Ever wondered what´s the smell of snow? or the scent of the pitiless cold in winter? Coming from a place where Winter doesn´t exist,I would really like to know what´s the scent of a snowflake and now experience tells me a lot…
Anyway, the other day, I was watching a series and there´s a part where the lead actor says “Come, let us see the wind..”, the lady answered
” How can we ever see the wind?” says the Lady.
“Of course, we can, let´s come to the field of Reeds, you see them dancing, sure thing, the wind is with them..” the man replied.I realized that our sensory glands tells us exactly what is happening or even right before it happens.
You see, I live in a small town here in Bavaria and I am telling you,I always go out on the first day when it snowed.I don´t know why, but I just kind of knew the smell of snow…especially the fresh snow. Probably a kind of habit I´ve picked up through the years?
This year, snow came early. It falls on weekend so definitely I decided to take a nice walk .I told my daughter that I will show her how to smell the snow.She laughed at me and said “Oh really!?, howwww? ” I am not really sure how am I gonna do it but I´ll try.Good thing, I don´t need to wear my mask when I am outdoors.Feeling excited, I brought my camera as well with me, just in case I see something nice from the usual sights that we see everyday.
I decided to wear my thermo, just in case I stayed longer outside.I have been running now for 3 times in a row where it rained and snowed, and icy cold as well and it really felt great.I got used to exercising outdoors with minus temps but it´s actually different when I only walk.
I don´t wanna cringe when my feet starts to feel cold so I worn my warm boots, prepared to walk through the fresh snow, and muddy snow later. Of course, with a kid with me ,then it might take a while longer. We didn´t bring her sled since i guess the snow is not that thick for her to go down the hills. Probably next week, or maybe tomorrow.
As we step outside, I found my daughter, clad in her red snowsuit, already sitting in a pile of snow and asking me to help her build a wall. I said what for? She said, she wanna build a wall that extends to an Igloo or something. I really love her imagination. After I brought her to school the other day when it started to snowed as well, she said to me “Leave me some Snow, Mama, I wanna play with it later…”
It makes me even wonder…”why do children loved the cold too much?” Or am I getting old? They are all super excited to see snow and play with it, They can play outdoors building snowman and snow ball fights for hours and hours.
I felt the cold in my cheeks and it´s not even winter yet, but yes, our neighbourhood is transformed into a lovely winter white scenery overnight.The smell of the snow is so pungent, it reaches to my nose, I can´t deny I need to wait for more than 4 months again after we see the face of warm sun again. German winters lasts long, I know it for sure.But somehow, I kind of sense that something might happen, like snowfall.
I ´ve got to get my facts straight so I actually researched about this.I actually enjoyed listening to the Podcast explaining a lot of Physics behind this so I wanted to share a bit of things I´ve heard.
"On an ordinary winter day, the air smells dry and maybe even dusty.
Plus the cold and pressure change stimulate the trigeminal nerve. The trigeminal nerve sends information that isn’t the same as scent, but is often associated with it (e.g., the coolness of mint or the heat of hot peppers). The end result is the human nervous system perceives a difference in the weather that may account for the smell of snow."
While walking past through the houses, I find it cozy that they leave the lights on. Some have nice Christmas decorations and lights–how fancy. It means, everyone must be staying in longer today and enjoying a warm breakfast together.My friendly neighbours are busy shoveling the snow in their front yards, as if more snow might come soon.Here in Germany, we are obligated to clean the snow in our driveways.The lines of cars parked outside are all covered in thick white snow, like a blanket of overnight madness.I guess the snow from the shields won´t be scraped up until noon today, or best, let it just melt.
My daughter opens her mouth and started to eat the snow that falls on her face. She looks quirky doing it, like a hungry dog waiting for his morning feed. We´ve seen lots of dogs being walked too, so I shouted ” no yellow snow!” you know what´s in it!”
"These elements—cold weather, humidity, and a stimulated trigeminal nerve—combine to create something that isn’t an odor, but a sensory experience you’ve come to associate with snow. That’s why when asked to describe the scent, people often use words like “clean,” “fresh,” and “cold"— a.k.a. things that don’t have much of a scent at all." -Podcast : Physics and the smell of snow
As we reached the footpath of the nearby park, we heard children´s screaming.Its not only us who heard the news. More people are outside , playing and are eager to smell the snow as well.We head on to the field and decided to roll out a snowball. It´s a yearly family tradition. Snow is bound to be rolled, smelled, tasted and turned into something else.
