Well, how did that happen? We only celebrated New Year’s recently and now February is almost over. I can only repeat myself: time is a capricious bitch! So Winter is nearly over, except there was no Winter in Germany… at least in my part of Germany. I was hoping for snow at Christmas and when that did not happen I was hoping for a New Year’s Day walk in the snow. Then I hoped for snow in January for sure. BUT! Nothing! Quite the contrary – some trees and flowers have already started to bloom and I got my first episode of hay fever – in January!!! This is not acceptable… so Mr. Betterhalf and I decided that we would spend just a few winter days, no matter what. And where would you find Winter if not in a town called “Winterberg” – makes sense, doesn’t it? Winterberg is a little miracle. This skiing area is a 1,5 hour drive from where I live and also from where Mr. Betterhalf lives. And Mr. Betterhalf and I live an hour away from each other, so now that I think about it, it is very confusing. Anyhow, we started our trip in what felt like Spring. At first we were driving on the famous Autobahn, but had to get off soon and make our way through little towns and villages. As we reached some height, the landscape started to change. The area called “Sauerland” is peculiar… I would not, for anything in the world, want to live there. It is too village-y for me, too Catholic, and I would feel crushed. But if you do not have to spend the rest of your life there, it is really beautiful. The villages look like postcard material – lots of little churches and beautiful houses. The hills are very green and there is also a lot of forest. And as we drove through, the landscape turned more and more into a Winter’s tale.
Before reaching our destination “Langewiese” (which translates to ‘long lawn’ and that’s all the excitement you get there) we spent the day in a saline bath nearby. It was so relaxing to float in the warm water in the outside pool whilst seeing the snowy area around. It was then less relaxing when we got to the car and it did not make a single sound anymore. Nada! While Mr. Betterhalf did what men do – standing next to the car and trying to stare the problem down whilst looking very manly – I went back in to get some help. I gathered three people and luckily we managed to push the car enough to get it started again. Phew!
When we arrived at our guesthouse, it was already dark. I was so delighted to find the house covered in snow, with icicles coming down from the roof! Everything is so much more cosy when it is cold and white outside! Here is a funny, yet typical example of why I would not want to live there: when the landlady served our dinner, she looked at Mr. Betterhalf and then at me. And then said to him “Oh my goodness, your hair is longer than your wife’s!” And this is 2014!!! It did crack us up because the last time I heard someone being surprised by long hair on men was probably in the early 90s! To be on the safe side, we did not tell her that we are not married, as she might have forced me to sleep in a different room 🙂
We went to bed rather early that night because we had decided to go
hiking for a long walk (Mr. Betterhalf associates ‘hiking’ with outdoor couples in matching Jack Wolfskin outfits) from Langewiese to Winterberg town. Right behind our guesthouse is the famous “Rothaarsteig“, a well-known hiking trail.
It was really foggy but we still started to get to the first stage “Kahler Asten” a mountain of 840m height. It took us quite a while since it is rather exhausting to walk on snow. It was beautiful though! The only sound you hear is the cracking snow underneath your shoes. Every now and then we passed a few people and since there is no other soul around, everybody is really nice. After about 2 hours, we reached “Kahler Asten” and stopped there for hot lemon juice and waffles. And a LOT of cream 🙂 We decided to take on the challenge to walk all the way to Winterberg. This half of the walk seemed to start off more exhausting than the first one. I was really annoyed by the skiers that kept overtaking us, because they were clearly off their slope. After a while though, we noticed that we were walking in circles… WE had gotten off the trail and were walking on the slope! We had gotten lost! But instead of panicking we just laughed and laughed and found our own track eventually. Here are more snowy impressions:
Somehow, we made it to Winterberg just before it got dark. And with getting lost we probably walked about 12 km in the deep snow! It was so much fun! And I still felt my legs three days later… That night, I slept deeper than I have in months! After breakfast, our stay was already over and we drove back to my hometown. And it was even more surreal – coming back from the freezing cold and arriving in Spring again 1,5 hours later.
So, in the end I have had my little share of Winter – now bring on the sun!
Yours truly, deeply, madly!
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