My Life in Munich

With the New Year comes a new world - living in a foreign country. Who knows how long we'll be here - hopefully long enough for me to learn some German and see a lot of Europe.

Monday, 25 January 2010

It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time!

'Climb up, eat, drink and sled down' - it sounds like fun, doesn't it.
Forget simple facts like: I've never sledded before, it's a 2.5km walk up, we climb over 400m in that time, the path is covered in snow and ice, and there are other people sledding down as we walk up.
So we set out on Saturday. In Munich, the weather seemed to be fine, but as we drove, especially after our friendly GPS sent us off the autobahn and through a succession of small Tyrolean villages, the fog had us a bit worried. But, as we crossed into Austria, the fog cleared and the sun shone down on us.
After a fairly hair-raising drive up a narrow road, we arrived at the carpark at Schneeburg. We were meeting others (10 cars in total made the journey) so we headed inside for coffee to warm ourselves and wait. When all - or most - had gathered, we started up the hill(?????) to Kala Alm.
It was a strenuous climb for me - I am quickly discovering the limits of my fitness, but eventually we made it to the top. Kala Alm is a cute, wooden inn and the sunny day ahd us sitting outside on the wooden benches for lunch. Heaps of traditional Bavarian/Tyrolean food - thick soups, goulash and sausages, washed down with beer and wine.
After final fortifications with 'Willy' (a traditional Austrian pear schnapps), we were ready to head back down again. We collected our sleds and had a few practice runs on the small rise just above the Inn. Then off we went!
I am so glad that there is no video footage of my efforts at sledding! It seemed like I had no control of the sled as I careered downwards. At least twice, I was sure I was going over the edge and into a large tree. And I had no idea at all how to steer, so I ended up in many smowdrifts.But we made it down, and there was hot chocolate at the carpark Gasthaus to warm me up.

Guess what - we're palnning another sledding trip for next week. Thjis time, we're going somewhere with cable cars, so we spend less time climbing and more time sledding!

We started with coffee in the carpark Gasthaus, to prepare us for the trip

And we started to walk up to the Kala Alm!

And we kept walking - it was pretty!

And we finally made it!!!!

The scenery made the journey worthwhile.

Prayers in case?

Food for the journey.

And extra fortification against the cold!

Ready to set off!

Safely back at the start point.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

WInter in the English Gardens

I love the English Gardens. This immense park runs for miles from the inner city to the outskirts of Munich. There are walking paths, cycle paths, lakes and streams and even a couple of Beer Gardens.
Last Friday I needed to get outside for a while, even though it was freezing, for some fresh air, so I headed down to one of my favourite areas, near the Monopteros - a Greek style pavilion on a small hill.
We had lots of snow last week - over 15 cm total - and so the gardens were completely white. As it was after school time, there were many youngsters there, with their sleds, having a great time.

The cafe at the Universit├Ąt entrance

View looking away from the City

The Eisbach (Ice Stream!) - the branch of the Isar that runs through the Gardens

Sledding at the Monopteros

View towards the City

Another view of the Eisbach

Eisbach again - in the far distance, you may see that there are people SURFING in the river. Did I say it was -5C at this point!

Flock of geese

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Lots of Snow

I know that for many people, snow is just a part of winter. But for an Aussie like me, snow is a rarity. The weather people did threaten us with a blizzard over the weekend, which didn't eventuate here in Munich. But we have had snow falling all day yesterday and now again this morning, so we have a lovely blanket of snow now, about 10cm deep.

The view from our balcony.

The pedestrian mall across the road - view from the balcony on the other side of the apartment.

Me - out and about in my new snow gear!

My footprint in the snow. Just because I could.

It's so cold any water left out will freeze!

Just like 'real' Christmas trees should look. Some little fir trees in next doors yard.

Not our car - but what happens If you park on the curb overnight.

And you shouldn't leave your bike out, either!

The friendly neighbourhood snow plough. These guys are out every few hours when it snows heavily, like yesterday.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Hello and Welcome

Today is my first official day as an 'Accidental Hausfrau'. Gerard is back at work and I've got the house to myself. So, I've done the laundry and the grocery shopping, like every good hausfrau and now the rest of the day is mine!

It's cold here again today (I know, winter in Europe, what did I expect?) more snow overnight. It's obvious I'm not a local, because I still find snow a novelty and get excited by the prospect of more. Of course, it helps that we only have a few cm, so we can still get on with life as usual.

Naturally, I'm taking photos of everything! I'm sure that people wonder what I'm doing, taking photos of the sign at the U-bahn station and the snow covered cars, but it's all a part of my 'Project Life' for 2010. Yes, I am going to try to take a photo each day (well, some days will be more) to document this first year here. I'll share the photos here as well, so everyone can keep up with my very exciting world!