Farmstay Near to Fiumicino, the Airport of Rome

My sweetheart last time landed in Rome and I went to pick him up. But the thing was that he landed in the evening time, so I thought it would be a good idea not to stress him too much and sleep near to the airport. The next day we would have a few hours ahead to drive to southern Tuscany where we were booked in an apartment in a little village. So I chose an airbnb just 20 minutes outside of Fiumicino: Al Vecchio Fontanile at Cerveteri.

I already checked-in a few hours earlier. It is a nice house with a huge garden/yard around. A little hidden as I couldn’t find it (no, I don’t have GPS, I still use old-fashioned street maps). I called the owner, and she was so nice to come and pick me up where I was waiting – actually a 2 minutes drive from the house and I nearly passed it before.

First thing: I was ‘greeted’ by the house dog… sorry: mini house hog. ‘Oink oink’ running against us, sooo sweet. There would be also a big dog and another very small one plus a nice cat, but I have known them only the day after.

The room has a separated entrance where actually are two rooms en suite. Ours was wonderfully painted in red, nearly Pompeian red, and nicely decorated. The bathroom was small but sufficient. The shower was the best! I got the key for the room and the entrance door(s) as well for the electric gate.

The owner Sabrina explained how to go to the airport and that it will take about 20 minutes, depends on the traffic. The Via Aurelia just passes near to the airbnb. So a couple of hours I drove to the airport which took me at 7 pm around 40 minutes due to the traffic, but was very easy to find.

Personal experience:

The owners were very friendly and helpful. We had good talks about what to do around the place, how to go to and to come out to pick me up was really very nice!

The morning after we had breakfast in the little conservatory. It was super rich with all kinds of breakfast food. As I don’t eat flour, dairy and sugar they prepared for me an extra portion of prosciutto, tomatoes and more. We could squeeze our own fresh orange juice, my sweetie had tea and I had wonderful wake-up espresso. It was so nice to sit in the cozy room, looking out in the garden, we didn’t want to go at all.

We left two hours later to drive to south Tuscany.

I recommend:

The place is a beautiful home outside the super busy area of Fiumicino, though just a few minutes drive from the airport, Rome and Ostia Antica. If you arrive in Rome and like a more calm place outside the Italian chaos: this is the right place!

You can find easily your way to the GRA which is the surrounding highway around Rome and where from you enter the city.

I warmly recommend Ostia Antica and the excavations of the old town. We have been there last year and enjoyed it a lot. I must-see for all history-lovers

You love beaches? OK, all the coast is a beach, you practically can find access everywhere. But very often they are more Lidos than free beaches.

Al Vecchio Fontanile, Cerveteri, Lazio/Italy:

For further information:
Al Vecchio Fontanile (on Airbnb)
Via de Ceri, 31

00052 Cerveteri/RM

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Fascinating Straw figures at the Probsteier Grain Days

As I am ‘stuck’ in Northern Germany for a while, I try to get the most out of it. And when my friend told me a few days ago about the Probsteier Grain Days, I went on Google to see what that it is about: sculptures made of straw.

We decided to go and have a look last Sunday, a very sunny and warm one, and ideal for art-watching.

So, what is it about exactly? Straw figures! Little villages in the area around Kiel create gigantic figures with straw. I was more than curious what that could be!

The area is called Probstei. It is a collective municipality in Schleswig-Holstein in the district of Plön and near to Kiel. It’s nearly a peninsula surrounded by the Baltic Sea, the Kieler Förde and with several lakes. Just driving around from village to village is so beautiful. The little villages, often only with just a handful of old houses, are incredibly inspiring. They nearly have all a village pond with ducks and swans living there, and all the houses have a wonderful cottage garden. In one village we talked to a woman who has 61(!) hydrangeas. The most colorful and amazing hydrangeas ever!

The Probsteier Grain Days – or in German: Probsteier Korntage – are held for the 20th time. 19 communities are in competition with their figures. We saw only 7 or 8 (we are not sure if the straw-ostriches were part of it because they were standing right at the entrance to an ostrich farm).

Some were really elaborate. The ‘Gorch Fock’ ship had little sailors on the sinking ship and the submarine was nearly as big as a real one and people could enter and even go up to look outside from the top.

I liked very much the Viking-ship and the Viking itself. The location was also so perfect: right in front of the village pond.

It was a great idea to go and see this art-work. I am curious which one will win the competition on the 25th August.

In addition to the many straw figures there are also other activities like learning how to grind grain into flour in the Krokauer mill, straw bale singing (whatever that may be) or going on a horse-carriage through the grain fields full of cornflowers and many other wild flowers. Everywhere there are farms or country estates open for ‘Kaffee und Kuchen’ (coffee and cake) and there you can buy typical products of the region, too.

Germany has beautiful places and interesting history, but the region I like most is definitely Schleswig-Holstein, the ‘flat land’ with its diversity. And especially in summer with a lot of really interesting activities around art of all kinds.

