Category Archives: This and That

East coast baby 

Don’t get me wrong, WA clearly is the most awesome part of Australia but hey during a year down under you gotta go east at some point … and if you are lucky enough to even have rellies around Sydney then it’s a no brainer to spend, for example, Easter over east.

And very nice it was, seeing aunty & uncle and my very favourite OZ cousins again 🙂 And very happy was dear aunty to spend time with the boys, taking them to places and giving us adults time to explore that village with millions of inhabitants (Sydney). And Sydney is beautiful to explore, time and time again. And traffic is the worst I have seen ever. And I should maybe stop starting sentences with a conjunction. Dad joke, haha..

So where were we exactly?

We lived a nomad life for a week, some days in Stanwell Tops (1h south of Sydney), some days in Sydney and some days in Paterson (2.5h north of Sydney). All of them really beautiful places and as contrasting as can be. The view to the South Pacific from the Bene residence in Stanwell Tops..

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Anzac bridge just outside the front door of B.´s place in Sydney…

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and farmland surrounding A.´s straw-bale-house in Paterson…

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Beautiful places to wind down and catch up with dear people that we see far too seldom.

What did we do?

Continue reading East coast baby 

The southern Island

Parts of my stay in WA are a sabbatical and parts of that is a cooperation with the Antarctic  Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre in Hobart Tasmania.

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In a past life, I was traveling to the Arctic and Antarctic as a PhD student and later consultant working with geophysical methods to measure snow and sea ice thickness. Staying a week in Hobart was a great experience meeting old friends and colleagues again and looking at long forgotten Georadar and remote sensing data. I also had the chance to talk about my work in general in a lecture organised by the Australian Geomechanics Society, also that very inspiring. But enough about work… Continue reading The southern Island

MORE than holidays

I gotta say that I had a weird, kinda empty feeling in my stomach in the first of weeks of school… Even though I liked it! I guess it´s a pretty big change for everyone to go back to reality after 45 days of holidays (same as back in Germany – 6 weeks).

For me it was a “dramatic” change because it is like I just finished a stage of life/ a new fabulous chapter and now I need to say goodbye to it… I know it´s not the end; I will go on trips again, where I will gain similar experiences. Anyway, right now it´s like letting something go.

So I did many awesome things!

I was in Perth for about a week and all in all it didn´t feel like 6 weeks of holidays only! I always looked up to (famous) people who integrated travelling in their job or their vacations in a larger extent than what is common. It probably is their favorite activity/addiction/love or how you want to call it and obviously I couldn’t understand what that really means. It sure seems amazingly adventurous, multicultural and exciting, but I think I can relate to it after my special holidays in Australia.

I dare to say that the fanciness and perfect planning etc. -> things which are making it more glorious and glittery (Australia owns that anyway) aren´t the essentials of an outstanding experience. For me as a person (and maybe for Katrine & Andi as well) one of the most meaningful aspects are still the pure emotions and thoughts (and dreams) you´re usually not “able” to have! Getting into the spirit of being isolated for a short term can be very relaxing!! You´re enjoying the day and that´s it. There aren’t any distractions like media or stressing/overthinking included in my camping routine.

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Also especially in Australia and for me as a quite common European the lifestyle of travelling here in the width of land is absolutely stunning and fascinating. The contrast of being in an undiscovered area to growing up in a “crowded” city and country already inspired me when I was young and now I can live it!! I enjoy the loneliness (together with my family) and I love the simple fact to see (almost) unsettled places and pure nature from the plane straight after taking off in Perth. The “clear” view feels like freedom to me, whose “habit” as a member of a modern family (separated in Germany/ Norway) is seeing inhabited and cultivated land everywhere.

Right now, finishing the blog entry some time later, I actually got used to the school spirit, but I can still relate and get into the feeling I was describing.

Leola ❤

Kalbarri National Park

Sandstone canyon with a photogenic hole

Lets write a bit about Kalbarri National Park, where the Murchison River meets the Indian Ocean. 577 km from Perth, the perfect stop over on the way further north. For us it was an excellent place to discover and to break up the long drive to shark bay. We stayed two nights and thus could spend a whole day in the area:

What to do?

Compulsory start of the day is the daily pelican feeding in town. The pelican originally got attracted to the bay by the by catch that fisherman tossed from their boats, now it´s a tradition and heaps of tourists plus pelicans assemble for the daily routine. How big those birds are …
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Then it´s time to head into the national park, yet worth stopping over at Meanarra Hill, an ancient coral reef with a 360deg view of the area and perfectly suited for Titanic posing… img_6591img_6595

The National park offers a couple of jaw dropping views into the Murchison river canyon, carved through red/white banded sandstone over the last 400 million years. If it´s not too hot and you don´t drag three kids with you, you can even go on a hike along the river. Must be awesome!

