As usual, the snow did not come at Christmas. But last night, it came.
As usual, the snow did not come at Christmas. But last night, it came.
Nymphenburg Palace was the summer residence of Bavaria’s rulers, the Wittelsbacher family. The gardens, which are largely woodlands, are enormous and contain, in fact, five palaces, one big one and four teensy ones. Well worth a visit if you happen to be in Munich with an afternoon to spare and a hankering for a dose of nature.
I had a delicious plum crumble, but wolfed it down too fast to take a photo…
“I want to go to the museum.” Those were the words I never thought I’d hear. Ever. Not from the mouth of my brother. But he said them. And off to the museum we went. To the Deutsches Museum in Munich, to be exact, whose ample bowels are a splendid repository of science and technology paraphernalia. Germany has come up with quite a lot of this stuff over the years.
I won’t bore you with the fascinating details of the various exhibits (not being sarcastic for once, I love all that stuff!) – my photo hunt was rather aimed at the quirky side of things.
Or these windows reflecting a building site:
Some rooftop views:
I shall leave you with some famous last words (as displayed on a wall behind the knitted coral reef):
Nine hours on public transport. My heart sank when the Deutsche Bahn lady printed out our itinerary replete with bus and train changes. This had been my Mum’s idea, this trip to Burghausen, an end-of-train-line town near the Austrian border, overlooked by “The world’s longest castle”. The world’s longest schlep more like.
In the end, despite all the platform hopping, it turned into a great day out.
Inside the castle complex:
A few pictures of the town of Burghausen:
No cake. There was an ice cream… but the forces of greed got the better of me on this occasion and pulled my fingers faster towards the spoon than to the click button.
Snow on New Year’s Day, they said. Proper Winter to make an appearance, finally, at the crack of 2016, they said. What we’ve got instead is fog, grizzly drizzle and all the cheeriness of a Siberian laundry with the heating up the creek.
Have I depressed you quite enough yet..? Welcome to the club!
Wait… maybe some spiritual guidance to lift our mood? I’ve got just the thing: Last week, while the weather was still nice and sunny, I came across this saucy lady on one of my walks:
This is how my village looked last year at this time of year: What a difference!
There’s people walking about wearing T-shirts. And cycling in shorts. In Bavaria. In late December. Outside!
It smells like autumn. But it feels just like spring. Even the bees are busy, but busy with what…? Flowers are far and few between. Plant life is dormant. Or trying to be. The poor buzzy blighters can’t sleep – it’s too hot to hibernate.
This non-winter is a tricky situation not just for them, but also for faux photographers like me. Bavaria is pretty in the snow. In absence of a powdery white blanket beautifying the season’s barrenness, there’s usually at least an early morning dusting of frost gracing the trees, making them sparkle in the sunshine.
But this year, with temperatures persistently well above zero, everything is brown and (brownish) green. The gently rolling countryside, though easy on the eye when you’re standing in it, turns into nothing-to-write-home-about snaps of muddy fields and dead bristly bits. And my camera is way too crappy to capture the faint silhouettes of the snow-capped Alps towering above the landscape in the far distance, like ghostly dinosaurs.
I had to re-think my strategy. So, here it is: Big skies, small details, textures and splashes of colour where I could find them. And trying not to get myself arrested while loitering around people’s garden fences.
And I know you’ve all been waiting for this:
Some of you may remember that last year’s winter-time shots of my tiny little village and surroundings were wildly different:
A stunning white Christmas: https://ladyofthecakes.wordpress.com/2014/12/26/a-white-christmas-after-all/
Followed by an equally dazzling New Year: https://ladyofthecakes.wordpress.com/2015/01/01/a-happy-new-year-from-narnia/
Apparently, there will be snow next week. Am not holding my breath…
Not another lake, I hear you groan. Not the Bavarian Alps AGAIN…! But yes, I’m afraid, I’ve just got to cram one more in before I’m done with this year’s home visit 😉
Tegernsee is another one of these fabulous destinations just an hour from Munich on the train. Although it is most definitely a tourist destination, foreign tourists don’t really know about it, so I’d say that probably 95% of tourists are Germans.
And now, to give your Alps-and-lakes-weary eyes a rest, a couple of shots from a trip we took to Wasserburg, a medieval town in Upper Bavaria, circled by the river Inn.
And to finish off:
Vegetarians of the world please avert your eyes. What follows is pure carnage. Of the most delicious kind. Let’s do the food porn first, and leave the educational bit (I am using that term very loosely) till later, shall we?
What is a Weißwurst, I hear you ask…
Now imagine this potential nightmare scenario: You’re at home, it’s late, you desperately fancy a meaty midnight morsel BUT YOU’VE RUN OUT OF SAUSAGE! If you happen to be living in a semi-rural area like my folks, 24-hour supermarkets or convenience stores are far and few between. What is a desperate sausage-dependent German to do?!?
Well, there is hope: My tiny little village of 700 inhabitants, which only has one restaurant and no shops at all, sports one of these:
By now, you’ll have gotten the point. Germans have a very special relationship with their sausages. Not only are burly bangers ubiquitous in local fast food outlets, butcher’s shops, supermarkets and vending machines, but they have also wormed their way into the common vernacular in the form of countless expressions. Here is a selection:
Picture the scene: There’s a terminal struggle going on. Everything’s at stake. It’s a matter of life and death. This is when, for a German, “es geht um die Wurst” (it’s about the sausage). And that tells you all you need to know about how we feel when it comes to our precious meat products.
I’m quite partial to the (British) phrase “I don’t give a rat’s arse!”. The German equivalent is “das ist mir Wurst!” (It’s sausage to me!). This appears to contradict the aforementioned “es geht um die Wurst”, but it’s really just proof that the sausage is all things to all people. (To all German people, at least.)
Some sad individuals love nothing more than to be offended by anything and everything. These bothersome thin-skinned types are liable to earn themselves the title of “beleidigte Leberwurst” (insulted/offended liver sausage). And while they stomp off in one of their huffs, they might well call the hapless culprit who (probably inadvertently) caused their latest grievance a “Hanswurst” (a buffoon).
When Germans get philosophical about the finiteness of things, they like to point out that “alles hat ein Ende, nur die Wurst hat zwei” (Everything has an end, only the sausage has two).
[For those interested in German food-related expressions, you will enjoy this post: How To Be A Hater With German Food Phrases]
I hereby announce my return to The Fatherland. My darling brother picked me up from Munich airport, and it took no longer than the 40-minute drive to my mother’s place (aka The House of Cakes) to remind me exactly where I was…
Just don’t expect anything serious out of me for the next three weeks…