Emma in Euroland

Tea, Cake and Travel: a year abroad in Germany

The Colours of Autumn.

An autumn display inside the Rathaus

They celebrate Autumn here. I’ve capitalised it here because it’s like a festival or something, like Christmas or Harvest Festival. The market is full of what I have translated as ‘decorative gourd’. The term is apparently used to describe types of cucumber and squash. I must say that, aside from anything else, they just look strange. They look deformed, as though they should be discarded for the spots all over their skin. Either way, they are very colourful and apparently seasonal too and they seem to have grown on me. At first, this ‘celebrating Autumn’ thing seemed like a sweet novelty but as I looked closer I began to understand. It is beautiful here at the moment. The leaves are turning. Not just dying and falling off though. The entire landscape is covered in a whole paint palette of colours. Orange. Red. Yellow. Green. Blue. Purple. Brown. It is a rainbow of delight. I cannot help but take photographs everywhere I go.

An array of colour from my bedroom window.

I have spent many an hour wandering around the city or around campus. I feel blessed to have such beauty right outside my door. It is easy to feel at home here when I am ‘not at home’ as it were. Somehow, when I am walking around this beautiful place, it doesn’t seem to matter so much that there is no carpet in my room or no oven in the kitchen.

A view from campus.

The skies are blue. Very blue. All the time. There is barely a cloud in the sky. A couple of weeks ago, that made it bitterly cold. Now, it is sunny and warm. I have left my coat at home all week and have had my radiator off since I arrived.

Decorations in shops in Apolda.

Everywhere you go, there are decorations in window displays in shops, dangling from window boxes and hanging baskets or making cakes look even more appetising. Baskets and wheelbarrows of carved fruit are everywhere you go. Colourful scented candles evoke memories of autumn past and make me wonder just how much I will feel I will have missed out on Guy Fawkes night now that I have all this to enjoy.

In perfect alignment.

As the sun sets, it is large and warm and makes everything glow.

Red glow.

I am told that it is cold, miserable and grey back home. I do miss it, even if that is what I would be going back to. I can’t deny how much I like it here too though. It doesn’t feel quite so alien as it did before. I am going to make a salad for lunch and I am going to put gherkin in it. I love bratwurst and I love red cabbage even more. I get up early and start work early too. It’s not as difficult as it was before. I buy bottled water almost every day and I go down to the bottle bank to deposit the empty bottles and get my ‘Pfand’ back so I can buy more. I’m even drinking loose-leaf tea, not tea bags. Don’t panic, it’s still English Breakfast. In some, albeit small, ways, I am becoming German in the way I do things. I still get looks wherever I though though. Maybe it’s the red hair or I’ve permanently got toilet paper on my shoe or something. Hopefully it’s just because I don’t look German. Yet. I did make pumpkin soup yesterday too. It was delicious, even if I do say so myself!



  1. westlife

    Beautiful pictures Emma. Very Autumnal x

  2. Jacqui

    Hi Emma,
    So glad you seem to be settling in to your new home – love reading your blog and keeping up with your eventful life – it certainly does seem a beautiful part of the world. Take care. Lots of love. Jacqui

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