Winter wonderland!

My booster headaches persisted today. In fact, my head is still burning a bit behind the eyes. It reminds me of the time I head dengue fever. Weird eye muscle tension headaches. Anyway, enough about that. A bit of pain doesn’t stop me from going out in nature. I was in pretty desperate need of it, too. It had been awhile. The weather lately hasn’t been too great, and sick kids and sick me have kept me from going out and enjoy all the beautiful things that nature has to offer. I sometimes complain about Germany, and the way things work here, but the truth is, I also love living here. There are things to see here that I will never – and the never needs to be stressed – find in my home country.

Today, I drove for about an hour, and I parked our campervan near Schliersee in the Bavaria Alps. We had never used the campervan in winter before. It has stationary heating, and well, we never really used it, and to be honest never really needed it either. Today, the outside temperatures were below zero. For me and my wife that’s all good, and we’ll be happy for hours regardless. The kids a bit less so. They love it for a while, and when they get cold it’s over. One of the reasons why we bought a van with stationary heating is that it would enable us to enjoy an indoor picknick, get nice and warm, and potentially take another stroll after. We thought about what it would be like to sleep out there when it’s below-zero. We never tried before, mostly because we lacked experience with the car. Today we simply tested the heating, to see what would be possible, and whether it would be comfortable. Why, yes. It was certainly comfortable! We spent an hour or so having a nice lunch in a perfectly cozy and warm van, and afterwards we enjoyed a snowscape hike, and a nice sleigh ride. When we came back, the van warmed up in a matter of minutes, and this made unpacking and undressing the kiddos a super easy experience. I really love this car. It’s amazing! We agreed that next week we’ll just camp somewhere nice, regardless of how cold it is going to be, and I’m already looking forward to it.

Besides finding out that our car is amazing not just in summer, but also in winter, today was also great for the amount of fresh air, the silence, and the serenity of the mountains, and forests that were covered in a thick layer of snow. I’ve seen snow as a kid in the Netherlands, but 10 centimeters would be a snow adventure. I just love that my kids grow up seeing snow that is up to half a meter deep in some places (we stay rather low altitude). I love real snow that simply is snow, not the rotting disgusting sludge that snow turns into when it falls in a human-dominated region. I’m almost thinking that some landscapes look better with snow on it then without, but I’ll admit it feels like ecological heresy to say it. Of course I love me a good plant-dominated landscape, too.

Above all, snow is fun. As a kid, I grew up without the fun of proper sleighing. In the Netherlands, even when it snowed, sleighing was, well, boring as fuck. There’s not a hill in sight, and the country is mostly flat. I currently live about 450 meters higher than I’ve ever lived in my life before moving here. That’s quite a lot higher than any point in the entire country, too. The Netherlands is flat, and not a sleighing heaven. Bavaria, on the contrary, is sleighing walhalla. It doesn’t matter where you go in the mountains, at the end of any street, you will likely find a forester’s path that is turned into a sleighing track in winter. I’ve always believed sleighing was boring. Wrong! Sleighing is absolutely amazing, and a lot of fun. And our sleigh is FAST! I’m not sure if I’m the most responsible parent taking my two year-old on a downhill sleigh ride, but I’ve seen others do the same. That must mean it is safe. What could possibly go wrong? Snow is soft stuff. Right? Rafa laughed harder than ever, so we both enjoyed it. I’m making up for missed experiences. Tomorrow, we’ll go back!

Winter wonderland
Rafa snowed in on his sleigh on the way up
Rafa was quite impressed by the snow depth,
Family time in the warm Nugget!

Published by Robin Heinen

Father of two | Husband | Entomologist and Ecologist | Postdoctoral Researcher @ TUM | Traveler | Coffee Addict

2 thoughts on “Winter wonderland!

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