tastes great with spaghetti or any other kind of pasta, with some freshly grated parmiggiano, or also as spread on fresh bread… Yummy! 🙂 Don’t forget to decorate with a parsley-leaf… 😉

Enjoy!

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