Summer in Germany kicks the UK’s butt. The lynchpin of which, without doubt, is the weather; the glorious, far more reliably sunny climes meaning days can be spent at the outdoor pools, ice-cream in hand pretending to be on holiday – minus the cocktails. Winter in Germany however, if you make the most of it surpasses even that. Despite the fact that the pools are no more, that it’s too cold to have a cheap day out at the tier parks or barefoot paths, there’s plenty of wintry adventures to be had.
My family holidays, coming from rural Wales, vastly consisted of package holidays to the more touristy European destinations, you know the ones, Majorca, Ibiza, Greece – the aim of which solely being to escape the rain, or in my case, have a go on my beloved banana boat. Now there’s nothing wrong with this type of holiday, quite frankly I’d kill to go on a package beach holiday right now, however this does mean that in terms of the more sporty winter holiday, I’m as naïve and unskilled as a newborn baby. I’ve never been skiing before, and despite what I consider to be an above average balance ability, the thought of doing so worries me. It’s not everyday you hurtle down a slope, feet strapped to two planks of wood, pushing yourself along with some oversized toothpicks after all. This year though, going skiing I am, Winterberg here I come.
My husband is a qualified ski instructor. This does of course mean that there’s absolutely no way he’s teaching me to ski. I want my marriage to last. There’s something incredibly beautiful about snowy scenes; the fresh, blank slate, newness of it, the clarity of the stars and the artificial twinkling of fairy lights stung around wood cabins. Despite the worries of breaking legs and impending arguments about what I’m doing wrong with my ski-clad feet, I am very much looking forward to heading out onto the slopes for the first time (though hoping, being a newbie, the term slight-hump will be more applicable than ‘slope’). Yes, I’m well aware it’ll be and the four year olds at ski school. Gulp.
If skiing is the sandwich filling of my German winter then the Christmas Markets are my bread and butter. Before moving here I would gladly have travelled many miles to visit an authentic German Xmas market, how lucky are we then, that we’re surrounded by them?. Small or large we”re spoilt for choice; there’s nothing I love more than shuffling through the shack-like stalls on a crisp evening, surrounded by the smell of roasted nuts and simmering gluhwein, picking a few extra special ornaments to hang on the tree. For me, this is what the build up to Christmas in Germany is all about; snowy weather, mounting excitement, beer and bratwurst, gloved hands clutching hot chocolate and obviously, the dull background hum of the kids moaning they’re bored in the background while I’m trying to find the perfect Nutcracker