An Adventure A Day

Because "life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all" – Helen Keller

Let me take you back in time to a cold midwinter’s eve early in 2011. It is early in our second calendar year living in a small German town in Southern Baden-Württemberg, and we are in the midst of our first pre-Lenten celebration in Germany. It is the last night of Fasching and the witches are jumping over a bonfire. …

Continue reading

Friday Photo: Vibrant

February 5, 2016

Most people consider the long winter months after Christmas to be dull, grey and dreary. While I have always loved the cold winter months, it was living in Germany that made this my favorite time of year.

Even though the days are short and often grey it is the most vibrant time of year in Germany. From unexpected schnapps drinking visitors, to colorful decorations throughout the streets, to parties, costumes and revelries, the deepest winter days mean one thing – its Fasching Season. Fasching, known as the fifth season, officially begins on November 11 but the biggest events are on the days leading up to Ash Wednesday. This pre-Lenten celebration is unequaled in vibrant displays of costumes, colors and music. It will always be one of the things I miss most from years in Germany.

In my former German hometown of Pfullendorf, the festivities have already begun. On Schmotziger Donnerstag, the day begins at 5:00 am – with whips cracking outside your window. Today, everyone wears a costume. You will run into clowns, cowboys, fairies and pirates everywhere you go. Early in the morning members of the various Fasching Clubs will free the children from the schools and kindergartens, take over the town hall and raise the Narrenbaum in the town square. The festivities have begun.

Over the course of the weekend, there will be balls and parties and on Rosenmontag (the Monday before Ash Wednesday) is the giant parade – a highlight of the festivities, where the schnapps flows freely and spectators and participants alike are fully costumed. Tuesday you’ll find the Preisschnellen in the Marktplatz – a whip cracking competition in the main square, and that evening you’ll find the hemdglonkerumzug mit hexenverbrennen – the nightgown parade with a witch burning.

The burning of the witch signifies the end of the celebrations, the next day is Ash Wednesday, the start of the Lenten period. But the vibrant memories of the Fasching celebrations are enough to last you through the remainder of the dark winter days.

Here are a few pictures from Fasnet in Pfullendorf.

The first thing you notice are the Vibrant decorations throughout the town. Brightening the darkest of winter days.


Head over to WordPress to find more examples of Vibrant

Believe it or not, Oktoberfest kicks off in Munich this weekend. Yes, it actually kicks off in mid- September. What began as a celebration of the marriage of King Ludwig I to Princess Therese in October 1810, has grown to a beloved cultural festival. From mid-September to the first weekend of October, a festival is held at …

Continue reading

One thing you quickly learn about living in Germany, is that there is no shortage of fests. People here celebrate everything. Of course you have Oktoberfest and the Christmas markets, but you also have fests for vegetables, fests for fountains, fests for saints, fests for wursts, fests for seasons, and fests for strong beer just …

Continue reading

Friday Photos: Express Yourself

January 30, 2015

The WordPress Photo Challenge for this week is Express Yourself. You’ll find many examples of Expression there.

For my interpretation on this theme, I thought this would be the perfect time to start digging through some of my pictures from the fifth season. Not familiar with the fifth season?  I was only introduced to this season recently myself. I was of course acquainted with Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter, but the Fifth Season?  When my German friends first introduced me to the concept of an additional season known only in Germany, I thought they were pulling my leg. They weren’t. They were talking about Fasching, also known as Fastnacht, Fasnet, or Karneval, depending on where you are celebrating it. People frequently ask me when is the best time to visit Germany, and while I love all of the seasons in Germany, I always recommend Fasching. This is one of the most uniquely German experiences I have had. It is in turns, varied, traditional, modern, and fun. The celebrations change from town to town and differ between regions. I am told that the parades in the North are political in nature, descended from a long satirical tradition. The parades in Southern Germany are all about the masks, the music, the noise, and the witches. Lots and lots of witches. I’ll be writing more about my favorite Fasching memories, but here are some pictures to introduce you to the Fifth Season.


If you read many articles dealing with TCK’s – Third Culture Kids, you’ve probably come across the name Tayo Rockson. Tayo  calls himself a TCK on a mission, and what a mission it is! I want to bring East and West together and have them sit side by side with North and South to trade stories of adventures …

Continue reading