How to spend a sunny winter day in Leipzig


Leipzig is only two hours of drive away from Berlin and the short distance convinced me to go back on travel, after one month of self-imposed break. The day welcomed my decision with an unusual sunny and mild weather, glowing the landscape and bringing the nature back to life after the overnight frost. I’ve been to Leipzig before, but always in a hurry and without seeing too many museums. This time, I chose a week day and started the journey very early in the morning. The driving went smoothly, except the long line of cars and minutes of waiting on the streets around the imposing Central Station. But we found fast a place to park the car and started the travel adventure.

The Ring area is nowadays a very busy commercial hub, but in the last days of the Democratic Republic it was the meeting place of protesters asking the end of the dictatorship and civil rights. Short historical presentations in German and English are reminding those times.

The first stop is the School Museum, where placards from October 1989 with messages for democracy and freedom are exposed at the entrance.


Children from primary school were explained in small and old looking classrooms about the history of learning in Germany, with handbooks and old writings exposed on the walls. At the beginning of the 20th century, here was also located the Jewish school, or the Carlebach school, named after Rabbi Dr. Ephraim Carlebach, the Orthodox Rabbi of Leipzig. The school operated till 1942. The Carlebach family had a high profile of scholars and rabbis in Germany. The son of Rabbi Ephraim, Esriel Carlebach founded in Israel the newspaper Maariv and his nephew was the famous contemporary rabbi Shlomo Carlebach.


Around the corner of the School Museum are situated the once frightening headquarters of the Stasi, GDR’s intelligence services. The stylish building was before a fire station. Before being occupied by the protesters in 1989, the Stasi officers removed partially the archives of the long history of abuses and persecutions against the local inhabitants. Like other similar locations I visited in Berlin, it has a bunker and a mini-prison, and the offices of the high ranking officials look grey and unwelcoming. The museums has a collection of items from the time, including some insights about the surveillance techniques, many taught by the big brothers from the KGB.


Too much unpleasant histories! I need to see something beautiful and seconds after leaving the building of horrors, I entered the beautiful world of beautiful architecture and hidden passages. My strongest memories of Leipzig are the golden decorations of Commerzbank that are shining under the shy winter sun. We enter the building and go till the last store, admiring the interior decorations and the exhibition of elegant cover books of the Insel edition house, that published, among others, the works of Rainer Maria Rilke.


Another wish I had the last time I visited Leipzig is to enter once the Riquet coffee. Riquet was a big company of import and export of cocoa and coffee and the special design with a Japanese inspired painting on the top of the building and the big elephants at the entrance is aimed to remind those times. Inside, a cozy ambiance of a Wien coffee house, with a classical music in the background.


Is never too late to have a coffee, especially when you woke up very early in the morning. I order a ‘Mexikaner’ – not with Kahlua, but with 1/2 coffee and 1/2 cocoa, an interesting combination, but not too die too much for – and a Wintertorte, very sweet but giving me enough energy to continue the rest of the city tour.


We had a look at the Specks Hof Passage, the oldest in town, hosting interior design shops and the very addictive Tortissimo, selling various baking shapes, recipe books and even a mini Macarons kit. I discover a small gallery selling porcelain and silver jewels. We continue our further shop hopping on Grimmaische street with the local Lehmann bookstore, the French Cottage interior design shop and the very rich Culinaris, with another cooking and baking suggestions. On Ritterstrasse, close to the university area, there is an impressive number of old bookstores, hosted at the ground level of massive houses with decorated balconies.

Augustusplatz is the meeting place between courageous modern architecture and the classical style of the 20th century. What now is classical used to be once revolutionary, as in the case of the first 43-meter sky scraper built at the beginning of the 20th century – and the buzz of the season’s open markets and merry-go-rounds. Close to the concert hall is the 1-star Michelin restaurant Stadtpfeiffer.

I stop for a couple of minutes at the Ceramic Gallery Terra Rosa that has on sale or exhibits only a lot of interesting works of local or Berlin artists, including an ingenious leaning tower.


Leipzig was not only a very important trade and fair center in Central Europe, but also a city of music. J.S.Bach, Edvard Grieg and Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, among others, spent their time in the city to work, live or create. I visit the latter’s museum, hosted in the house where he spent the last years of his life. It is an old classical house, with rooms recreating the original ambiance, with water colours painted by the composer, inspired by his travels in France, Germany, France or London. Mendelssohn’s work was very important in developing Leipzig as a center of European music in the 19th century.

