With nature, the spirits of life and my optimism are awakening. The long and cold winter is coming to an end and my doubts are dissolving. Yes - again and again I have doubted whether all the time, effort and money I put into this new website will pay off. Honestly, I still don't know, but the few sunny days in March have made me feel positive. After all, I'm now doing what I've always wanted to do - travel, be creative, write and take photos. Whether I can eventually earn money with it, remains to be seen. The fact that I didn't write as many blog articles in March as I "should" have was due to shifted priorities because of an exceptional family event. That was set and scheduled - so all good.
Now it's off to the next blog posts and my newsletter with renewed vigor. I feel inspired by Judith Peters' wealth of ideas - and the next trip is not far away either!
1. My Little Sister Turns 60
Last year it was my turn, this year my sister Regina! Her 60th birthday was the reason that I had no time to blog in February to early March, because I put together a photo book about her life so far.
A lot of work goes into a photo book like this: it starts with collecting the photos. It's a good thing that our dad was always busy taking pictures and documenting all the family events! He alone gave me thousands of pictures. My sister's life partner, her best friend and my niece Jana also contributed lots of material. Tens of thousands of photos I sifted and sorted until there were about 800 left.
Anyone who has ever designed such a photo book knows that it is not only work, but also incredibly fun. Because we usually capture the beautiful moments of our lives in photos. So I was able to relive many wonderful experiences with my sister from the last 60 years. That really put me in a good mood 😃. I'm looking forward to the time that still lies ahead of us, sis!🧡
The celebration itself was appropriate for such a milestone birthday! We celebrated in the former barn of the Eselsmühle (literally "donkey mill") in the Siebenmühlental ("seven mills valley") near Stuttgart. After a guided tour of the mill, there was a delicious meal in idyllic surroundings. It was not until 1:30 a.m. that the remaining "hard core" of the birthday party made its way home.
2. My Newsletter Is Finally Up
Topic of the month in Judith Peters' annual blogger program The Content Society was "Newsbetter"- setting up a newsletter for your own website or blog. The goal was to set up the newsletter within a week and also send out the first one. I didn't manage the latter, because I have to create all messages for my subscribers in German as well as in English. It was a bit tricky, but now I am very happy that everything seems to work as it should. My first newsletter will definitely go out in April.
If you don't want to miss any of my tips for road trips and great destinations in Germany, join my newsletter!
In my newsletter, I mainly talk about topics that go beyond the content of my blog.
- You'll hear about my latest travels in Germany in a timely manner and I'll provide some initial tips (blog articles are often written long after the trip).
- I also tell you about my travels outside Germany. Here on the blog I focus on traveling in Germany. If you're interested in where else I travel, you can find out in my newsletter 😃
- In the newsletter, I will also give you suggestions for day trips around Stuttgart (my home). I often decide spontaneously and depending on the weather for a day trip in the beautiful area where I live and will tell you about it.
- Information about current events, festivals and exhibitions in Germany, which I have visited or find worth visiting.
- Other topics around Germany that move me.
3. Spring: Nature and My Wanderlust Awake
Although March was quite cold and rainy, there were also a few beautiful days. On a sunny spring day, my sister and I took a trip to Wilhelma - Stuttgart's zoological-botanical garden. Around the water lily pond, 70 magnolia trees are in bloom there at this time of year, bathing the Moorish Garden in a pink and white sea of blossoms. It is a true splendor and the largest collection of magnolias north of the Alps. Some of the gnarled trees date back to the times of King Wilhelm I, who had them planted here in 1850.
In the past, I often planned larger trips a year in advance. The Corona pandemic has changed this, and I have become much more spontaneous. It wasn't until March that I decided where my next long-distance trip would be: I'll be taking a Nile cruise in October and spending 3 days in Cairo before that. I think, with 61 years, I am now old enough for a river cruise 😆. Apparently I'm not the only one - it wasn't so easy to find a tour operator with availability in October. I bet all the baby boomers who are already in early retirement are starting to work off their bucket list just like me now.
I also have a big road trip in Germany planned for May/June and am really looking forward to it. Since I have never been to Lübeck and neither has my northern German friend Jutta, we decided to spend 8 days together at Timmendorfer Strand. You can guess that this will not be a beach vacation, but we will explore the whole area from there.
It wouldn't be a road trip if I only went to one place. A quick glance at the map told me that the UNESCO World Heritage city of Quedlinburg would make an ideal stopover on the long way from my home town of Sindelfingen near Stuttgart to the Baltic coast. I had already been to Quedlinburg 20 years ago, when the renovation of the historic old town was still in full swing. I am very pleased to see how everything has changed since then. From Quedlinburg, I would like to explore the Harz Mountains and many interesting places in the area such as Wernigerode, Blankenburg and Goslar.
Since I pass Weimar on the way to Quedlinburg and I totally fell in love with this city two years ago, I also plan another four-day stop there.
Apart from these two extensive trips, I have two short trips planned: At the beginning of May, I'm going to Lake Constance for four days with my friends Judith and Elvira - our first trip together since Corona (we used to spend a long weekend in an interesting place every year). At the end of July, I'm going to Munich with my sister and her best friend for a few days - in high summer, so we can also enjoy the beer gardens extensively. I'm really looking forward to these two girls trips 😃.
4. Plan Route with Google Maps: The World Needs this Guide!
A weekly topic suggested by Judith Peters in The Content Society in February was to write a tutorial. I decided to create a step-by-step guide to route planning with Google My Maps - an extension of Google Maps. In my blog posts about individual travel destinations and especially for my road trips, I create maps in My Maps that I embed in the corresponding blog articles. In the beginning, I had to figure out how to best work with this tool via trial-and-error or tedious searches on various other websites. Not even Google itself has written a decent guide for it! But My Maps is a great tool that apparently only a few people know about.
So what could be more obvious than to write a detailed, illustrated tutorial that other travelers can follow and use for their own trip planning? I have divided the tutorial into several sections:
- In the first section Plan Your Google Maps Route with Multiple Stops (10 Steps to Create Your Own Map) I explain how to create your own map in My Maps.
- In the section View Your Self-Created Maps in the Google Maps App and Download Them for Offline Use (6 Short Steps) you'll learn how to view your own map in your Google Maps app, where you can also use it offline.
- The third section 3 Extra Tips for Your Route Planning includes information on working with multiple layers on a map (for example, marking hotels, landmarks, and restaurants), manually modifying a marked route (for example, if you want to take the most scenic route rather than the fastest), and using maps that others (such as travel bloggers) have made available on the Internet.
I have put a lot of effort into this post to make sure you can follow all the steps well from the screenshots. I hope it will be useful for many readers. Feel free to try it out on your next city trip or road trip. I appreciate your comment below the blog post or even an email to. .
5. What I am Looking Forward to in April
- The course is set and in April I will send out my first Newsletter ! Promised.
- At a dinner on April 21 and live event hosted by The Content Society in Stuttgart on April 22 I will get to know blogger coach Judith and many other bloggers from the community in person 😃
- Topic of the month in The Content Society is a digital spring cleaning of the website. I'm excited to see what awaits me there!
- On April 15, I'm going back to the theaterfor the first time since the pandemic broke out. With my friends Silvana and Matthias, I'm going to see the musical "Cabaret" at Schauspiel Stuttgart.
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