Monday 30 June 2014

A Well-Deserved Day Off what I had today.
At least that (the well-deserved bit) is what I think after I have written my final exam last Friday. It was not easy, but not overly hard, either. I was well prepared, but you know what it's like; there is always a small portion of luck coming into it. We were tested on eight different subjects, and some of the questions were open to interpretation, as were some of the answers for the multiple choice parts. Most of my class mates seemed to be rather happy after the exams, but two of them admitted to have been completely blank with at least one question each. I wasn't blank in any topic, but I still find it nearly impossible to tell how well (or not) I've done. Ah well, I'll know more in six weeks time!

It was a week stuffed to the brim with classes and revising, but I still managed to get a walk in every evening after our lessons for the day ended and before sitting down in my hotel room to do more revising.

Maybe you remember that I "discovered" a piece of El Camino de Santiago, or St. James' Way, during my previous stay in Ulm. This post tells you more, and also shows pictures of a nearby village that I wanted to walk to during my next stay. That next stay was now, and I did indeed walk to the village. 

However, it was somewhat disappointing; when I arrived at the bottom of the hill and stood opposite the road leading into the village, I found it a lot less appealing than what it had looked like from afar. Therefore, instead of going into the village itself, I chose to walk along the road and back into the woods on a different path, where I had not been before.
I met a group of eight young bulls; they were only looking at first, but when I didn't just walk past but stood at their fence for a few minutes, they became more interested and came closer and closer to the fence until I walked away. What went on behind those handsome big brown eyes I have not the slightest idea.

On the Thursday evening, I was surprised at how nostalgic I felt at the thought of leaving it all behind tomorrow, and (most likely) never going back to this place. If you look at it on the calendar, it does not seem much - one week in March, one in May and one in June - but those three weeks were very intense weeks. Also, because we saw everything from snow (in March) to spring (in May) and summer (this time), it felt a lot more than just three weeks. I had been walking those same familiar paths so many times, it felt as if I'd lived there for a while and not just been there for a brief period.

So I went for a "good-bye-walk" along the fields where I'd walked the most, and took a few last pictures. How dry it was in some places, compared to the lush green freshness of May!

Back at the hotel, it was time to join my class mates downstairs in the lounge to watch the Football World Cup (it was the match Germany v. USA). I am usually not at all interested in watching any type of sports on telly, but it was fun watching a "big" match as a group, and I had bought bags of crisps and some sweets for the lot. The match itself was rather boring, but it was our last evening there, and the last occasion to spend time with my class mates. 

Good job the match started at 6.00 pm already! It meant we could all have an early night and get enough sleep to be fit for the next day, or (as some of them did) even put in some more hours over their books and ledgers.

I slept very well that night (as I usually do), but I still need to remind myself every now and then that what started in March with this post has now come to an end. Even if I have failed one or more of the subjects, I will only have to go back to write the exam in that particular subject and not for a whole week - but I hope it won't come to that.

Sunday 22 June 2014


If I am not mistaken, this is only the 2nd time since the beginning of my sojourn in blogland that I post twice in one day.

It is with good reason; the topic of this post has nothing to do with the previous one, and I did not want to use the post about Studley Royal and the Valley of the Seven Bridges for anything else.

June is coming towards its end. Just one more full week to it, and I am going to spend that week away from home. For what I hope will be the last time, I'll be in Ulm for the last part of my course to become a certified Data Protection Officer.

We'll be in class all day from Monday to Thursday and then sit our final exams in seven subjects on Friday. Failure quote is relatively high at 20 %, but I hope to be part of the 80 % who get through at their first attempt. Otherwise, I would have to go back in autumn or winter and take the exams again in those subjects I failed.

There will probably not be much time during the week for visiting your blogs; I do not have a laptop or tablet, but for internet access depend on my mobile phone and the public computer in the lounge at the hotel.

It was a good month so far, with cherries from the tree in front of my house, picked directly out of my kitchen window. 

Then there was last Thursday, a public holiday in my part of Germany, and I spent that on walks, first with my Mum and then on my own (pictures will follow).

And - believe it or not! - I actually did sit down for some serious revising in preparation for my final exams. 

I'll let you know how it went when I return, and will then also take up the Yorkshire holiday report where I left off earlier today.

Studley Royal and the Valley of the Seven Bridges

To take up exactly where I left off at the end of my previous post, let me show you now the final pictures of the walk my sister and I took, starting in Ripon, walking to Fountains Abbey, back through Studley Royal with a little detour to Seven Bridges Valley, and back to Ripon (altogether somewhere around 8 or 9 miles, so nothing too strenuous).
When I came here last year, I walked along the other side of the canal. I remember a plaque there that informed visitors that this stone monument had been rediscovered very recently, and that, even after having consulted all the old maps and plans they had, the National Trust people did not know what this place actually was for or what the meaning of the monument was.

We saw many rabbits near the dense hedges, but they were far too quick for my camera most of the time.

The building you can see at the top end of the lake is a tea shop. We've had some nice teas, coffees and cakes in there in the past, but not this time.

Below is the first of the seven bridges in the Valley of the Seven Bridges. If you like, have a look at last year's post and compare what it looked like then, during that very hot and dry period in July.

We did not leave the park at the gates at the end of the valley, but went back on to the main road until a grassy path (well visible if you know it is there) leads off from it and to a less known gate in the wall.

Through the gate, you reach apath leading to Studley Roger, and from there, we went back the same way we had come.
It had been a great day out, and by the time we were back at our cottage, we were both ready for a meal.

My next - short - post will explain why you'll have to wait a while until I'll be back with more from our holiday in Yorkshire.