Winter in Munich - a "snowy" decision

January 15, 2015

Winter in Munich - a "snowy" decision

Our outdoor family "Steingässer" did not trust the weather forecasts for this winter and supposed guarantees of snow in the mountains and opted instead for a holiday in the city - a good decision as it turned out ...

Who cares about snow?

Old Man Winter has slept through Christmas, and Jack Frost seems to be off making mischief somewhere else. On Christmas Eve, the weather was still more suited to a barbecue than sledging. What a disappointment for our kids: a “white Christmas” was top of their Christmas wish list. Piling into our VW bus shortly before the end of the year in order to see in the new year with the family in Munich, we’re somehow quite happy not to be spending the holidays in “our” mountain hut in Zillertal again. We’ve still not got over the let-down from the last two years. There we were, sat in the mountains in the middle of winter, surrounded by spring greenery. Honestly, it’s almost as bad as a beach holiday beside a sea that’s dried up. So this winter we decided to spare ourselves the disappointment! We’re holidaying in the city – who cares about the snow?

And then it turns out quite differently

Luckily for us, Jack Frost seems to have got his act together: Munich is a winter wonderland. Fluffy flakes fall from the sky so thickly that we can barely see our own hands in front of our faces. And the best bit? The snow settles and envelops the hustle and bustle, swallows the noise and covers the grey of the city. Luckily, we’d packed the old wooden sledges into the car at the last minute – because you never know! Whilst Jens relieves the skids of the last two years’ rust, Hannah, Frieda and I have a snowball fight. Passers-by join in spontaneously. It quickly becomes clear that half of Munich was already raring to go and people are now swapping their bikes for sledges as fast as they can. “Where are they all going?”, I ask our Munich-based family. “To the sledging hill around the corner!”, explains Basti. Here? In the middle of the city?

The grass is always greener...

We wrap up six children in ski suits as quickly as possible, rummage around for gloves and make a few sandwiches for a snowy picnic. The kids don’t want to stay inside a second longer, which is totally understandable – they don’t have any faith that the snow will stick around. After all, it might disappear faster than we want it to. “Typical – we could have gone to the hut after all,” I think. “The grass is always greener on the other side – and the snow is always whiter elsewhere too!”, laughs Jens. “It’s finally snowing and we’re holed up in the city,” I grumble. But Munich puts me right.

The weather gods make a peace offering

Our children spend all day sledging on the hill in front of the Bavarian state parliament. The fresh snow swirls around their ears, they crash-land in snowdrifts and race against all the snow discs, bobsleighs and sledges. None of them grumble about being cold or tired, and there’s no time left for a picnic either. It could be the first and last snow day. But it’s not. The next day we pull the caravan of sledges through the snowy Munich streets to the banks of the Isar and build ourselves a snow sofa. It snows throughout the night, with the first morning of the new year greeting us with glorious sunshine! OK, Jack Frost, Old Man Winter, or whoever brought us this weather: we’re not annoyed with you any more. To be honest, we’re actually quite pleased! But you still need to work on your timing – next winter, a “white Christmas” is sure to be on many people’s wish lists again.

J. & J. Steingässer

J. & J. Steingässer

“It doesn’t matter how, we just want to be in the great outdoors, experience adventure and meet people.”

Jens (photographer/journalist) and Jana (ethnologist/writer of children’s books) are passionate about hiking and canoeing. They travel the world with their four children, showing them what nature has to offer and the effects of climate change.

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