From the museum, we walk the nearby streets for a while, looking at the architecture of houses, and take a tram in a predictable direction: Zoo.


The weather is perfect for a couple of hours outdoor activities. The Zoo is not only very diverse, but covers a huge space, organized in geographical areas created to offer as much as possible similarities with a natural environment. The Jugendstil Aquarium is one of the best I’ve seen since my trip to Antwerp, with fish and reptiles from all over the world. The flamingos from Chile are gracious and hard to leave easily before observing for long minutes their movements. I have the same feeling of time constraints when I realize that I cannot stay too long observing the Rhesus monkey or the scarlet ibis.


Almost area big of the Zoo has a specific restaurant, but we only stop at the Oriental restaurant from the Gondwanaland (the name of a disappeared continent). The veggies are good, even though a bit expensive for the quality, but we are in a tropical forest on a terrace that reminds the Asian traditional retreats so better stop complaining. Later on, we discover the African restaurant, more welcoming and tempting foodie-wise but it’s too late for another lunch.


The tropical forest is very demanding if you walk especially because of the heat that take some more energy. It has many points from where you can have a look around, especially from the high of the narrow bridges. The area can be also explored by boat. We go further to the Australian area, but there are no Kangaroos, ostriches or gazelles available to welcome us and I am highly disappointed. Lucky me that the Amur tiger and the elephants are there to be seen. Maybe I should take more serious the idea of going on a safari in the next months and I can see animals in a free environment too, not only in the classical enclosures.

The Zoo trip, as usual, was the biggest part of the program and with the dark coming up around 15.30, it is about time to return home. We take a last walk on the main central streets, trying to figure out what we must see the next time. It will not take too long till we will be back to Leipzig.

For more travel tips, check my Pinterest board:


Expat life: 5 activities if you don’t celebrate the winter holidays

The expat life has ups and downs, satisfactions and frustrations, moments when you feel happy in the company of complete strangers or completely lost and deeply missing your familiar environment. Far away from home and your dear ones, you may feel alone and sad and missing your old life.

The holiday season, regardless of the holidays celebrated, can create a lot of problems if you have different traditions.But this is not the right attitude.

Especially for this time of the year, I found up a couple of activities that might help you to go smoothly through the next days.Image

1. You should keep your optimism high and think that most probably, you are not alone! Find out other like minded people and get together. Cook something, make a little party or share a good wine. Time will move faster and you will have around you people like you! Fair enough to fight loneliness of the life abroad, isn’t it?

2. Take the advantage of some time only for yourself and read! A couple of days in advance, go to a library and pick up some books that will keep you a good company for the next days. If you rather like your Kindle, you can buy any time what you are interested in reading. Now it’s the best time of the year to enjoy reading a full book the day. Or even more, if you are a fast reader. Not too many temptations online as many are away celebrating, most shops are closed – at least in Germany – so no temptation to go shopping and everything is quite enough to inspire you to enjoy every page of the story. Mysteries and long novels, especially historical ones, are strongly recommended.

3. If you are rather the visual type, you have now the chance to watch movies for hours at home or at the movie theatre. Alone or with the friends or family, you can get updated with the latest movie releases of the last months.


4. Time for a one or two-day trip or for a long walk in some hidden places in the city or to the countryside. This is what I am planning to do at least this Wednesday. I will prefer some secluded places in the city, that I am not tempted to visit usually because too much work to do in the busy areas.

5. Last but not least: rest! No one will call you to work, everyone is busy to wrap or open presents and you can enjoy a full day or two of rest, sleeping for good hours as much as you want. When you wake up, you will have enough energy to set up your plans for the next 12 months.

Wherever you are, don’t feel alone! Plan your time in advance and try to get the best of your time! Enjoy your free days and don’t forget to smile, even if no one around!

