Notes from Germany

With yesterday’s Wintereinbruch (cold spell), there is no need to clear away the rest of the fallen branches from last week’s Orkan (hurricane). On Thursday, our local paper issued a warning for walkers to stay away from the woods as damaged trees still pose a risk.

Wintereinbruch 06 March 2010 around noon

The weather forecast labeled this sudden return of winter  Wintereinbruch, whereas Leo dictionary defined this as onset of winter. In German, Wintereinbruch usually refers to the return of winter. On the other hand, Einbruch also stands for burglary, intrusion, invasion, and a few more.

In any case, most Germans find this cold spell an intrusion, that’s for sure.

Snow Objects and Gritting Salt

Having taken a stroll through Camp King Oberursel just the other day, I rediscovered snow related fun projects I had not seen for many years.

Healthy looking snowman

Nice and healthy looking

Germany's new housing projects

Germany's new housing projects

A bulimic snowman

Have a seat!

On a different note:

As the snow is coming down and twirling in all directions at 1:00 p.m. local time, traffic has almost come to a complete halt in our residential area of Oberursel in the Hochtaunuskreis.

This morning though, we had to go into town and observed local shop owners clearing their front area in the pedestrian zone. I could overhear dissatisfied remarks about why the city of Oberursel could not get one of their plowing trucks to move the knee-deep snow in some parts. One disgruntled owner said …how will they manage the Hessentag 2011 (the oldest and biggest state festival in Germany) if they can’t even manage normal business…

A city worker, one of the guys in the orange work suits, related to somebody how he had been offered a bag of Streusalz (gritting salt) for € 200. I believe in regular times a bag would cost about € 20. But right now, with many communities having run out of it, the real effect of supply and demand kicks in. Black market prices for gritting salt – unusual times call for unusual needs.

Winter Images From Germany

Early afternoon, on our way to Steinbach for my daughter’s horseback riding class, I took these photos from the car. Roads were pretty much deserted, as this weather and its forecasts are unpredictable. One forecast called for icy rain, another one for a drop in temperature to -15 C° tonight.

Our parking lot is a mess and the snow and ice keep piling up. It took us 20 minutes just to pull out of our space.

Shovels are in big demand right now and I predict they are sold out at most home improvement centers. Another moving truck got stuck on our parking lot yesterday evening. It took the truck about four hours to get out of its predicament.

The police might also get lucky in amounting masses of parking tickets. Good business for the German Ordnungsamt!

Its truly winter wonderland. I appreciate Germany and its four seasons and it is wonderful to see children having snowball fights and building snowmen. And as long as our heating system works, I will continue enjoying this winter season.

Snowed under in Germany

It has been snowing since late morning and there are no signs of letting up. The streets are deserted and the air is thick with snow.

Overlooking Camp King, Oberursel

Overlooking Camp King, Oberursel

Im Rosengärtchen, Oberursel

Im Rosengärtchen, Oberursel

Later on we will be heading out to an outdoor mulled wine party. We were supposed to bring folding chairs – I guess we can forget about those. Dressed in a snowsuit seems more reasonable and being armed with a hip flask of whiskey (to keep the mulled wine warm) is crucial.

We will be celebrating Julfest (winter solstice). In the old days, people used to set cartwheels on fire and let them roll down the hill, which was meant to fertilize the fields.

We won’t be doing any of that today as we will only gather around a bonfire in somebody’s back courtyard.

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