The mighty sun is timid. He never peaked or shined, throughout the day it stayed gray and dark.Almost a melancholic snowy day.I won´t lie that I really get excited when the sun starts to shine, but today is not my day but then, it wasn´t actually bad; at least we´ve got to build our first snowman.
"Snow that falls over a field may smell earthy, perhaps bearing a lingering scent of grass. Snow that falls on trees carries the clean scent of terpenes from the plants, including pinenes, limonene, myrcene, phellandrene, and camphene. So, snow in rural areas smells fresh and maybe even a bit woodsy."
I looked at my daughter and laughed, her suit was totally drenched on the outside and she was having a grand time. She had probably ” smelled the snow” by now!
I first saw these trees wrapped in yarn from last year´s Winter. We did a lot of walking and stroll during lockdown so we actually discovered many nooks and crooks of our neighborhood. One thing caught our attention : Trees behind the Museum für Konkrete Kunst (Museum of Concrete Art) and in the area facing the Viktualienmark are covered with colorful and intricate knittings!As I was running early this morning, these trees caught my attention once again and gave me an idea–Hey, this can make it to Becky´s #TreeSquares, after all, they are trees!
Whenever I see something with art, colorful and unique, I need to check it out.I thought, how unique, creative and beautiful is this idea. It was a wonderful idea to display the creativity of the knitters of Ingolstadt.
But then, are there any other reasons or good cause behind it?
My daughter said ” Mama, maybe the trees get cold too, so they need to cover up when it´s cold..” I nodded and agree.
But what is actually Yarn Bombing?
“yarn bombings main motivation is to bring life, warmth, and a feeling of belonging and community”
Yarn bombing or Knitfiti is actually the practice of using knitted or crochet yarn to cover (typically public) objects – is just one example of a range of new and creative forms of activism.It´s also called as Guerilla knitting, Urban Knitting or yarn storming.It can be anything, like bike stands, or anything of public use and property. This agenda is attributed to Magda Sayeg,who on 2005 covered her door shop handle with a custom-made cozy.Joann Matvichuk of Lethbridge, Alberta, founded the International yarn Bombing Day, which was first observed on 11 of June,2011
Over here in Bavaria,the initiative of Tree yarn bombing in my city was presented by theFree Voters organization and local community to express their form of protest against clearing of the trees, preservation of the small city park and building of a Kammerspiele.The focus of the consideration is something to do with the renovation of the City Theater and better consideration for the artists.
So I guess, yarn bombing is actually have to do something about a cause–a reason or something to protect on.At present , there are total of 13 trees that are already “wrapped” with these artistically knitted yarns .The yarn used is approx. 60 kgs .Most of the Knitters are done by women so I guess this is a showcase of how many talented knitters we have here .I even have a colleague who happened to learned knitting during Corona Lockdown only through watching You tube tutorials…what a talent!
The thing is, it is not clear until when these trees will be wrapped in yarn. Nowadays, we have more rainy days than sunny days , it is summer and it´s really crazy weather.So I was thinking that the longer that these trees will be clothed with yarn, then it might start to create molds–which means, pests can nest in and eventually cause damage on the trees.
Do you think Yarn bombing is purely for aesthetics purposes only or not?
“properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn´t hurt the untroubled spirit either….
-Elizabeth Zimmerman,´Knitting without Tears´
I grew up seeing one of my Aunt doing ridiculously good knitting and this was captured by her daughter. I think knitting is a passionate hobby. It can even turn into a source of income. But knitting for a cause–is yet another mystery.
Today was really warm, 29 degrees . I know it´s warm because the local swimming pools are jampacked , fully booked and everyone is surely out for swimming . Either they´re cooling down in the lakes, rivers, or at luxury of their private pools in their gardens.Our own garden is now occupied with our little inflatable pool, plus a slide.My daughter loves to swim there and it already starts to be small for her.Actually she can´t actually swim there, she can just splatter herself and do breathing exercise under the water.But I guess that´s the real essence of beating the heat for children–water fun and more water !