Another afternoon in Potsdam


As usual, when I want to feel I am on vacation, without going too far away from Berlin, Potsdam is the first, second and third choice. Still not sure where we will spend the next 2 weeks, I need a break from worries and my little escape is only 45 minutes away from home. This time, I want to see a part of the city that I never visited: Babelsberg. As the famous film studios are closed till the beginning of the next year, we simply walk the streets, taking the advantage of another pleasant day in December. We walk for a couple of minutes on Grossbeerenstrasse, a mixture of old social houses, shops, guest houses and small restaurants. Image

Potsdam has still many historical secrets for me. This red brick building used to be an important administrative building in an area built by refugees from Bohemia, who run away from religious persecutions in the second half of the 18th century. The administrative section managed from this building, a classical German town hall, took care of around 1,100 inhabitants, out of them 228 were from the Czech lands. The Alt Nowawes (the old village, in Czech) street in Potsdam keeps the memory of the Czech colonists.Image

As yesterday was one of those lucky Sundays when shops were open, I took a look at this small boutique situated on Rudolf Breitscheid street, close to the tram station. They have a lot of cute feminine and elegant clothes, and some small beautiful soaps too. The ambiance of the French music called me to stay, but we needed to walk away. Not before noticing a small plate with food for dogs just near the entrance, an incentive for real fashionistas to bring their little pets while shopping intensively.Image

The tram brought us to the center, passing by the ‘entertainment quarter’ – Schiffbauergasse – where cultural events are usually taking place with its spectacular theatres halls and alternative exhibition places. I promise myself that the next time I will stop there. This time though, I am returning to the Dutch quarter. The 134 picturesque houses appeared in Potsdam between 1734-1742 and were built by the Dutch architect Johann Boumann. The houses are hosting now a lot of small fashion shops, antiques, and many restaurants.Image

We have some serious Dutch fans in the group and thus we went to have a glass of water, cup of coffee or some late desserts at a typical Dutch local, Poffertjes en Pannekoeken. They have Dutch clogs hanging on the ceiling and pictures from the Netherlands on the walls and a lot of good crepes. As I am a disaster when it comes to making the right foodie choice, I went for an Apple strudel, which was nicely adorned but probably more than 24 hours old. I was offered as a compensation a little piece of crepe that convinced me that they have good things too here. Image

After a rich dessert, I needed movement and it was unanimously agreed that a little trip to Sans Souci is a good solution. We needed first to go through the massive groups of people enjoying their mulled wine and other seasonal street attractions. The glorious castle and its former exuberant alleys look a bit sad and grey this time of the year. Without the green trees, even the gold of the monuments lost its glittering. Plus, many of the statues are hidden in big white boxes as they go through the yearly process of maintenance.

It is getting dark and we say ‘good bye’ to the castle and go to the train station. I will be back on spring or maybe, if the snow will come one day and will be within decent limits, I would be curious to see the castle covered by white. It suits better than this ambiguous dry winter clothes.

See you soon, Potsdam!

Mining life and art surprises in Goslar


After a relatively short stay in Vienenburg, we continue our route to Goslar. The tickets are almost as cheap as a one way ticket in Berlin and we arrive there in around 10 minutes. We go fast through a more yellowish and grey than green yet sunny landscape that makes me feel good about the autumn. Since we’ve been there, at the beginning of November, the real winter had landed already in Harz.

Goslar used to be a mining town for centuries, but nowadays the extraction had stopped. As mining can bring revenues, at least for some, the city has also some big old buildings and a historical hotel, Hotel der Achtermann, offering sauna and other pleasures to the visitors, at very fair prices. As for me, I am surprised to discover near the central station a museum of modern art, hosted in a traditional half-timbered house. The museum offers since 1975 a price for outstanding artistic achievements, some of the recipients being Joseph Beuys, Calder, Henri Moore, Baselitz and Christo – that covered one of the mountains near the mine. The artists donated some works to the museum and this is how I have another chance to admire great art in the most unexpected places.


As it is a sunny weather, even though a bit cold compared to Berlin, I want to enjoy as much as possible being outdoors and for the next hours I am walking the small cobblestone streets, bordered by small one storey houses, decorated creatively with painted wood decorations. Out of the entire Harz area I visited in the last weeks, it has the most colourful architecture and I can hardly make a step without taking another picture.


There are many tourists around, but also locals enjoying the last beams of light of the year. Many coffee houses and restaurants are open on Petersilienstrasse (Parsleystreet) and Schilderstrasse. Many of the buildings were recently reconstructed and repainted, vut still keeping with their old age. Some of them were built as far as in the Middle Ages. Almost all the shops and institutions – including the local mosque – are hosted in such buildings which gives a certain charm to the modern life.


