Archive for April, 2009

Grandma was here

Mittwoch, April 29th, 2009

Even though my mother needs Dialysis three times a week she was visiting us in the south of france. It needed some organisation, calling the Medical center (with the help of my colleagues) sending some documents around and so on. It was great. After we managed to get the dates and flight and so on Grandma Hella came to our house.

Finally time for the grandkids… Grandma was happy. The weather was not too bad and we managed to have a Dinner on the beach. It was great, mild and warm. I was in the water (up to my knees), not too cold. Fresh. Some other places like Aigues-Mortes, Villeneuve le Maguelone and of course Montpellier were also visited. Rain on the weekend was used to play cards with the kids.

Since the Dialysis consumed a lot of time the whole week passed by very fast.
Well the belly from Dagmar is getting bigger and bigger 🙂 We are getting closer 🙂

A bientot

The 4 3/4 Engelkahles

Bicycletour with the Jumpy

Sonntag, April 19th, 2009

Since we are not able to fit our Bicycles into the trunk anymore we decided to buy a bike rack for the hitch. Perfect fit. Thule 903, can be extended from 3 to 4 bikes. Right now Jonathans bike is too small to fit, so we can still store it in the trunk. In a few years, when Jonathans bike is big enough we will use the extension.


The weather was not too stable. Rain yesterday and also some rain expected today. But at noon it was warm and sunny with some clouds. So we attached the Bike carrier to the hitch, mounted the bikes and we took off to Le Grau du Roi. There is a nice bikeway at the beach.

That is better for Jonathan with his little experience and small bike. Helmets up, and we hit the road. We made it to the historic part of Le Grau du Roi, had a Ice Cream and then…we had to return. Dark clouds came with thunder, lightning, rain and hail. We made it just in time. It started to rain when I finished mounting the bikes and it started at home when I finished to remove all Bikes again and the carrier. In the future we will bring our bikes to our families in the north of germany to make tours there. That will be fun.

Many greetings from the south of France

The 4 3/4 Engelkahles

Trabant Video with Sound

Sonntag, April 19th, 2009

I was in a good mood and taped my little Trabant on Video. So I could watch and listen to the 2-Cylinder 2-Stroke sound. No smell yet 🙂 Enjoy the video on Youtube:

Bonjour France

Samstag, April 18th, 2009

We are back in Baillargues. After a little bit more than 900km (560miles) and several hours driving time through rain, hail, sun we arrived fine and relaxed with our Jumpy. Relaxed driving. The weather here in france was not as good as the weather in germany, so the kids put the sun in the trunk and released it here in  france. Et voila, today we have a sunny day, with blue sky. 🙂
At home the heating is not working, as soon as you turn it on the fuse trips, but since we have no more frost at night it is not that bad.

Have fun, a bientot


The 4 3/4 Engelkahles

Trabant, Easter and sun

Mittwoch, April 15th, 2009

It is absolutely amazing. We have a wonderful spring back here in germany. Lots of sun and warm temperatures of >21C (>70F). Beautiful after this long snowy, icy cold winter here in germany (luckily we were in france). But since we arrived here, the weather is perfect. Just one or two days with some little raindrops, thats it. Looks like we took the sun with us to germany. In Montpellier the last week including easter was cold and rainy. Only 14C max and lots of rain. Our schedule is full and we had lots of fun so far with friends and family. We had BBQ, playground with the kids…
Of course I have to work on my Trabant. Since the little east german car passed inspections I decided to replace Brakepads of the drumsbrakes, check/refill transmission oil, remove some rust and paint the car again.
The brakepads especially on the passenger side were totally worn. Since the last Schwobacup Rallye it was squeeking on the right side and now I saw why. No more substance on the brakepad itself, simply metal on metal (see Picture)

The previous owner gave me lots of spare parts and so I had at least the brakepads for the front. Dagmars uncle gave me parts as well and some useful tools to remove the brakedrums. His brother had a Trabant garage, so I have the tools, yeahh. But it was a lot of work. This car is 26 years old and for a long time nobody did something on the mechanical part. Rust had to be removed and that took a while.

Nobody would believe it, but the Trabant can also have rust. Not everything on this car is Duroplast. No there is also Metal. The frame etc. is all metal. So I had always some rustpanels at the rear for example. I started to sand the rear part and removed the rust. I primed it and sanded it again. So it will look a little better soon when the part is painted again.

On easter we relaxed and the Kids had a lot of fun to find the eggs in the garden. Since it was very sunny again they had to be fast to find the chocolate eggs 🙂 We had a delicious breakfast outside, just like almost every other day. 

The baby is kicking a lot and feels fine in Dagmars belly. You can see and feel the movements. Just a few weeks and Baby No.3 will see the light of the real world and we will have some more fun 🙂
We still don’t want to know the gender. So it will be a surprise. Hehe
In a few days we will go back to france, hopefully with the sun 🙂

A bientot

The 4 3/4 Engelkahles

Jona at the playground

Dienstag, April 14th, 2009

Riding his old trike

Back home

Dienstag, April 7th, 2009

Last friday I filled the Tank of our Citroen Jumpy with 80L Diesel, we packed our stuff and took off to our Vacation Trip to Germany. Fabi, Jona,Daggie and me were very excited to come back home after almost 8 months. So the trip on the Toll paid Highways in France was relaxing. Of course you pay almost 50 Euro for one way. But 130km/h speed limit and less traffic makes the travel very easy.
When we wanted to cross the germany border we had passport control for some cars. Due to the NATO/OTAN summit in Baden-Baden, Kehl, Strassbourg the borders were controlled and lots of Police was present.
As soon as we crossed the border the traffic was worse again. Well, not really bad, but I had a higher average speed in France than in germany.
But after just a little bit more than 8 1/2 hours including 2 stops we arrive relaxed at home.
Only the gas prices were crazy. Obviously it is the same before each big Vacation season. The oilcompanies raise the prices several cents the day before it starts. This time they had once more the excuse, that due to higher demand in the USA the prices had to be raised. Sure… The price for Diesel was 1.109 Euro on Friday. I only filled a bit because I knew that it will fall again (everybody knows that). On Sunday the price was already down to 1.049 Euro and on Monday it was down to 0.989 Euro. That is 12 cent less. Was the demand going down soooo bad on the weekend ?
Well, today was the last day at school in several other parts in germany and surprisingly the price went up 10 Cent again to 1.089 Euro. A those Oilcompanies sick or what ? Those Bankmanagers that got million dollar bonus payments even though their companies are runined now are almost lovely compared to the oilcompanies.
Anyway, I drove my Ford Cougar (has his 10th birthday today), the Trabant (passed inspection yesterday again without problems).
We visited friends in Ulm. We went to a swobian Theater where Willi our neighbour is playing (see Pic). Was very funny with also a very good food.
We had lots of good food in the past days.
So we will enjoy our 2 weeks here.

Have fun

The 4 3/4 Engelkahles