Excursion to Ehrwald

My employer has a holiday house in the mountains in Austria. Lucky thing.  As a sort of Christmas gift, she invites WildKat employees to join her there for a few days each January. Lucky WildKats.  Now that I have been with WildKat for over a year, I was allowed to join the 2017 trip, and set off for four days in Ehrwald.

It was wonderful to escape the city for a few days, get up into the mountains and enjoy some fresh air. We were incredibly lucky with the weather – blue skies and sunshine throughout – and it was lovely to spend time with colleagues away from the office.  I think the photos say more than anything I write would, so here are a few to tell the story (you can hover over or click on them for captions):

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Berlin im Schnee

Happy New Year! Or as the Germans would say, I hope you had a good slide (into the New Year). I have been back in Berlin for a week now, although somehow it feels much longer.  Berlin is looking very white at the moment – there has been lots of snow. My bike has been relegated to the cellar, yet I’ve been surprised at the number of people who are still cycling.  It has also been very cold – which makes my pre-Christmas-indulgence in a pair of warm, red, lace-up winter boots feel more than justified. Today it was -8°C, and gosh my fingers knew it. As much as I can never wait to get to work, approaching the exit staircase of the tube station aka icy wind tunnel is really not at all pleasant.  Still, it makes the hot cup of tea on arrival at work taste even better.

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I met this chap on the way back from the supermarket today:

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Lebkuchen and Spekulatius biscuits are nearly all but gone from the supermarket aisles.  I imagine they will be quickly replaced by Fasching (carnival)  costumes.

Silvester, or New Year’s Eve, is meant to be quite an experience in Berlin. As I spent New Year in England (Alnwick to be precise), the only evidence I have to go on is the detritus now left half-buried on the snowy streets, which certainly implies great celebration took place.  I’ve heard tales likening it to a war zone, with rockets and bombs exploding erratically on all sides.  Maybe next year I should stay here to witness it myself –  the general advice seems to be avoid the streets between 8pm-3am and seek refuge on a roof-top balcony, from where you can admire the firework displays but are less likely to come face to face with a ferocious firecracker.