Cologne, Germany

We made a road trip from Budapest, Hungary to Cologne, Germany

Cathedral, Cologne, Germany

My husband said that Germany is a very big country, I was expecting a higher level of efficiency on the super highways at some point. The roads to Germany was in fact wet as it was raining along the entire way. Crossing Austria, we made our way to Cologne. We were planning to first head to Helmond in the Netherlands and finally Amsterdam.

Nurmberg, Germany to Budapest, Sights on the Road

About the traffic jams which are kilometres and hours of wait, I couldn’t help but to mention this and to prepare any of you who are planning to use their super highways.

Germany to Budapest, Sights on the Road

Their motor ways has literally ‘NO speed limit‘ when the leftmost lane allows vehicles to ‘fly’ at 180 km/h or more!! Not exaggerating at all. Some cars are even speeding at 200 km/h, ask me how does it feel? Well, it was pretty exciting!

Germany to Budapest, Sights on the Road

Quite a surprise was the quality of the roads. An Australian exchange student, Lana was sharing with us about her road trip stories. Surprisingly, not Germany is having the best roads. The only good about driving across Germany is the maturity of the drivers who gradually slows down altogether seeing the need to observe the speed limitation. That makes you feel good in a way.

Germany to Budapest, Sights on the Road

It is also pretty interesting to observe the things other drivers transport with them across the highways. You name it: from private motor vehicles

Germany to Budapest, Sights on the Road: Bridge

…to private boats

Germany to Budapest, Sights on the Road
…to splashy motor vehicles

Germany to Budapest, Sights on the Road

Germany to Budapest, Sights on the Road

to manufactured automobiles…

Germany to Budapest, Sights on the Road

to agricultural vehicles…
Germany to Budapest, Sights on the Road

Quite funny to see these different things in the day, in a certain way they are good signs of the vibrancy of the economy. At night, there is almost a pitch black with lights of the other approaching vehicles in the opposite direction. In the day, I found the trees rather unique. In Rome, there are trees with shapes of the leaves on its top and a long stem following that. In Germany, their trees looks like this:

Trees along the German Highways

Rather tall, thin and lean. These colours passing you by at the speed of averagely 160km/h. A lot of them are these trees. They also have the christmas fir trees. Those are more beautiful and near the settles.

Germany to Budapest, Sights on the Road

Our ride was supposed to be about 12.5 hours from Amsterdam back to Budapest. However, due to the traffic jams, we arrived only in 20 hours!!! The lesson we learned is to not plan the arrival on a Friday. Somehow the traffic is heavier than normal.

It was good to start in the early hours like 2am. In the early morning, you can see the beautiful sunrise at 5:30am in Austria and have a breakfast while taking a little ‘Stretching’ break.

To drive in Germany, first you need to get a  Low Emission Zone emissions-control windscreen sticker from the TUV or from a TÜV partner establishment.

Environmental Badges Low Emission Zone

The way to arrange for it can be easier by ordering it online. It costs 5 Euros, but if you arrange for it to be delivered to you via postal services, it will be about 12 Euros. It is a regulatory offence if you drive in a low emission zone without the sticker and it shall costs 40 Euros.  If you possess a German driving licence you will additionally incur 1 point, which will be registered at the Federal Office of Motor Transport. So, you choose 🙂

My Eye

This is my eye.

I have been into painting recently. Something that amazed me is how much I enjoy painting eyes. Today, I gave a go for the first time for painting my own eye. This is my right eye. My heritage is Chinese.

My grandmother travelled by a ship to Southeast Asia, from China, ChaoZhou. So you got it right, I am Teochew. I could speak Teochew and Hokkien. I could understand Teochew, Hokkien & Cantonese. My first language is English, my mother tongue is Mandarin Chinese.

This I should say is a second Asian eye painting I have ever done. The first is here.

I find that painting the asian eye is more difficult than the caucasian eyes. Despite asian eyes have less creases, the asian eyes has more smooth surfaces like the eyelids are single, or even double eyelids are flat single stroke of white paint to achieve its shine (or presence of light as a contrast). The ‘play’ of shadow is more to make it look realistic. And since my pupils are dark brown that is closed to black, it is actually easier than the Caucasian eyes. Especially those with hazel eyes, there are more details and definitions within the pupil itself.

What do you think of this ‘eye’? Do you like it?