Have you ever seen the sun lately?

Snow -clad benches, winter is finally here!

We´ve all waited for snow….that real “snowy” kind of day.I tooked lots of photos of it from our daily winter walks . With us nowadays it´s considered a sin if we don´t get out and spend some time outdoors. Afterall, we need fresh air, lots of it, and of course we need movement—so we walk! Unfortunately, I only used my iPhone since I normally took walks with my daughter after our Homeschooling. She cant stand me taking and doing macros of every single nature I see .That was a compromise but then it all went well.

Last week we had a good amount of snow finally, but not that “Winter Wonderland” thing.This time we managed to feel grateful yes, Winter had finally arrived! I was already thinking how boring it would be if we wouldn´t have snow this year.It´s a refreshing sight to see whiteness in everything ,instead of dark, gloomy, bald, grey foliage and landscape.

Abandoned boat along the lake covered in snow

We took various routes, depending on the mood of the little Walker.The farthest she got so far was 8km, with short breaks, playing plus climbing trees and again playing with snow,plus eating it! She wanted to throw snowballs all the time and I just can´t get the hang of it.Snow fun is a must in winter, and yes, time to sledding!

Winter walks in the time of Pandemic

Here in Germany, we entered another “Lockdown” , which started last week.They made stricter rules, and more safety controls. Shops are opened but since Ingolstadt had more than 200+ Corona victims, we went under the 15km Radius rule.Travel is encouraged only if really urgent and necessary, and starting on Monday, we need to wear the PPF2 masks! I hurried up to the nearby Pharmacy and got ourselves some packs.These masks are not cheap, compared to community washable masks, they are expensive! One piece costs 5 Euros!

Our humble neighborhood was transformed into children´s little winter paradise.The moment it starts snowing, children runs outside and get excited.Too excited that they do rodeling and sledding even if the snow is quite thin!There is a nearby park from us where everyone flocked during Winter to slide in the slopes and rodeling.Some even do snowboarding and do all kinds of stuff. I guess we just felt lucky that we are surrounded with nature and simple adventure fun to do in Winter, especially during lockdown.

Winter and snow totally helped us ease the boredom and our exasperation of this pandemic.

Daily walks become a daily habit for everyone.
Frosty the Snowman is finally here

I guess if you haven´t experience Winter , then you won´t be able to understand why it brings such joy to kids…and adults.Despite the cold, fresh air is always a bonus! There´s something about snow and the landscape that is covered in white that really excites your inner self.I love the crisp sound of snow under my boots, the light flight of snowflakes in my face when I am running, and watching nature and trees covered with white foams of snow.It´s quite magical…

Family walks during Isolation and Pandemic

I tried running in snow and minus temps this year, and I find it really challenging and yet very rewarding. I have a lot of hesitation of doing this because I don´t like the cold but then I just push myself in doing it, and it was great.I have read that doing exercise in cold climates has actually some reaping benefits to health.But sometimes, a quiet walks in the woods is also very invigorating rather than an adrenalin pumping long run.With walking, I had all the chance to admire and look closely to my surroundings.

Ready for some rodeling and sledding

Since almost everything is closed in Germany, we don´t have really much choice but to spend some walking to exercise outside. I noticed that nowadays, my neighborhood becomes the walking capital, I guess it goes the same with other places.There is nothing else we can do..Everybody just walks!

Below are some photos of the lakes,parks and walks we´ve had.

We went through the lake and I was completely in awe of the lovely sight that surprised us. The lake was not yet frozen but the thin layer of snow that covers the water is quite amazing. The foliage were delicately dipped in snow and create such a magical winter nostalgia.Everything seemed to be so peaceful, quiet and serene. Out here in nature, we don´t have any place for worries.It´s like in another world where we forget about chores, virus, and catasthropes!

Our own Winter Wonderland

Nature is taking a break, in a very quiet, solemn retreat during Winter.

the view from the river Danube is one of my favorite spots, especially in Winter where everything looks like in another world.

