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this year, we travelled to the nordseeküste for another time. we had a very nice time, and fortunately, it was much cooler than inland. just around 25—30 degrees instead of 30—40 degrees... we enjoyed the high water a lot (it started in the morning when we arrived, and ended in the late afternoon when we left ­— perfect!), but also the wadden sea.

we were also able to see this year's total lunar eclipse, though it took some time until it was possible to see the darkened moon through the clouds.

we visited dat otto huus, a museum dedicated to east frisian comedian otto waalkes.

afterwards, we continued to norden, where we visited the seehundstation norddeich, where abandoned harbor seal pups are raised until they can be released back into the wild.

posted in: photos
places: hinwil
posted in: photos
places: hinwil

a couple days after the previous stroll, i repeated the stroll. this time, there's a lot of snow!

posted in: photos
places: hinwil

on new year's day, we enjoyed a peaceful stroll through the nearby forest.

after visiting the gotthard base tunnel, we continued to bellinzona to enjoy the rest of the day. in ticino, it was sunny as opposed to the fog north of the gotthard! we visited the castelgrande, explored the old town and had some nice thick hot chocolate and marroni cake.

on friday, we took the special train gottardino through the new gotthard base tunnel, where we had a chance to explore parts of the sedrun underground station which will in the future only be available for emergency stops.

first, we took a boat tour from lucerne to flüelen. the weather in the german part of switzerland wasn't very awesome, but we got some nice cloudly looks.

in flüelen we boarded the gottardino, which took us into the mountain to the sedrun station. the station had a lot of information material and a film about the base tunnel. it was around 30 degrees centigrade, and so pretty enjoyable in a t-shirt.

after a 45 minutes stopover, we finally continued via train to the south gate of the tunnel and stopped in biasca, where we left the train with some souvenirs:

the south shore of nova scotia has some beautiful and/or funny gems. on the beautiful side, there's the the hawk beach almost at the southern tip of nova scotia.

on the funny side, there are west berlin and east berlin, two little communities originally named "blueberry" and "pudding pan".

on the very touristic side is peggy's cove. in fact, it is so touristic that it is swamped by busloads of tourists. we ended up just taking a quick look and then driving away, and exploring its surroundings instead. there's a lot of very beautiful nature around it!

finally, we saw lunenburg, another historic town, currently hosting the bluenose ii sailing ship.

brier island is the westernmost point of nova scotia, a place you can only reach by taking two ferries. it has a beautiful harbor and features whale wathching tours, where we were finally able to see some whales, in this case humbpack whales. humpback whales are so majestic, except that their blow stinks ;)

further west we visisted the burntcoat head park, adjacent to the bay of fundy, where the highest tidal range was measured with a mean spring range of 14.5 meters and a maximum of 16.3 meters. on low tide you can walk on the ocean floor and see the coastline many meters above you. it's really amazing!

on the west coast of minas basin we had another chance to walk on the ocean floor while the water was retreating. opposed to the mudflats in northern germany, the ground here is more rocky and you can easily follow the water without ruining your shoes completely.

this area belongs to the annapolis valley, which is a very fertile and green landscape with a lot of agriculture, in particular apple orchards. you can also find a lot of wild apple in the area, for example in the blomidon provincial park. the area also has nova scotia's only zoo, the oaklawn farm zoo, featuring a large variety of animals, including several big cats, three of which (cougar, jaguar, siberian tiger) you can see below.