When you are done digesting these impressive views and the contrasts in colour and material you take the 500 m stroll down to Nature´s Window, yes that stroll even works with a protesting 4-year old. And it´s worth it! As long as you can stand the flies, that is ..
Tataa, Kalberri´s photogenic hole:
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 and yes, there is still more to come, it´s really worth to head down the sand track to the other lookout, the Z-Bend. As rivers tend to do, the gorge cuts along major fault zones, that happen to be aligned almost at a right angle in this case. Thus, the gorge makes some awesome, sharp corners a number of times. At Z-Bend you stand on one of these corners and can enjoy gorge and gorge whether you look East or South. Nice!
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Where to stay?

There are plenty of options directly in Kalbarri, we found a quite nice, more secluded camp site, directly on the river. Murchison House Station is a working pastoral station and offers basic camping both close to the station as well as on the other side of the river for 4WD only. If you want to do the latter, make sure to arrive early in the afternoon as they don´t allow you to cross the river when you arrive to late. Yes, that is based on personal experience.
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hallo hallo

Das Leben ist wie ein Ausflug in Australien: Wenn du wieder und wieder von der GRAUEN Straße abzweigst, bleibt es mit dem “red dirt” und der
Natur, die immer grün ist, BUNT.
Ganz egal wie trist oder dunkel der Himmel darüber ist.

   Lass dich darauf ein
dann begleitet dich auch das positive Denken.

 

Also, das hier ist mein erster Blog Eintrag und er wird, wie alle Anfänge ein bisschen komisch und emotional. Bei mir kann das philosophisch klingen, wenn ich es reflektiere. Nur dass ich das gesagt habe 🙂
Ich fang einfach mit den „gefragtesten“ (:P) Themen an.

Mit der Familie läuft alles super. Wir haben uns glaube ich schon aneinander gewöhnt, so für den Alltag und am Wochenende nutzen wir die Zeit aus, unternehmen und sehen viel (bis jetzt rund um Perth und in vier Tagen wird es direkt noch spannender…).

Wenn ich drüber nachdenke, ist es nicht besonders unterschiedlich im Vergleich zu Köln:Ich muss mich beim Erzählen beim Essen genauso beeilen, weil ein Kind dazwischen quatscht (nur das hier die Wahrscheinlichkeit doppelt so hoch ist) 🙂
Der große Unterschied ist eher unsere Mentalität, dass wir in der Zeit in der wir da sein können, so viel entdecken wollen, wie möglich.

Das nächste, was am interessantesten für die meisten ist, ist wahrscheinlich, wie ich mit den Leuten hier klar komme, beziehungsweise wie ich Freunde gefunden hab.

Ich wurde nach meiner zweiten Schulstunde eigentlich sofort in eine große Gruppe von Leuten aufgenommen. Die erste Lehrerin hat gefragt, wer auch CoRE hat (Centre of Resources Excellence – mein, sehr grob gesagt, Naturwissenschaften Programm) und so hat es sehr einfach und gut für mich geklappt. Die Leute in der Gruppe sind auch zum Teil relativ neu an der Schule und ziemlich gemischt. So ist es allgemein in meiner Highschool, aber darüber will ich nicht zu viel verraten; es kommt noch ein ganzer Post über alle möglichen Schulsachen (allein mich so viel damit zu beschäftigen ist eine richtige Veränderung zu früher, naja ihr werdet es schon sehen)…

Verabredungen mit Freunden fangen auch langsam an, ich war gestern im Kino und hab mich schon zum joggen gehen am wunderschönen Swan River getroffen (ich verrsuche so oft wie möglich da zu sein und habe mehr Motivation für den 40min Schulweg mit dem Fahrrad, weil jemand erzählt hat, dass er im Fluss DELFINE gesehen hat (!)).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Machine

Full disclosure: I am a four-wheel drive kinda guy. So when in Australia, drive as the Australians! In fact with a machine that doesn’t exist in Europe: The Toyota Land Cruiser 70-series. One of the very last survivors of the species that once was founded by and on Jeep, Land Rover, Puch / Mercedes and Toyota. Land Rover stopped producing the Defender, Mercedes pimped up the Puch G for millionaires, Jeep will soon redesign the classic Wrangler but Japan still produces a very basic 4×4 for some selected markets. Some say it is the best overland vehicle on earth.

IMG_1391This beast has nothing you expect of a modern vehicle: Electric windows, power mirrors, automatic gearbox, traction control, … No chance! You get a 4.5 liter diesel V8 for massive torque and power along with a truck-like gearbox, solid axles and locking differentials. Yes, I am looking forward to getting it dirty 🙂