I am sure everthing will soon be a history, and our lives will soon return to normal´ as well.But then I would always looked back to this chapter where nature becomes our refuge and snow memories are treasured dearly.Wathing the sun goes down in Winter was another beautiful memory…

When the sun eventually comes out and shines…we are grateful.

Stay safe and healthy everyone….Tschüss!

Why do you love watching Sunrises and Sunsets?

Shadowcast and David and Goliath fighting in Regensburg

Spaziergang , the German way of walking

Silent Sunday

New Year’s Eve in Schlick 2000!

IMG_5133
My view last New Year’s Eve, up above, 2,240 meters above!

It’s my first time to celebrate the New Year away from home. Normally, we celebrate it at home, staying in with the family and watching fireworks. Not so this year.

We decided to go up high in the Alps and enjoy the view from above.

Well, even with an active 3-year-old toddling with us, then why not?

For a couple of weeks, and a week before Christmas, I felt so stressed out, I am like pulling the days to end to finally start the Christmas break. I had my Deutsch class up until the 22nd of December but I badly needed a holiday. I don’t care how long it is or where it is, I just want to be out and have a breath of fresh air. Unfortunately, my daughter got sick, she caught a virus right after the other so she was really running on high fevers, coughs and colds. These lasted up throughout Christmas. It causes us a lot of stress and at the end of the week, I also got a nasty sore throat and I am not really up for the holidays.

We are blessed with a fine weather on New Year’s Eve when we climbed up the Schlick 2000 in Stubaital, in Fulpmes, a winter wonderland village, half an hour away from Innsbruck. Our family apartment has a wonderful view of the mountains as well and we enjoyed it in different views. I especially cannot forget how beautiful the last Sunset that I watched in Tirol.

IMG_5215
The view of the valley from above the Schlick 2000

Now who can’t say NO to this view?

I have seen another beautiful side of the Alps. The snow-capped mountains are really living gems of Austria. Looking at the cloudless horizon with the glistening mountain peaks and the serene atmosphere above makes this a whole new experience for me. Though I was really motion-sick while going up through the cable car rides twice to finally get up to the viewing area, my stomach has a nasty somersault while I looked down at the steep slopes. I couldn’t sit still while I hold my daughter’s tiny hands in between my hands.I am just so glad that it went so fast. I was feeling so sick !

IMG_5139
A Winter Sport Paradise in Innsbruck

This view is totally worth it! We found the top piste packed with Skiers and tourists. Young and old, clad in shiny, colorful winter garb, all set for an adventure in the slopes. Some are just lounging , enjoying the sun, sipping a beer, and probably napping. Well, yes, this place looks like a Beer garden up above 2000+ meters!  My daughter was super thrilled to try on different sticks, helmets, and roll over the snow.We left Germany full of snow as well but I was not even happy about the sight of it. But here, I saw the snow with a different charm. It looks like the snow fun is waiting for us. I couldn’t get off my eyes to the gigantic  mountain ranges full of snow in front of me. They are like giants, but I don’t feel small. The great thing about Innsbruck, it gives us the time to just relax and enjoy.

IMG_5089

I personally love to just have a peaceful getaway up above the mountain and admiring the grandeur of the Alps. To reach as far as my eyes can see. I can cover with my thumb an entire village and follow through the clouds that shrouded the whole valley. Everything around me is just magical. A special winter pleasure.

When I looked at my daughter, all my worries are gone. I know it’s another year to face, another challenges, and yet, she made me feel brave to face everything. Remembering that she was crazy sick and finally back to wellness gives me enough strength. She deserves to catch the sun. She deserves the world! Also, I am super grateful that my husband brought us into another winter wonderland at the very start of the year. Austria will always be special for our family. This time, we never felt isolated there because we are only a few kilometers away from the vibrant city of Innsbruck. We could even catch a glimpse of  it. From the windows of our apartment, we watched the fireworks and watch the lights danced in the mountains. It is totally different from the way I grew up celebrating the New Year!

IMG_5159
My Little Explorer!

Cheers to New Routes… New Possibilities.

We are ready to face the New Year!

