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

January weather in Germany

The weather report promises more snow and record low temperatures for the next few days. In some parts of Germany, a few schools and offices had to close. Frankfurt airport had to cancel 17 flights this morning. Hotels, emergency rooms, and snow plowing services, as well as the German ADAC, work around the clock.

At the moment, the thermometer reads -3C° in the Frankfurt area compared to – 34.8C° (- 30.6 Fahrenheit) in Bucharest, Romania.

This is the way winter should be and this is how I experienced it as a child, growing up in a farm house without central heating. At night I could see the breath’s vapor rising while changing into pajamas. My window was decorated with icicles, which I probably would have broken off, only if I had been able to open the frozen-shut window.

We always had red cheeks when we came in from sledding and our hands would turn bright red once we warmed them above the wood stove. But life did not stand still – school did not close (we walked there), the cows and pigs still needed to be fed, and we enjoyed winter time.

Icicles are back again!

Icicles are back again!

Nowadays flights get canceled, buses do not run, and train rail switches are frozen. Global and local means of mobility have managed to immobilize us in such a cold spell.

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