Liv Hambrett

Germany + Australia + Culture + Motherhood + Home

Life in Kiel


I’ve been in a relationship with north Germany since 2011. I think I first came up here in February 2011 and it was ferociously cold. I walked along the Linie for 10 metres, drank a hot chocolate in a cafe, and ate a lot of Joeys Pizza. A month later I was back, and SG took me to the beach. I remember getting a coffee order completely wrong and being called a ‘cute tourist’ and getting into the car with three awful filter coffees, two of which SG had to drink. We wound down the windows and watched the temperature climb. Spring was on her way, and the young (and he was young) man sitting next to me, joked that ‘next year’ we would have a convertible and drive to the beach with the roof down. I distinctly recall thinking how far ahead he was looking, how confident he must have been in our new relationhip. We didn’t get a convertible, but we did have two kids, and end up living down the road from that bakery I got the coffees from.

Anyway. Where was I. Ah yes. So, despite having lived here for more than two years now, and despite our lengthening history, I still get surprised that Germany can look like this – 



And that, on a sunny, 30 degree day, I can climb this slope:


and plant my feet into white sand. Set up my towel-camp metres from blue, blue water. Water full of swimmers and sail boats and kite surfers.



The weather last week was, as promised, glorious and we took full advantage of it. We went to Brazil first, one of my favourites. The water was three shades of blue and coldly clear. I didn’t swim (der Lüdde wanted to eat a lot, but mostly … that water was a touch too fresh) but my daughter hit those mini Baltic waves with her Dad and we couldn’t get her out. She is a true Kielerin-Aussie and I couldn’t be prouder.


On the second day of 30 degrees, we went to a closer beach, the very one SG took me to five and a bit years ago. It is the go-to beach when you want to stick your toes in the sand, but don’t want to drive more than ten minutes to do it. The kiosk is always busy, the staff as slow as snails, and is as much an icon as the lighthouse that rises from the shore. In went die Lüdde again, throwing stones and splashing and shrieking. The Colour Line sailed out to Norway, past the Naval Memorial in Laboe. The white sail boats bobbed around, as ferries puttered to and fro, taking and bringing people from both sides of the fjord, and everything felt just right in my little corner of this country.






  1. Ute Antje Seemann

    29 August, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    oh, the Laboe Marine Ehrenmal, …. I know the beach …. we went there so many times, its ideal for the Lueddes, … thank you for this piece, Liv …. from Ute

  2. Amber M. Freeman

    29 August, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    Oh man… I want to go here so bad! Wiesbaden is miserable in this heat and I’m still not used to the European practice of not have air conditioner everywhere we go.

  3. Kathrin Schönberg

    29 August, 2016 at 11:27 pm

    I know the beach of Laboe, too! My parents used to have a vacation rental up there, fun times. Beautiful pictures with all these shades of blue. I’m a fan of these clouds, too! Enjoy the heat in Germany. Some of these rare times when it’s warmer over there than here in CA 😉

  4. vegasmike433

    30 August, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    I have honestly never once read a single entry of yours that I did not enjoy immensely. You never , ever fail to engage, entertain, and touch the heart.

    Sincerely Yours,

  5. isa

    31 August, 2016 at 9:05 am

    Ach, there’s still chance to get (acquire 😉 that convertable or camper van, if you’re so inclined. Experiencing a heatwave by the sea is certainly preferential to a landlocked place. By the sea, what a beautiful place to be.

  6. Christie Dietz (@asausagehastwo)

    31 August, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    We have lots and lots of low mountains and forests and hundreds of fabulous vineyards and orchards and things down here and I know we’re very lucky but oh god, how I would so love to be up there by the sea. Those photos. *Sigh*

    1. Renate Barreras

      5 September, 2016 at 10:41 pm

      Yes love the ocean. Just returned from Australia cold there especially on Tassie.

What do you think?