They will stay there probably as long as the weather permits!
I totally forget that I came from a very humid and hot tropical country, and to think that I have lived in one of the hottest regions in the world where I survived 40+ deg temps.Yes, we survived with AC´s, ventilators, and lots of times spent swimming and staying indoors.
Here in Germany, people are already complaining once it´s 30 degrees! It´s funny because everyone complains about the weather whether it´s sunny, raining or freezing. The other days we have thunderstorms and rains, and now, we are sweating like crazy. It´s very seldom that houses here in Germany have airconditioning.Every house has a heating so everyone stays warm in Winter.
Anyway,this Sunday, another quiet Sonntag as usual, but we decided to do something active and fun.We participated in the Stadtradeln Ingolstadt 2021 (or city cycling) where we cycle and count our distance to save energy and prevent more Carbon Dioxide(t CO2 ).I think it´s a very good cause and it encouraging everyone in our local community to hop on to their bikes and simply burn calories, having fun as a family and being active.We definitely love cycling ,so it was really fun to do this. My little Miss is happy with her new bike so she´s letting off her own steam. In our city, this active campain runs from June 26 to July 16,2021.I just realized how nice it is to see people getting by mingling with others again, cycling from here to there, moving on to normal life again.
Not only local residents are encouraged to cycle everyday, but also the politicians. They are also encouraged to hop on to their bikes and look for themselves, perhaps they can see far much better improvements and what is better for the city…new and better roads, perhaps?
I feel so excited about this because I am a huge fan of Graffiti Street Art. So after getting all the locations ,we drove our bikes to the different spray stations of the “La Grande Schmierage“.This year, though in Corona times, they launched another beautiful and really cool Graffiti Art campaign all throughout Ingolstadt City ” La Tour de Schmierage“!
And yes, I was not dissapointed. They were all super cool and it really made a difference to me. How they transform empty, boring walls into something so creative is really impressive. I wrote about them about their project “Hall of Fame” and now after 2 years of break because of Corona ,they are back again , full of creative ideas and inspiration.
We cycled out after we had breakfast , that´s the good thing because the streets are still empty.By the time we went back, the streets are now packed with people on their bikes. I smiled to myself , thinking I am really living in a cycling culture .Both old and young, and children, everyone just enjoy pedalling in two wheels. The soft summer breeze is so nice under the shady roads, but around noon, the sun starts to sting already .It´s definitely summer.
More Graffiti works by great artists of La Tour de Schmierage.
Some walls and establishment looked quite dreary, but after the new Graffiti art totally transformed the place and exudes new appearance. An old restaurant, bar, facade, and a boring electrical box are now beaming with colors, alive and with intricate details of happy activities, creativity, animals, creatures, and lots of symbolism.
Can you recognize which Greek/Roman Gods are they?
After being out for about 4 hours and cycling with a 6 year old , we rewarded ourselves with our first Beergarden Lunch. On our last stop, there´s a nice little playground under the shady trees and as we sit there, I remembered the months of quarantine, endless lockdowns, and being stuck, eating at home. I was happy that restaurants were finally allowed to reopen and reviving their business once again.We are starting to do normal things again.I know that it will still take time to finally feel at ease with crowds without the fear of this scary virus, but then…
We opt to hope for the best.
This is how my typical Sunday spent. How about yours?
The vacant lot beside where we lived is now under construction. That means….
Everyday there´s something going on. All except Sundays. We have loud commotions and noises under our noses and lots of scrambling like someone is being murdered. There are huge trailers,Lorries,delivery vans, cranes, endless trips of ready mixed concrete trucks.
My daily sights include the flying ” Mobi” or the porta toilets for the workers, and in the street across us, a container is settled for the worker´s quarters. There is always human and motor traffic. When the land was being cleared, I have seen the biggest damp truck I have ever seen, and I was really amazed how fast it did the job done.Within 3 days, the empty field was scraped and a big hole was dug.
It´s not always an enjoyable to watch and to live with the noises is really maddening. But then, nothing we can do.
We live with it and hoping that it will be finished. Soon.
