Winter Impressions from the Rhön Mountains in Germany

These photos were taken by a friend of mine, Reiner Gehles. He took a trip to the Bischofsheim i.d. Rhön area this past weekend, and came back with this beautiful shots. I have his friendly permission to post them here.

Germany can be so beautiful when covered in snow. Recently, our winters have been fairly mild though. But with La Niña heading our way this week, more snow is anticipated. This means more photo opportunities!

Bischofsheim i.d. Rhön is located in northern Bavaria (Reiner and I both hail from that part of Germany). The small town lies at the base of the Kreuzberg, the ‘Sacred Mountain of the Franconians’.

Bischofsheim i.d. Rhön

Let the music play. The oak bench reads Rhönbauernbuam (only the letter R is visible here), which stands for Rhön farmer boys.

Not only the mountain is sacred to the Franconians.

“Snow softens the world, and for a moment covers the grime and ugliness that characterizes most of the winter world in the city” (quoted by my friend Gar)

Here is my favorite one of all. This is the Snow Queen of all snow photos I have ever seen.

For more information about this corner of Germany, visit: Bischofsheim Info/English

Thanks again, Reiner, for sharing these photos.

For a model of the old-fashioned wooden sled, visit https://amzn.to/2XtdyZd.

Maria’s Beer Balcony in Germany

This is our first Beer Balcony photo of 2021. Last year, I had only one visitor – in November.

Here I’m sitting with our son, Thomas from London, who is working remotely in Oberursel. With the current Covid situation in London, he was also granted an extension to continue working from Oberursel.

The sun was just about to set, and the light was really beautiful. By the time, we got our coffee (!) onto the Beer Balcony, the light had completely changed.

“Every possession and every happiness is but lent by chance for an uncertain time, and may therefore be demanded back the next hour.”

Arthur Schopenhauer

Snowy Oberursel in January 2021

The snow has finally arrived. Yes, I’ve been waiting for it.

As a child of the 1960s, I remember snow and going sledding as early as late November. Going out in the snow was so much fun, but coming home to the wood stove in the kitchen was very pleasant too. We had to rub our hands to get the prickly sensation out of it. Growing up on a farm, we had no central heating back in those days.

This photo was taken at 7:30am from the 4th floor balcony overlooking the Rosengärtchen area, which is also in walking distance to Frankfurt International School (FIS) and between the high rise buildings, we can also sometimes see part of the Feldberg Mountain.

Nevertheless, there won’t be much walking to school as of next week with updated lock down restrictions in place once again.

The view below is onto the former military areal of Camp King. The walkway in front is the line which separates the former military areal (which has become a German housing area in 2000) from our old housing area (established in the early 1970s).

Winter forms our character and brings out our best.

– Tom Allen

Snowy Oberursel in December 2010

It seems our winters are getting milder, and with fewer chances of snow, so are the snow photo opportunities.

This one I took in December 2010. That winter was a good one. We were the only ones in our apartment building (8 parties) to have a snow shovel, and ours was in high demand.

Of course, snow shovels had already sold out.

Snow in Oberursel, 2010

U.S. Army Training Area Hohenfels, Germany

I keep records on historical places for my line of work, and among them is my collection of historical postcards.

The postcard below got repurposed, when my husband sighed heavily just before leaving for work this morning, which is rather hectic at this time of year.

I held up the postcard, offering this choice: “Would you rather go to Hohenfels or work?” His response was “Oh God, I hated that place. Even more than Grafenwöhr.”

That settled it. He left a bit happier for work this morning.

U.S. Army Training Area Hohenfels

Back then in the late 1980s, we were dating. All I know about Hohenfels are his stories and that there was… a telephone booth, which was the life line to the outside world.

So, if you ever spent most of November in Hohenfels, the largest U.S. Army Europe maneuver training area, consider yourself lucky.

That is, if you are healthy, while sitting in a warm place, with a roof over your head, sanitary installations within your home, and a warm meal within easy reach.

Hohenfels, anyone? 🙂

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