Probsteierhagen, Schleswig-Holstein/Germany:

For further information:
Maybe a little bit more about the Probsteier Korntage (in German)
27th July to 25th August 2019

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Sailing with the “Mare Frisium”

It’s the second attempt this year to go with a schooner. Sailing boats are so impressive, wonderful and one of the most attractive transportation – to me. I am no sailor, I have been a few times on sailing boats but I don’t have many occasions to live those moments.

A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine asked me to go with her on the “Mare Frisium” which would be in Travemünde for the famous international sailing competition week “Travemünder Woche”. I agreed immediately and she bought the tickets.

The weather currently is super summer weather, sunny and warm temperatures, perfect for all events. Especially for an evening on a 3-masted topsail schooner.

There were waiting already a lot of people when we arrived to check-in. 90 people can go, but the boat doesn’t look that big. The ship is nearly 50 meters long and a little more than 6.5 meters large, has space inside and outside and the people very soon found a place to sit. It didn’t feel to be overcrowded at all.

A little bit about the history of the schooner: She was built in 1916 in Weert (NL) as a ketch rigged lugger – a traditional fishing boat with lug sails on two masts and a lug topsail, mainly used at the British islands and in France. At that time her name was “Petronella”.

After WW II she was sold to Germany and renamed to the more German name “Helmuth”. She was transformed into a trading motor coaster without masts. In addition, it was modified in the length and her hull became the current length.

In 1960, she changed again nationality and name: Sweden and “Sunbeam”.

33 years later some Dutch brothers brought the lady back and during the following two years she was stripped down naked and redressed completely new to become the beauty of today: a 3-masted topsail schooner with the name “Mare Frisium”. I guess the name refers to the Frisian Sea as the coast of the North Sea from the Netherlands up to Denmark is Frisian land. She has 634 m² of sail area. The main mast is incredible 31 meters high and in case of no wind there is a motor with 359 hp. There is also a possibility to stay overnight, the “Mare Frisium” has 15 cabins en suite.

Her port of registry is Harlingen (NL) but it’s the Nord Event agency that has the young lady laying in Hamburg. Nord Event organizes all sorts of events on the ship – like our evening tour.

We had a wonderful evening in the sun out of Travemünde. We were also lucky enough that there was wind to put up the sails. Still, the sea was calm and no problem for my friend who normally is not really happy on ships (and especially when thy move).

Following you can see some of the many photos I shot from the ship, towards the land, on the water but also and mainly on the ship. I enjoyed our stay very much and would recommend a tour on a schooner if you have any possibility. 

I was also very glad about the really good service on board. In the price there was a welcome drink (water, juice or sparkling wine) and later there was the possibility to have snacks and drinks (Schnaps, Bailey’s(!), wine and much more). In addition, for a little money there was the possibility to go out on a speed-boat. Passengers could also help in putting up/down or maneuvering the sails and the guys and girls were always there when someone had a question or a wish. It was a wonderful experience on the “Mare Frisium”!

Travemünde, Schleswig-Holstein/Germany:

For further information:
More about Travemünde
If you want to have alook at the programm of Nord Event
And they have a page on Facebook
Here is a photo of the previous ‘look’ as “Helmut”

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Corn Flowers in Swaying Cornfields

I already had an exhausting time with poppy photography. But the second cornfield flower is the actual corn flowers. Their blue is so bright and brilliant. Especially because blue is not a very common color in nature. In the golden cornfields they look even brighter and together with the red poppies and the white daisies they are the most beautiful flower combination I know… or for me at least. A bunch of cornfield flowers are the symbol for summer and prosperity.

Enjoy with me some beautiful blue blue corn flowers!

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A Very British Castle Bothmer

Schloss Bothmer is a wonderful Baroque Manor House in northern Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. I once wrote an article about Hans Caspar von Bothmer and the English Queen. The most interesting fact in my opinion is, that it was built for him, but he actually was never there. The history of the manor is quite interesting, too. I ‘discovered’ the castle when it was still in recovery from the former DDR-times and visited it several times since the re-opening in 2015.

I went again this early summer when I happened to be in the area. It was right at the weekend when the British Fair was held in the wide gardens of the castle.

There is a British society in Hamburg and the members hold a British fair every year. Most of the times it was in Hamburg itself. This year it was at Schloss Bothmer, just a hundred kilometers far from Hamburg.

The fair brings the very British flair to the place. Stands with scones and jam, fish&chips or malt whisky, the so British women hats or wonderful English garden decorations give the taste of British lifestyle. Several classic cars were displayed and gave us the Downton Abbey- feeling. We saw finally what men wear under their Scottish kilts while they were throwing hammers in a competition and listened to a concert with pipes and drums.

We were very lucky as we had NO British-like weather at all but sunshine and warm temperatures. It was a lovely afternoon at the castle. We walked the gardens, had a quick little snack and I bought a hat which is wearable also in other places than Ascot. We enjoyed the British feeling very much but went elsewhere to have a coffee at a more relaxing place.

Castle Bothmer, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern/Germany:

For further information:
Schloss Bothmer (in German)
About the British Fair

Posted in Europe, Germany, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, ON TRAVEL | Tagged | 4 Comments