 

 

 

IMG_5132
Celebrating my Anniversary with WordPress ! Cheers for more Blogging adventures!

Today also marked another special achievement for my Blog, Justbluedutch!  It’s my Blog Anniversary with Word press. It has been 2 years now that I am sharing with this wonderful platform my life in photos, stories, adventures, my artworks, and my Expat Life. I have met great people here who have shared with me their life stories as well. Reading about their life experiences made me appreciate the beauty of Blogging.

I wanted to specially thank all the people who followed my Blog and gave wonderful comments. There are lots of genuine-kind hearted people who totally inspired me and appreciate my Artworks. It means a lot to me.

With the start of the new year, I hope you stay with me as I continue to write about my life experiences here in Germany .It has been a pleasure to share my life and adventures from my Expat Life with all of you.

 

Danke Schön! Thank you and Salamat!

 

If you like to connect with me and follow my Expat Life, please visit my Instagram page and also, if you love Art, you can check out my Etsy shop  and get inspired by authentic, handmade, original Aquarelle and Acrylic paintings!

 

Tchüss !

~Christina

 

 

To love winter is a Privilege

From our recent trip to Austria where I have seen  surreal images of the beauty of snow during a cold Freezing January , I admit I was in love of this pure whiteness all over me. To tell you honestly, coming from one of the hottest country in the world,and grew up in a tropical climate where I only knew humidity, rain & scorching summer, the sight of the mountains, especially the Alps covered in snow, and walking through a gush of  a heavy snow fall, all day, all night, sure thing its a pretty sight. It’s overwhelming for the first time! My husband said ; you are asking for snow, now you have snow!

I can’t stop staring and capturing these moments. All the more that I was immediately smitten when I saw  from Snowmeltssomewhere  her wonderful captures of  the silence, beauty,  and the low visibility in the Finnish Lapland, covered in pure whiteness, almost unreal for someone who experience snow for the first time.

Then comes the second day, the third day and the rest of what we called nowadays, it all becomes…pretty normal. Almost everything. It’s still a winter wonderland, but the “wonder” diminishes gradually.

fullsizerender-3
To love Winter is a privilege

All I wanted to say is,  to love winter and snow is a privilege.

Because not everyone experience these changing seasons. I, myself was one of them. There are people from the other side of this planet who have never seen a single snowflake in their lives and for them, seeing a place like this is an absolute paradise. They would fly miles away just to see a winter wonderland and experience White Christmas, dressed up in winter clothes and  soak in the winter atmosphere. Yes, they have the right to brag about it. I remember seeing people in Kuwait during the months of December ~January  who dressed up in winter boots, faux fur coats and  wool jackets in a temperature of 10 degrees on a sunny day . Meanwhile, we would all be cycling and taking walks here in Germany in pullover and light jackets. Here in Bavaria, even with the minus temps & snowing, people still cycle to go to school and work, jogging, bringing out their kids in the cold, and walk their dogs on a freezing day. Same routines.

Not everyone have the chance to grow up in a winter wonderland place. I used to dream about snow and a white Christmas too. I wonder how a snowman is being built and how does it feel to ski or even ride a sled. I longed to know how does it feel, and taste the snow, and watch the magical snowflake falls on my face. I was so eager for this experience like a child.

But the fun ends and I won’t lie, I have these secret emotions and I don’t expect that every one of you can relate. Despite the beauty that I’m seeing, I can’t deny that I have these blues that engulfs me whenever I see all these whiteness and exhilarating coldness. I know complaining never helps because I don’t hate the cold, I am not just used to it.

Can anybody relate to my feelings?

fullsizerender-5
A walk into this winter wonderland.

This biting cold. It creeps to my bones and I can’t stand anymore even 3 seconds without my gloves. One time, in the middle of my Wandertags and my whole body  feels  a surge of panic to get inside immediately or else I couldn’t even  feel my face anymore. I’m afraid I might get a frostbite. I dunno what is a frostbite. No, not yet. That on weekends, I was dying for a bike ride but continuously hesitated, dreading the freezing wind in my face and I know my nose will just be stuffed and becomes runny. How annoying it is to remove your gloves, get a tissue, wipe your nose–all in repetition? Oh well if it itch somewhere, then…

img_0896-1
A christmas Ball covered in snow.

