An Introduction to Ski-touring in the Bavarian Alps (Spitzensee)

The establishment of a fast train connection from Berlin to Munich means that the Alps are now that much closer, and long weekend trips are easier than before. We have a friend with whom we often go on outdoor adventures, including those of the snowy variety, and she is a big fan of ski-touring, so last weekend the three of us headed down to Bavaria so that she could show us why she loves this sport. Ski-touring involves climbing  up slopes with special skis that have “skins” on for grip, then removing the skins so that you can ski down off-piste on lovely, fluffy powder snow. The skins are usually made of nylon (cheaper), mohair (more expensive), or a combination of the two. Continue reading


More cross country skiing adventures in the Harz mountains

Spring is in full bloom now, so time to quickly finish telling all those winter stories!

Unfortunately we only managed to go downhill skiing once this winter, but we squeezed in two weekend trips to the Harz mountains for cross country skiing. Last year I wrote about my first time cross country skiing and how I fell a lot. Well, this year was no exception, but at least other people were falling a lot as well. If you’d like to hear more about our cross country skiing experiences, read on!

Here is my most spectacular crash – yes, that is me eating snow!

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There and back again – December to January


My last real blog post was just before we went away for Christmas holidays to South Africa via Namibia, and now it’s February already! I feel like I’m always behind these days. In between travelling I am overloaded with work, trying to meet all my many deadlines before the next trip. At the moment I’m away again, at a meeting in Switzerland. It should calm down a bit in February, but let’s see. Hopefully then I’ll have time to update on the places we’ve visited in December and January. Here is a sneak preview in the meanwhile. Continue reading


Les Diablerets in the Swiss Alps – Photo Diary

les diablerets

As I mentioned, recently I spent a week in the village of Les Diablerets, tucked away in the Swiss Alps at 1160m. There was no time for skiing unfortunately as it was a work trip, but in the evenings I went for a few walks in the woods, and on the last afternoon I went up to the glacier with some friends. When I arrived the forests were quite green, the paths were icy, and the snow levels in the village were not as high as the previous years – it was a snow-poor winter all round in  Europe this year. However on about day two or three it started snowing…and snowing…and snowing…the mountain disappeared in mist, and soon the forest and village were transformed into a winter wonderland. Following that was another day of snow, and then the sun came out and we were able to experience the village and the mountains with sunshine and deep blue skies, perfect for a visit to the glacier at 3000m. It was great to experience the area in all types of weather. Without further ado, here are some photos from my visit. Continue reading


Cross Country Skiing in the Harz Mountains


When my Czechman moved to Berlin over three years ago, he brought his cross country skis with, ever hopeful that there would be enough snow one day for him to ski to work. So far it hasn’t happened! Rumour has it when it snows enough you can cross country ski in Tempelhof, the old airport that is now an open park in Berlin, but that hasn’t happened yet either. But for cross country ski lovers, never fear, the beautiful Harz mountains lie only three to four hours away from Berlin. Continue reading


Weekly Photo Challenge: Monochromatic – Snow Scenes


I saw snow for the first time when I was 19, just a sprinkling in London that was enough to turn the ground white for one night. Watching the snowflakes falling was magical. It was midnight and I ran outside in excitement, my grandmother’s sister came out with me to make sure I didn’t catch cold. After a while she left me there, watching the snow. When I was all alone, two foxes appeared in the field opposite the house, I can still see them standing there in the snow, watching me.

When I moved to Europe again at the end of 2012 I finally saw lots of snow, and every time I see it, it still amazes me. The way it transforms the landscape is also something astounding. Some photos I’ve taken in the snow, you would think it’s a black and white photograph, so that’s why I’ve chosen some snowy scenes for this week’s weekly photo challenge, Monochromatic (although I suppose technically black and white are not colours!). Here are some of them below. When skiing on a misty day, only the bright clothes of the skiers add a splash of colour.

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