It is not yet time for a coffee break. We go up close to the mountains for another 20 minutes till we reach the yards of the Rammelsberg mines. The mountains around used to hide a lot of precious materials, such as gold, copper and silver. A piece of jewellery discovered in Hannover more than 3,000 years ago was made of gold from here, which gives a certain perspective of the old age of the local traditions. At the end of the 1980s, there were no more resources and the exploitation ceased. Nowadays the mines are part of the UNESCO heritage, and the mono-industrial area developed in the domain of services or with other new industries.


We are lucky to arrive in time for a guided tour in the underground. With a yellow protection cap and a Glückauf – the mining greeting before going to work, wishing each other to be lucky enough to return alive and safe after a couple of hours – we are ready for a new experience. I visited mines before, especially former golden mines, but none so well preserved. We descend 25 meters underground, on wooden stairs exactly as the miners did for centuries. It is not only cold, but also quite wet so we need to watch our steps.


The camera is catching beautiful colours on the walls, that we are explained that are the traces of vitryol a poisonous substance. In an interval of 100 years, almost 1,000 people working here died in accidents, but many more because of the substances inhaled during work. The water pollution used to be high, with consequences on the health of all the inhabitants of the area, but nowadays the dangerous substances were cleaned.

While listening to the stories of the daily life in the mine and the hardship of the work, I think that after all, it is good that the exploitation ended. The tour was very entertaining, explaining how everything works and how the exploitation tools developed in time. The guided tours are also available in English, French, Spanish, Danish, Chinese, Russian, Swedish or Polish.


After more than one hour in the underground, we must enjoy more sun and fresh air. I can hardly imagine though how it is to work from very early in the morning till late in the evening, without seeing natural light for days, maybe weeks. We need also a coffee to make the rest of the afternoon and we stop at Manuel coffee, in the center, where we resist the temptation of some beautiful cakes.

Unfortunately, it is about time to go to catch our train. Harz has many secrets that we promise to discover again soon.

For more insights from Goslar, have a look at the dedicated Pinterest board:

Your little help for the Irish language

Sponsored post

There are 7,000 languages in the world, but according to the experts, half of them will most likely to disappear in the next 100 years. When a language dies, a world dies with it, but when you start learning a new one, you help to continue a tradition and open the doors to the hope of survival.

Irish language, one of the oldest written languages in the world, is considered by UNESCO as ‘definitely endangered’. Hence, the need to develop programs and apps that might reach a wider audience and has the advantage of accessibility. One of those programs is offered by who is trying to crowdfund their project through Indiegogo. Their inspiring video of the campaign can be viewed here.

The course consists in over 365 lessons for Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced levels. The learning will be done with the help of sound clips by native speakers, games and quizzes. The questions of the users can be addressed in a forum managed by native speakers. The standard pronunciation will be taught in parallel with insights about the three main dialects: Ulster, Connemara and Munster. Information about the Irish history and culture is also provided in a dedicated section.

An important advantage of the is the easy access via various mobile apps. It can be used by adults and as a family game, as it has a lot of features that may be appealing to children too. If you travel a lot while interested to keep up with your language learning, don’t worry, you can check permanently your progress and get ready for a trip to Ireland to meet and speak with the locals. The classes will help you to advance from the basic polite exchanges to getting ready to a job interview. 

The minimum subscription to the campaign is $8. All subscribers will be offered access to the language program when ready!

Hurry up, there are only 9 days left to contribute!


On the road with the HEX



If you plan to travel intensively in Germany, get ready with a generous budget. The country is huge and especially due to the Cold War limitations as well as to the geographical structure of the country as such, the railway network is complicated and a long trip by train involves a lot of stops. In addition, unless you plan your trip at least two weeks in advance, the costs of a spontaneous train adventures can be quite high. There are buses too, but get ready to spend a lot of time in your comfy chairs and especially if you are out of time, there may be not a convenient choice, despite the attractive prices.

In parallel with the official Deutsche Bahn network, regional trains, some of them operated by private companies, were created locally, with better prices and less delays. One of them, HEX, I used intensively during my latest trips to Harz mountains and I promise to use it again as often as possible. 

