Category Archives: Family

Bavarian Kitsch: Garmisch-Partenkirchen

One day out of the 10 or such that I spent at my parents’ place during the holidays, we took a train to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, a town in Bavaria. We had a nice afternoon walking through the old town, taking a closer look at some of the buildings (including the incredibly old library, and the newly renovated church), and had coffee and cake that could have been a full meal.

The initial plan also included to search for some geocaches, but as my Dad wasn’t too excited about watching me look for tiny containers “for nothing”, I decided to rather have a nice afternoon with my parents 🙂

And of course, I took a couple pictures, so you get something out of it, too!

The poem on the wall reads:

Dreifach ist der Schritt der Zeit,
zögernd kommt die Zukunft hergezogen,
Pfeilschnell ist das Jetzt verflogen,
Ewig still steht die Vergangenheit.

Keine Ungeduld beflügelt
Ihren Schritt, wenn sie verweilt.
Keine Furcht, kein Zweifel zügelt
Ihren Lauf, wenn sie enteilt.
Keine Reu, kein Zaubersegen
kann die stehende bewegen.

Möchtest du beglückt und weise
Endigen des Lebens Reise
Nimm die zögernde zum Rat
Nicht zum Werkzeug deiner Tat.
Wähle nicht die fliehende zum Freund,
nicht die bleibende zum Feind.

In short, it says that time has in 3 different velocities: Future arrives hesitantly, Present flies by fast as an arrow, and Past stays ever the same. There is no way to speed up the lingering, no way to slow down the rushing, and no way to move the stagnant. So if you want to be happy at the end of your life, don’t make the Future your tool, but rather your advisor, don’t be too fond of the Present, and don’t make an enemy of the Past.

Feminism for kids: Frozen

When I visited home these past holidays, my brother and I, his wife and son, plus some of her family, went to the movies and watched “Frozen”. The German title is “The Snow Queen”, as if it was just a movie version of the fairy tale, and what I had heard about it before had only referred to the movie NOT being true to the fairy tale. Also some of the comments I had read led me to believe it would only be a nice kids’ movie, but not as girl-power-y as, e.g., “Merida”.

But, oh wow, how wrong I was 🙂

I won’t be spoiling it all for the readers who haven’t seen the movie yet. To you, I say: go, watch it. It was good fun, also in German (well, I had to watch it in German, due to my company 😉 ), even with some unexpected turns and all.

So, to let you know what I LOVED about this movie, let me quote the short conversation I had with my nephew on our way home:

Me: See, in most movies, the girls need a boy to help them get out of trouble. But that’s not true. You saw in this movie, that girls indeed CAN get themselves out of trouble, right?

Him: Yes, right. There is this one girl in school, she never needs help when fighting with the boys. She is a pretty good fighter!

Cute. Next time I’m home, I hope I’ll have time to watch some more movies like that with him 🙂  Any recommendations from your side?

Personal Best!

Together with my sister in law and her son, but also on my own, I managed to find nearly 30 geocaches within one week 🙂

Here are some pictures:

On Wednesday, when my sister in law had the day off, we went to Füssen (Bavaria) to try and complete and trail of 18 geocaches in a small forest southwest of the city. We didn’t do the whole trail, though, because we had to be back for lunch 🙂 Still, I climbed 3 trees, nearly fell down one of them, scratched and bruised my arms and overall  had a great time.

TBH, … again ;)

I really wanted to finish my hike from last year. But due to University schedules, and incredibly hot summer, and weird working schedules, I haven’t been able to prepare as much as I wanted. Also, the BF, who wanted to come with me on this trip, won’t have the time to do so. So the new plan was to just go for a 2 day-hike with my Mom while I was back home for a week.

And with the assistance of my brother, his wife and son, TBH became WOAR: Whichever Outdoor Activity, Really. I just wanted to get outdoors and get some fresh air.

And really, that was what I got: 2 days hiking along river Lech with my Mom, one day with lots of rain, the other with cloudy weather, and 2 days of geocaching with my brothers’ family.

And, as pictures say it all, here’s a little gallery for you!

Two nutshells

I like recaps. They give me the possibility to think over stuff I’ve done. Also, I’m not one for blogging all the time, as you might have seen. It’s more like sitting down once a month (or every 6 weeks), thinking about what I’ve accomplished or what has happened since the last time I wrote – and then write about it.

So here is my 2012 in a nutshell.

I finished my first semester as a student at University. Not very successful, but also not without success.

We had an awesome winter with lots of snow, and I went skiing both with my parents and Georg, and there was terrific traffic chaos everywhere (I remember pictures of roads in Tirol and Vorarlberg, covered in 1-4 meters of snow!).

I spent 3 weeks in the US and Canada, making new friends and relishing every minute of it.

When I came back, I bought a bike, Maya, and set on discovering Vienna by bike. And: a cat café had just opened in Vienna, and the BBC featured me in a fluff-piece about it 🙂

I decided to go for a 10-day hike in my holidays.

I finished my 2nd semester as a student – again, not as successful as I could have, but good enough.

There was, of course, Vienna Calling 2012.

I did a lot of hikes in preparation for The Big Hike, and worked at Vienna Zoo during summer break. Also, in August I moved in a shared flat with Stefan, and had a lot of doubts about me being at University.

