Cuenca, Cuenca On The Wall…

There seems to be a long-held rivalry over which city is the most beautiful, Toledo or Cuenca. I have learnt to stay well clear of these disputes, especially if my kindly chauffeur happens to be a born-and-bred Toledan, and there’s no humanely dignified way of getting back home to Toledo on public transport.

Instead, I just enjoy the view…

Cuenca's walls are a natural granite formation

Cuenca’s city walls are a natural granite formation

Cuenca View2

 

Cuenca View3

Cuenca View 4

Ewa posing for Maria. In the background, precariously perched on the left, are the famous "hanging houses", dating back to the 15th century.

Eva posing for Maria. Precariously perched in the background on the left are the famous “hanging houses”, dating back to the 15th century.

Cuenca View 5

Cuenca Casco

 

Cuenca Cathedral

 

Cuenca Churches

Cuenca House

Salt cod and roast garlic, all mashed up. (Mental note: Next time, cancel all subsequent social engagements...)

Salt cod and roast garlic, all mashed up. (Mental note: Next time, cancel all subsequent social engagements…)

Miguelitos

 

Cheeeezzzz...cake :)

Cheeeezzzz…cake :)

Winterwonderland Didn’t Last…

The magic is gone. We’re back to drizzle, slush, treacherous black ice and pitiful corpses :(

Nothing but sad remnants remain...

Nothing but remnants remain…

If you want to admire the above snowman when he was still a strapping young lad in his full frosty glory, click here.

To comfort ourselves over the sad demise of the sparkly wintery snowscape, my friend Peggy laid on a festive afternoon coffee:

Note the AMERICAN chocolate chip cookies on the right-hand side, which are a real challenge to re-create in Germany, so I was told. Delicious :)

Note the AMERICAN chocolate chip cookies on the right-hand side, which are a real challenge to re-create in Germany, so I was told. Delicious :)

Here's a close-up, in case you've missed them ;-)

Here’s a close-up, in case you’re not drooling quite enough already ;-)

The snow may be gone, but I caught a nice sunset on my evening walk today:

Sunset

If you’ve missed the Bavarian Winterwonderland pictures, you can see them here and here.

 

 

A Happy New Year… From Narnia!

After days on end of snow, icy winds and grey skies, I could barely believe it when I pulled up the shutters this morning: 2015 got off to a dazzling start.

Not my handiwork, but perfect for a New Year's Day pic :)

Not my handiwork, but perfect for a New Year’s Day pic :)

A walk in the woods was in order, to test out my new boots. Although snow shoes might have been a better choice. I had some fun with the camera, trying to catch the sunlight peeking through the trees.

Gagers

Wald 1

Bach

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Wald 2

Fichten

Wald 5

Wald 4

Still with me? Let’s finish off with a nice brekkie :)

Breakfast

 

Icicles, Bicycles, Snowmen and Beer Trucks

The snow just keeps coming. These are the winters I remember from my childhood. Here’s a selfie:

These things could kill you...!

These things could kill you…!

You were planning on getting home on that...?

Good luck getting home on that!

 

 

You don't care, do you?!

He doesn’t care!

Things can't be that bad... the beer deliveries are still running! Well, this is Bavaria, after all ;-)

Things can’t be that bad… the beer deliveries are still running! Well, this is Bavaria, after all ;-)

Raiding Mum’s Christmas Baking

Mum’s busy in the kitchen, so I sneaked into her bedroom to investigate the contents of the seven huge metal tins crammed to the brim with her Christmas baking. This is what I found:

Plätzchen

 

Shortbread with jam

Lebkuchen... my favourite!

Lebkuchen… my favourite!

Hazelnut macaroons, made with the neighbour's hazelnuts. They may not look much, but the taste is out of this world...

Hazelnut macaroons, made with our neighbours’ delicious hazelnuts. They may not look much, but the taste is out of this world…

Mehr Plätzchen

Little shortbread stars, lovely and buttery

Little shortbread stars, lovely and buttery

Vanillekipferl

Vanillekipferl

Sadly, by the time I got here, the Christmas baking project was already completed, so I can’t show you any of the steps. However, I did make Vanillekipferl with my friend Lorena last year, and if you want to see how WRONG things can go, just click here ;-)

 

 

Christmas Transitions

I´m not really a Christmas person. But then, I am a glutton, and the food sways me. Also the pretty colours. On Sunday, I was strolling through Toledo´s Christmas market. I didn´t even know we had one, until my friend Carmen, who I was having lunch with that day, educated me.

Toledo Christmas Market

Christmas market stall

 

Salt cod

Salt cod

Yesterday, I got on a plane…

The red, sandy soils of central Spain

The red, sandy soils of central Spain

My first glimpse of ¨home¨: magnificent Lake Constance, where Switzerland, Austria and Germany meet

My first glimpse of ¨home¨: magnificent Lake Constance, where Switzerland, Austria and Germany meet

A minute before touchdown in Munich. Oddly green for this time of year. You can make out the Alps in the background.

A minute before touchdown in Munich. Oddly green for this time of year. 

The first thing I had after I got off the plane was a steaming hot mug of Glühwein from a stall at the Christmas market right outside the airport terminal. I really needed that…!