Cody, you can get that in Germany

(from Saturday:)

…Well, why didn’t you tell me?

“I didn’t know you liked porridge.”

why wouldn’t I like oatmeal?

“I’ve never seen you eat it before. did you need that much?”

well, if you told me I could buy it it Germany, then you would have seen me eat it.

“why did you think you couldn’t buy it in Germany?”

well, there’s a ton of other stuff that I can’t get, so I figured this would be on the list as well.

“are you going to eat all that?”



(this afternoon:)

Look! I cleaned the kitchen!

“It would be a bit cleaner in you put your porridge somewhere”

I’m working on it…

(its been sitting on the kitchen counter since we got home, now relocated to the coffee table where I took this pic, where it will probably sit another few days…)


My 2.5 kilograms (5 pounds) of oatmeal. Hmm, perhaps I did get a bit much…


Loch Ness

Another random photo. Still haven’t been able to get any images to the computer but can’t resist browsing a card or two to see what I have. Kind of like back in the film days when you’d goto the lab and pick up a bunch of rolls from a trip and see shots you forgot you took. Or maybe I just have a short memory. I hope I don’t drag this out for too long…

Loch Ness and an old pier in fine weather.

Cody Duncan Travel photography: Old pier on Loch Ness, Scotland. © Cody Duncan Photography

No, but…

I went to the city hall this morning to apply for the residence permit I will need if I wish to remain here longer than 90 days**. The formal answer: no, I cannot stay.

But… There is a way. By filling out some papers which will basically say that if I screw something up, get hurt, blah, blah, that “German citizen x” will bear the financial responsibility for me. It basically amounts to me being treated like I’m a minor. It is not ideal, and not the responsibility I wish to put on someone else, but unless I’m a millionaire like Nicholas Cage and buy myself a castle (He’s bought himself an old castle just down the road), it is the only way it seems.

First, I need to find some German health insurance (it is not free). Then it’s down to the the “capital” of the region to fill out some paperwork. Next, register with the city hall here. Then a few more things and with luck, I can stay. Being able to work, however, will be a different matter. First things first though.

For a country with a declining population, they sure make it difficult for a (fairly well) educated person to move here. At least I know New Zealand wants me back, maybe I should use this as some bargaining power with the Germans.

**Visa allowance for Schengen area is 90 days in, 90 days out. The Schengen area is basically every country from Spain to Finland, excluding Switzerland and Liechtenstein which will join later in the year. UK and Ireland are also not part of the area, nor the Balkan area. So for travelers, this means that pretty much the whole of Europe is treated as one visa area. When I was here last (06/07), most of the eastern countries had yet to join the Schengen area, so bumming around the eastern countries is how I was able to stay for so long. But now, I feel sorry for anybody wanting to backpack around Europe, as it will be a lot more difficult to manage a stay of more than 3 months. The UK is Generous with a 6 month ‘leave-to-enter’ visa, but 90-180 days in UK would severely damage ones bank account. I guess it’s no different than what the Europeans face with the USA, plus a fingerprint and mugshot.

Another random photo:

Cody Duncan Stock Photography: White horse and Ruined Building, Scotland. © 2008 Cody Duncan Photography

Random Photo…

Sabine posing on the summit of Ben Nevis (highest mountain in Scotland).

Travel stock photography: Ben Nevis summit pose, Scotland. Cody Duncan photography

This photo was chosen at random from one of my flash cards. I can’t download anything to my computer until I free up hard drive space, but I’ve got several other projects that I need to finish first, unfortunately.

We were so unbelievably lucky with the weather! For the whole 3 weeks, we had no more than about 3 hours of rain, total, and way more than our share of sunny blue skies (albeit a bit hazy a lot of the time). The days were so long, with the sun heading down a bit after 10pm and the morning starting all too early! On some of our hikes I was even complaining that it was too hot and I shouldn’t need to wear sunblock in Scotland. After about a week of sunshine and temps in the 70’s it was pretty funny to see about half the locals walking around with sunburns.

I think we managed to find just about every tick in Scotland. Each night, just before bed, we would have our “tick check.” So one night, Sabine found one crawling up my leg, and then another one on my other leg. This led me to check my shoes, where upon I found about 7-8 more. Then I checked my pants where a few more turned up, and then we found a few more crawling around the van on and on my camera case. All in all, we spent about an hour, searching the van at midnight with our headlamps looking for ticks. They are actually easier to find at night because they are a bit shiny and will reflect in the light, but most of them were so unbelievably small, often no larger than a pinhead, that we didn’t want to think about how many we couldn’t find. Then next morning we took just about everything out of the van, finding another 5-6. So all and all, for this one incident, we came up with about 30 ticks! Awful. This happened in the middle of the trip, so we spent the second half completely paranoid and checked ourselves religiously whenever we got into the van. And even being quite careful, on a short little walk (about 20 feet) to the edge of a cliff, I managed to collect 7 on my shoes and pants.

And due to the mild winter here in Europe, Germany is predicted to have a large amount of ticks this summer. I already managed to get the first one on Saturday (less than 24 hours since getting back) while out climbing.


Walked in the door sometime in the early morning hours after 3 weeks in Scotland (where I disappeared to). Pics and stories coming in the next days…