Then, autumn already. I was incredibly motivated, and did a lot of work for University. Georg moved in with us (yes!), and then … somehow … already it was Christmas.

There was big get-together with old school mates (from more than 10 years back), meeting and visiting relatives and friends, and after one week, I was happy to return back to Vienna.

So this was 2012 in a big nutshell (coconut like).

2012 in a smaller nutshell: it brought lots of new friends, finally seeing old friends again, discovering Vienna anew time and time again, seeing new things in Austria and also visiting new places all over the world. And of course, lots and lots of new things learned.

Let’s hope, 2013 will be like this – or even better.

Easter Holidays!

I will spend a part of my Easter vacation at home!

Arrival time will be some time in the evening of Wednesday, April 4th. “Take-Off” back to Vienna will be in the afternoon of Sunday, April 8th.

I would LOVE to once again meet up with some of the lovely people from home, couchsurfers and non-surfers, so PLEASE let me know if you have time to spare.

How about a nice little bicycle trip to Lechtal? Or to Füssen? Or how about hiking up to Schlosskopf? Or Fort Claudia?

According to the weather forecast, there will be slight rain all week long, but who cares; I’ll bring my rain gear 🙂

Hope to hear from everybody!!

Hahnenkamm, der [noun]

All over the Alps, people never were very creative when naming their villages, mountains and meadows. “Au” is one of the most commonly used name for parts of villages near rivers (it means floodplain), for example. Also, “Ried” (meaning marsh or reed) can be found all over Austria, Germany and Switzerland.

And then there is “Hahnenkamm”, which is of course used for mountains that resemble the shape of a cockscomb. The most famous of these is situated in Kitzbühel in Tirol, and another is the local mountain of my hometown. And that’s where I went to go skiing for some hours with my mum. It’s only 5 minutes by car, and after last year’s renovations, the area has been improved big time 🙂

Like the pictures? If you want to see it in real, just come by 🙂

Skiing, again.

Telling my partents about my exaxt itinerary (well, as exact as it was at the time), my mum insisted on my coming home before leaving for the US. So I last-minute arranged a train ticket to Innsbruck, a couch to crash on, and made my mum happy by telling her I was free to go skiing somewhere around Innsbruck on Saturday, 4th of February.

My train arrived at 10 pm, and after a short journey through town, I was at my friend Barbara’s where a all-prepared couch was awaiting me. In the morning, my alarm went off at 7 am to make sure I would be ready when my parents arrived. We had decided to go to Kühtai, a medium sized skiing area 25 km southwest of Innsbruck, located 2020 meters above sea level. When we got out of the car, we nearly froze immediately. A really strong wind was blowing, and according to diverse sources, the temperature was – 25° Celsius. To put on our skiing boots, helmets and so on, we went inside – otherwise it would have been way too cold.

My skiing jacket includes a kind of thermometer, but obviously it is either 10 ° off, or it just couldn’t bear the cold.

Due to the wind, the cable car was shut down, so we had to stay at the one chair lift with a bubble that is available at the area. This also restricted us to 2 variations of the same slope, but it was still okay as we had anyways only planned on skiing for half a day, and there was nearly noone around. The snow was powdery, the sun was shining, the air was clear, … and after 2.5 hrs we decided to stop by the one hut along the one slope to have a hot chocolate and some Gulaschsuppe.

The hut was awesome, they had a tiled stove heating up the whole place to a cosy 20 ° (plus), there was a lot of wood used in the rooms, and decoration was suiting the name: “Zum Kaiser Max”, which shows the connection of emperor Maximilian (I.? II.? I always forget) with the area. This guy loved to go hiking, hunting and fishing, and in Tirol you can do it all. He made Innsbruck his seat of power and also came to my home town once in a while.

After this relaxing and re-warming break, and some more skiing, we got out of our boots (which took some time especially for my mum) and helmets and took another way – through Ötztal valley instead of Innsbruck – back home.

Home leave to Winterwonderland

Time and time again when I come home, I am astonished of how beautiful my home area is. Meet lake Plansee, one of the larger lakes in Tirol. It’s not an accident that I linked to the german Wikipedia article – the english version is literally 3 sentences long, so I’d recommend to use some translating service like babelfish to get the information out of the german article.

Anyways, here are some pictures from a walk I took with my parents on Sunday, February 5th.

It’s cookie time!

In December, there were two cookie baking sessions happening at my place.

This is – approximately – what we used:

2.5 kilograms of flour
0.75 kilograms of sugar (and vanilla sugar)
0.8 kilograms of chocolate
0.5 kilograms of almonds

Doesn’t sound like much? Well, we made enough cookies for a party with 15 people, a dinner of 5 people, getting me, Georg and my room mates through Advent, and we still had enough so Georg and I could take about 0.75 kilograms home to pamper our families 🙂

And here are some pictures:

By the way: last-minute deciding on which cookies you want to make can make baking slightly difficult. For example, as we did not have star shaped coookie cutters, we had to make cinnamon moons and boots instead of cinnamon stars. And Georg, lucky him, managed to get the last 2 packages of crushed almonds at the store, as well as one of the last packages of flour …

I will see that I get more pictures from our friends, because the really good ones are not on my phone. Georg also made a cinnamon man … and there’s a picture of him eating it.