The tickets can be bought in train, from the machines or directly from the personnel. Some combinations with Deutsche Bahn tickets can be possible – this is how I discovered them, after all, searching for a connection from Berlin to Quedlinburg, but only from Magdeburg on. The prices are very convenient especially the week-end offers that can go to 25 Euro pro person, two ways to any destination in Harz. Discounts are offered for the big groups of passengers and for children. 

This region is lovely both in summer, autumn and winter – there is already snow there – so this train can be helpful for a variety of tourists and interests.

The train has only a couple of wagons that are going to different directions from certain points on. Everything – including the toilets – is clean and well kept, with smiling personnel that might offer you a piece of chocolate too, especially if a chocolate festival is organized in one of the cities part of the route. As the place is relatively small, there is not too much left for bikes, especially if you plan to go in a big group. Another inconvenient could be the lack of big tables for family meals in some trains. However, there may be free newspapers available that can help you survive an otherwise pleasant trip.

I’ve been with them already twice and planning to go soon in two more destinations. 



Interview with Danielle Hugh about being a hostie and her books

When you travel a lot, especially as a kid, you may dream about the wonderful job of being a hostie. After all, you may be one of them as well, with all the time spent in airplanes? The real life of a hostie is completely different, but I did not have any idea before reading Danielle Hugh’s first and second Confessions. Let’s start with the bad side of the stories: a lot of jetlag, difficulties in building up families, no family time for the holidays, difficult times when dealing with even more difficult passengers. The good news is that you have an office with the view to the sky, you can make the tour of the world at least three time in your life and some fancy shopping in Singapore or Hong Kong, and New York of Frankfurt are a more welcomed reward. Plus, think about the chance of meeting celebrities, and handsome men and interesting people. Danielle’s books are easy to read, preferably when on the plane, with an authentic touch that make the writing valuable and interesting. Every chapter is starting with a wise saying and has some lesson to think about it, even though it is told in a very simple way.

Image Image


As I am a curious nature, I wanted to know more about Danielle’s secrets and in-between flights, she was kind enough to answer my questions.

If not a hostie, what job you would have liked to have?

As a young adult I actually went down the university/study/professional career path, but I love being a hostie – there are no regrets.

What are you recommendations for a young girl dreaming to be a hostie?

If they can talk face-to-face with someone in the industry (like me) it is a massive help. Most airlines have websites outlining the criteria for applicants. Often getting the job is the hardest thing. It is about being in the right place at the right time, so it pays to be persistent. More than anything else; they must really want the job first. They must be passionate, not just about the lifestyle, but the job also. There are a lot of highs, but also lows. One of my favorite sayings about the job and lifestyle is: there are a hundred negatives, but a thousand positives. Not everyone can handle the negatives. It is not for everyone, but if it is… apply, apply, apply.

 ‘Sometimes being close to world events is exhilarating; sometimes it is heart wrenching’

In your career, do you have a big event that you will always remember?

There are so many memorable things I have seen and done as a direct result of the job and the opportunity to travel. Being in New York days after 9/11 was humbling. Flying into Paris on the day Princess Diana died was sobering. Landing in Dallas hours after tornadoes had ripped through the area was eerie. I was recently in the Philippines just after the deadly typhoon hit. Only days ago, I was in South Africa when Nelson Mandela passed away. Sometimes being close to world events is exhilarating; sometimes it is heart wrenching.

What is the dark side of being a hostie?

Wow Ilana, that is a deep question to answer. The books I write recount a combination of funny incidents as well as some of the difficulties we, hosties, face. It is a job of varying moods. Not everyone can handle those variations. It can be lonely at times, and the jetlag… don’t get me started on the jetlag…

How often do you travel for fun? Where? When you travel on your own, do you like to do it by plane?

I love to travel. I get cheap airfares as a result of my job, so plane travel is fast and cheap. For the average person, airfares are generally pretty cheap anyway. Much of flying on a plane is about attitude, not altitude. Of course it helps to be sitting in a comfortable seat and drinking French champagne, but I actually don’t mind being a passenger. To sit in relative peace and be able to read a book, or watch a movie, and be waited on with food and drink… it beats the alternatives.

I have done a few cruises – and loved them. You need time to cruise the world, which I don’t always have, but for sheer decadence while traveling, it is hard to beat.

Danielle loves Krakow

Can you recommend a travel destination that you are always in love with?