On the other hand, when I cycled to work, I am rewarded with these beautiful sunrises.The skies are colorful and the construction serves as the sun´s background to show it´s amazing dawn.So far, this is one of the perks of waking up at 5.30 am and starting the day early.
Though in some point, these pretty purple magenta sunrises reminds me of Jude , who challenges us to look out for the color Purple in everyday life. Do head on to her ” Life in Colour “ page if you wanna see some serious adventures in full colors.
Until then, and by the way, here in Bavaria, we say “Servus” instead of Hello! Tschüss.
Let´s talk about Beer for a while and let me take you again to another fascinating, unique hidden gem in my old town, Ingolstadt. Germans take pride of their Beer, especially the Bavarians. One of the pride of the locals here in my town is the Georgianum Beer Fountain or what we also called in German “Bierbrunnen“.We have lots of Beer gardens but then this fountain is really special.
Well, yes, Beer is an important part of Bavarian tradition, especially here where the Beer Purity Law or Reinheitsgebot from 1516 begun. For locals here, Beer is an integral part of the daily life and people regarded it not as an alcoholic drink, rather a “staple food” or Lebensmittel.With this Purity law, it goes by the rule that only 3 key ingedients should be present in brewing beer.These are Water, Barley and Hops.
With this Beer Fountain, it looks rather more than a faucet per se, but then before it was really regarded as a sacred fountain where fresh water is dispersed and people quench their thirst here on hot summer days.This place was an old school then turned into Catholic Seminary and were later bought by the local Brewery Herrnbräu.On the Jubilee year anniversary special, a golden liquid started to flow giving this little nook a special charm for the locals and visitors.Of course, only the finest beer of 16 years of age flows in this fountain.
Last 2016, we had a local celebration of the Jubilee Year of the 1516 Beer Purity Law.It celebrates 500 golden years of the Reinheitsgebot and to commemorate this event, the Beer Fountain was made.The event was actually very festive. Starting with the programme, parade, and musicals, the whole town is really very noisy and full of people.Recalling the times before Corona, we have yearly celebration for this.People dressed up in medieval costumes and made an reenactment of the old times where people gather around the fountain to have their drink. I think it was really cool and I am so lucky to have seen this. My daughter was really thrilled when she saw Knights, and people clad in vests, funky shoes, hats and yes, swords!
This bronze Mural was designed by the artist and painter Alexandra Fromm from Neuburg an der Donau.Along with the 500 year anniversary celebration, the state of Bavaria also released a limited post stamp, and coins from silver and gold. I managed to go home with a Beer mug (Bierkrug) and the golden coins so that makes me happy!
My husband and few of our friends attended the Beer tour which caters the history of the different kinds of Beer and their brewing process. Of course participants were able to taste all of those beer so practically, this day is really a celebration of Beer! With all of these beers, from dark to light coloured ones, I always go to my favourite—the Pils!
Pils is invented by the world class Master Brewer from Bavaria, Josef Groll from Vilshofen.
The Beer Festival, together with the whole celebration was attended by so many people and there were beer stalls where people have the chance to know the Beer history. It was decorated with stalls, weapons, tents and a stage where the law was read and declared by the Duke.
I was totally shocked to found out that world record of 1.3 seconds is what only takes for an American man named Steven Petrosino to drink a whole maß of Beer! That is a big gulp of 1 liter of Beer! This record is still unbreakable…
I am not a heavy Beer drinker but when I came to Germany, I began to appreciate their beloved Beer drinking culture. Sitting in Beer gardens is a normal habit, it is super cozy and the whole family can totally enjoy it. Writing this post made me missed those times.Because of Corona, Beer gardens are closed .People dressed up especially on weekends, wearing Lederhosen and Dirndls, even the children are clad in Bavarian Tracht as well. Most Beer gardens has a corner for children to play so it´s really an ideal place for weekends.
And last thing, here in Bavaria, we say instead of ” Cheers” , “ Prost” !
Do you like Beer? or are you more of the Wine type?
If you´re interested for more Beer related stories, I have written quite a few of them ,feel free to read them if you have more time to kill.
