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Weihnachten und mehr

February 5, 2023
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It’s been a while but here are the photos from our holiday visit to southern Germany and Austria – it wouldn’t be Christmas without family and mountains and (when we’re lucky) snow! First, some geography, courtesy of this table-top map on Deutsche Bahn. After we took the ICE from Berlin to Munich, we took a regional train from Munich to Weilheim where Peter’s cousin Christoph and family live.

We were last here in the summer of 2018 and it was kind of paradise – kids to play with, lakes to swim in, a very cute Innenstadt to visit, mountains for hiking nearby. This time we had just missed the snow, but it was still chilly, so we spent more time inside. And there was a cat, Jimy, whose grumpiness we were warned about, but he seemed to like us?

On Christmas Eve, we went to the Lutheran service where one of the kid-cousins was performing in a creative Nativity play that had been written by the youth group – the plot was more Grinch than Jesus – and then came home for dinner and celebration. I have heard about putting real candles on the tree, but this was the first time I’ve actually gotten to experience it. The candles were so bright! And Schatzi didn’t mind being the youngest because she got to open the first gift.

On the 25th, the extended family came from other parts of the Munich area to have dinner out and spend the afternoon together.

On our last day in Weilheim, we went for a hike through a farm/swamp area with interactive art, sound devices, and other interesting trail finds.

From there, we headed further south into Austria to try to find some snow. Unfortunately, the climate is not on our side here, so the cross-country skiing valley where we stayed was lush and green looking. Instead of XC, we spent a few days at a downhill resort where at the bottom of the mountain, the runs were white pathways through green fields. It was really fun – but surprisingly, our kids requested that we find someplace to XC soon! Not what I expected.

On New Year’s Eve we took the train back home to Berlin and brought with us some “Wunderkerzen” (sparklers) to wave about in the street, as is tradition. We thought it would be fun to wake up at 6am and watch the ball fall in New York, but then we slept in instead. A good start to 2023!

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