Bavaria in the Snow
In a brief Zeit article on winter fashion from 13 October 2023, one reads the following deeply amusing lines:
Winter may no longer be cold, but our jackets are getting thicker and thicker. This fashion satisfies our longings for a climate that no longer exists.
This year saw the highest worldwide temperatures ever recorded. Even on some days in mid-October, you could still go outside in a T-shirt in this country. How many real opportunities will there be this winter to walk around the world in ballooning, maximally padded down jackets? The radical winter posing of this year’s jackets and coats seems to appeal less to real needs than to satisfy our longings – longings for a climate in which it is still freezing cold, in which snow falls regularly and the winter weather lasts longer than a few random February days. The longing for a world, in other words, where climate change doesn’t exist …
The weather, much like viruses, sooner or later makes a fool of all forecasters. Sometime last night, the winter storm finally stopped, and I awoke this morning to a clear and cold morning. The sun shone down on 60 centimetres of snow in the Bavarian highlands. An avalanche warning has been issued for all Alpine elevations above 1600 metres, and it is still only the start of December. Munich, somewhat lower and to the north, labours under 44 centimetres, more than has ever fallen on the city in a single day since record-keeping began. They have finally dug out Munich Main Station and reopened the airport, but still very few trains and planes are going anywhere.
Your regular programme will resume tomorrow. I have just returned from a slightly treacherous run into the hills, and I provide some photos of the beautiful early Bavarian winter.
Fallen trees have knocked out power for thousands of households, but I am happy to report that most of our local trees are standing strong and brave under the weight.
From this small clearing you can see back to my village; the houses are hiding beneath the frozen trees, but you can make out a few small roofs to the right.
The higher pastures are all asleep under the snow. The wild animals have yet to leave their shelters, and there were no footprints but my own.
Here you can see the Mangfall Mountains between the valleys of the Leitzach and the Inn. The highest peak in this image is Wendelstein.
After about 5km down this path, the snow became too great, so I had to work my way back downhill. Here are some of the hill farms; the cows are all in their barns for the winter.
And another, back in the valley now on the way home:
Today is the first day of Advent, and I wish all of my readers a happy Christmas season.
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