It resembled closely to Dutch´s Delft paintwork, using only two shades, blue and white .It´s a local heritage here where creative ladies handpainted all these eggs all year round.Imagine the time they consume blowing and drying all these eggs then afterwards painting.These two colors are the prime Bavarian colors which is also seen in Bavarian state Flag.
The eggs are binded with green garlands and decorated with little flowers so it can be hanged in the fountain.It´s another long time tradition here to put up an Easter Fountain or Osterbrunnen.Normally we have Easter Market, where people can sit and enjoy the festivities and listen to folk Bavarian music.There are small craft shops, Beergardens, play areas,face paintings, games and programmes, but then now everything was cancelled because of Corona virus.
Then there´s the osternbaum, or the tree with painted eggs.Handpainted or plastic eggs are hanged on foliage, trees and bushes are an example of this old tradition.It´s not only in Christmas where Germans decorate their trees, it happens that it´s quite the same in Easter as well. I , myself did this as well in our garden.My daughter brought home some Easter creative art projects, which she eventually displays at home.
Why do I love our Bavarian Easter, probably because it´s unique, cozy, Gemütlich and festive; and anyway, who doesn´t love chocolates?
Do you celebrate Easter?
Happy Easter, or in German we say it best with ” Frohe Ostern!”
Hello February! I decided to make another post about my Winter Photo journal this year. Yes, this Winter is abnormally normal that I am taking notes of it.
Aside from the Pandemic, it is quite abnormal, I think not only for me ,but for most of us.Our days here in Germany is normally quite the same, quiet, in solitude of lockdown, and staying safe and sound. Our navigation is still within these parameters ; Supermarkets, Parks and running, Pharmacy if we need something and weekend markets.
Since yesterday is the 31st of January ,so far we set another record, ( well we started to make records!) and surprisingly, so far we have walked and run for about 108.46 km in 22 activities this month alone! It means we could have been walking farther than Münich and Nürnberg!
We decided to follow the trail beside the river and so far we´ve loved it.It´s quite beautiful that Winter exposes us to many great views, aside from bald trees and fallen branches.
This Winter, I began to appreciate walking on crisp, chunky white snow.The sound it makes us happy and reminds us of our winter vacations in Austria. My winter boots has been an angel and keeping me on tabs on neverending changing seasons. Now I understand why one of the best advice I´ve got since I came here is to invest in a good winter jacket and boots.They are really a life-saver.
The last days and weeks were combination of Snow, rain and stormy weather.We got used to it and now everything is covered again in white snow.I am still grateful that once again, walking in solitude have have helped us to stay sane, nothing else to complain.I am telling you, the reality of Homeschooling and everything is no joke.But the moment we stepped outside and breathe fresh air, our moods were changed.An hour of sledding in the snow is certainly a miracle drug.Sometimes it´s hard to sleep if we haven´t take a walk!
I really find it funny when I realized what a small world we have because we often meet our neighbours and friends outside while walking, it´s like a big agenda , the highlight of our days!Every snow day is different from the other, so my winter journal is really diversified.
Today we walked through the Danube river and the water´s level is continuously rising.It rained for couple of days now and watching the water level becomes our pastime.My daughter was filled with high spirits, so amazed by so many fallen trees covered in snow around and for her, it´s an adventure trail, a maze.She told me that this happened because of the imbalance in the elements, she meant water, ice, fire and earth.I got lost for a while but then followed her stories and in the end, I realized she was telling me the Lego Ninjago Saga.
I wish adults can think like children for a change.Talking to children is quite fascinating and they give you unique, practical sometimes ludicrous answers to everything.With them, life is uncomplicated, happier, and That the moment they see snow, their plan is fixed. One time I was doing my late night walking and I still saw children sledding in pitch dark nights.It´s like they don´t want the snow to go away, time is frozen and the magic ends…
Watching the foliages and plants covered in white washed snowy wonder is truly a magical sight.I guess despite the cold and agitation of frigid hands, we are okay with it.Enough with complaining, but hey, aren´t they beautiful?I saw that the paths are already covered with so many footprints, so I guess there were more early earth-walkers that has been here before us.As early as 6 am, people are out taking morning walks…
I think I am getting good in knowing which plants stay green in Winter and which one gets bald first.
And now, it´s time for another walk!Stay safe everyone, have a great week. Tschüss.