As an international hostie, I fly all over the world, but our destinations are major cities, hubs. What I like at work is different to traveling on my own agenda. Of the big cities I, like most, love New York, Paris, London, Sydney, Rome, San Fran, Rio, Budapest, Cape Town, Prague, Amsterdam, etc. – there are so many fabulous cities.  Of the lesser known, smaller cities and regions, I love Krakow (Poland), Interlaken (Switzerland), Bruges (Belgium), San Sebastian, (Spain), all of Tasmania (Australia), the Bay of Islands (New Zealand),  Santa Cruz to Monterrey incl. Half Moon Bay (South of San Fran, USA), the French Riviera, the Amalfi coast (Italy), Tuscany (Italy – in fact anywhere in the world where they grow wine!), the coastlines of Scotland and Ireland, the Greek Islands, Petra (Jordan); there are just so many places. It’s a big world out there and so much fun to explore. I want to jump on a plane and go somewhere right now!! 

I received free copies of Danielle Hugh’s books but the opinions shared in this article are, as always, my own. 

Sunday reading: Elizabeth Gilbert and The Signature of All Things



It is another cold and dark Sunday morning in Berlin, but I am early enough on the street, exploring Kneseneckstrasse and the streets around the Art Nouveau Renaissance Theatre. As usual, only a bookish talk can bring me both that early outside and to this Theatre: today, is about Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book: The Signature of All Things. The discussion – following the simple and a little bit boring format of readings here: a little bit of English, a little bit more of German, 2-3 questions of the moderator, ‘nice to meet you, good bye’ – takes places in a small salon with mirrors preserving the trace of old times. ‘It looks so European’, Gilbert says, and probably she is right. The place is crowded, with a mixed German-English audience, sipping their early wine or late coffee, with copies of Gilbert’s book placed strategically on the small little tables.

After two memoirs – the famous Eat Pray Love and Committed – she wrote a new novel, structured around the life and scientific courage of Alma Whittacker. The character was built using pieces of personality from women of science in the 18th-19th century. Such a strong figure, many steps ahead her time – with a relatively stable fortune – was ‘historically, scientifically and emotionally plausible’, she said. The choice of Alma’s scientific domain, was based on the historical reality that botany was the first science where the women were accepted, as the world of plants and flowers in general was close enough to their daily lives and not too serious to be considered a domain of confrontation with men. Alma will not go to universities or apply for a PhD, but published in academic articles and through the study of the humble moss, even saw ideas later developed by Darwin in the Evolution of Species. Moss was, said Gilbert, the equivalent of tapestry, a little punctilious domain where to find shelter from the daily chores ‘without getting crazy’.

Darwin’s theories, who still create a lot of debate, especially in the States, even though ulterior researches considerably extended and diversified the landscape of natural life, created a dramatic earthquake, asking men of religion to separate from science. The fine lines of the division are presented in the story, but in a very gentle and non-combative way. However, the title ‘The Signature of All Things’ was in the 17th century the name of a book of a German mystic, Jakob Böhme, who was looking to read the world of nature through different divine imprints. The scientists from a century later, were trying to read the history of the Earth through the evolution and transformations of plants. 




Although the events of the book are placed almost 3 centuries ago, Gilbert did not tried to pretend she is an author from that times, telling instead the story with the humour and self-irony of our 21st. The research as such lasted around 3 years and one can easily see that the book is not only rich in exquisite old images of plants, but also in flawless historical and scientific references. 

As I finished the book only a couple of days after the reading, I enjoyed a lot the discussion about the writing process and the research, as well as about the explanations of some characters and literary choices. But more than that, Gilbert’s presence was by far one of the warmest and pleasant literary encounters of the last years. Every reader waiting for the signature was welcomed with a smile and a nice remark. I may call it a certain American direct way of being which is hard to feel, if every, during the majority of sober, serious European literary events. 

I asked her if she had the chance to see more from Berlin, and she said that not too much, but noticed the multicultural character of the city. After more than two month of travel for promoting the book, she continued the tour with Tübingen, an old university town in Germany, and my old beloved Zürich. 

I went back in the usual cold, and spent almost two hours reading the book, with a hot coffee and some little tasty treats from Philomenis, a cosy Mediterranean Sunday refuge on the neighbouring Knesebeckstrasse. As for the book, it is I strongly recommended! The audio version in German has 20 CDs, read by the interesting actress and children book author, Alexandra Helmig.