This panic of layering clothes. I am not so conscious but what exactly is Winter fashion?  Here in Germany, I can’t think of any fashion— only Function! You need to dress up for the weather. They say that there’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing. But how much is too much? Is 3 layers enough? Unless you’re attending a very important meeting, your impeccable dress doesn’t matter. At home, dressing up a wiggling toddler is something that we do in haste nowadays, oftentimes leading to drama. Please tell me if you have any tips how can I make my daughter put on her mittens/gloves because it’s always a fight for her to keep it on. Before I could even put on my shoes, she already removed it.

 

img_0946-1
Time to work the messy work in Winter

It’s a hard work pushing! Winter is a lot of work. If I managed to push my daughter’s stroller in the snow-covered streets  for even an hour, then I don’t need to work out anymore. I needed to be cautious in my steps too, or I’ll end up landing my ass in the streets. Even buses I’ve seen have snow chains since roads with ice can be so slippery. Not fun at all. I’m just glad if we survive on a daily basis. Besides,  my toddler might ask me why we need to take walks in these minus temps, freezing cloudy days ,  when all the playgrounds have disappeared, literally!

img_0907-1
A Submerged Mercedes-Benz  in snow .

I’m sweating the moment I get in.I thought I felt cold but why I was sweating so much?  I should blame these layers that I wear. I can’t wait to untangle my scarf when entering a shop but dreading to put it on again after 5 minutes. Is it only me who thinks that drinking Hot chocolate everyday  makes me feel so bloated? I admit I have drink more tea nowadays more than I have ever drink tea in my whole life, also countless trips to the bathroom.

img_0901-1
A  statue covered in snow.

Happy hour is nowhere. No leisure walks outside means no sunsets to watch. It’s just grey & white there,then black. When I am dreading the 5:30 a.m wake up call knowing it’s still pitch black outside and that our days practically ends at 4:00 p.m when everything turns dark. Am I supposed to have early dinner and what else? go straight to bed?  Remembering back in Kuwait where we put on dark curtains just to shield out the bright sun and children are playing up until 1 am in the morning in the park. In winter, all fun is indoors after 4pm. Now that we are living in these changing seasons, the only time Germans go crazy to rush to go outside is when the sun decided to show up. It is a sunny day, but also very cold.

img_5428
Snow everywhere and a frozen bird house.

 

img_0923
A perfect  natural White Christmas Tree

These Heavy. Winter. Garb. The daunting feeling when you’re about to go outside and start getting dressed, and you grab your winter jacket, boots, hat & gloves. It has become your daily uniform. For quite sometime now. The streets suddenly become narrow  with all these people walking in their stuffy jackets. I wore 2-3  layers of socks sometimes and yet, my toes still feel cold. I must add that wearing tights & leggings becomes a daily struggle.

img_0924
I’m not stopping  by this time!

When some friends made  comments about how much they LOVE Winter and the only words that comes out from my mouth is–Yes, it is.  But deep inside, again, these silent emotions– the reality bites of winter. I am thinking how to give a polite answer with all these things in my mind.

Don’t get me wrong, I love winter but sometimes it’s utterly depressing. I see it as everything is hibernating!  I love seeing the snowfall today, and I would love to watch it tomorrow ,again & again. I love-making snowman in our garden with my daughter, after all, I just had a complete winter garb this year, great finds I must say. I love everything about White Christmas too. My first Christkindlmarkt and our first Christmas here in Germany is all good memories although I’m not so fond of Glühwein! But…

 I  hope the warm sun touches my skin again and see  beautiful sunny days…can’t wait!

What about you, what do you like about Winter? Which one of the seasons is your favorite?

If you enjoyed this post, and wants to kill more time in my page,  make sure to follow me on my  Twitter  and my Instagram  for more updates on my Expat Life  and travel adventures. Thank you so much for stopping by my friends!