A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about snow

A taste of Slovenia

Maribor


View Teaching and Travelling Abroad on 3Traveller's travel map.

The end of a full day in Maribor, Slovenia. I arrived here yesterday after almost a whole day of travel; one Flixbus from Bregenz to Munich, then another one for six-and-a-half hours from there to here.

The following is a series of moments, impressions and experiences from the last two days.

The beauty of the frozen Bavarian landscape muffled in snow; long stretches where every branch and every leaf of every last tree and bush looked as if it had been dipped in snow or heavy frost. Snow as far as my eye could see...

The Old Vine of Maribor; the oldest vine in the world to still bear fruit, it has been producing grapes for 400 years, and even now these grapes produce about 25 litres of red wine per year. The Old Vine grows next to the River Drava, where apparently timber rafting was a big industry in bygone years.

IMG_8850.JPGIMG_8845.JPGIMG_9125.JPGc6ee4db0-f5b6-11e9-aac3-3391b1f5190a.JPGIMG_8848.JPGIMG_9112.JPG

The streets of Maribor. The colourful buildings with crumbling plaster reminded me a bit of Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

IMG_8822.JPG980b52d0-f5b7-11e9-b320-6f4150cef9b6.JPG97523c00-f5b7-11e9-aac3-3391b1f5190a.JPGIMG_8849.JPGIMG_8829.JPG97f38510-f5b7-11e9-aac3-3391b1f5190a.JPGIMG_8844.JPG

I can see some Slavic similarity between Slovenian and Bulgarian, though they're not that close. I've recognised a few isolated words; the words for great (as in big), water, honey, milk, ice cream, pancakes, street, bridge, town, Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday all only have a letter or two different, or in a couple of cases are identical.

Standing in the peaceful silence of the beautiful incense-scented cathedral, the only person there apart from a nun who I didn't know was there for quite a while because she was mostly hidden in an almost-screened-off side chapel.

0e8f7ee0-f5bd-11e9-b8fc-5347d32fa1f4.JPGIMG_8843.JPGIMG_8835.JPG0cbf2bb0-f5bd-11e9-b8fc-5347d32fa1f4.JPG0bfd8960-f5bd-11e9-b8fc-5347d32fa1f4.JPG

Maribor Regional Museum, contained within the old city castle. Highlights of the permanent collection included a set of painted fascia boards of beehives, medieval weapons, a mammoth tusk and huge wicker clogs worn by firefighters.

IMG_8777.JPGfff90e40-f5c7-11e9-824e-85ef39426595.JPGIMG_8799.JPG00dd2cb0-f5c8-11e9-824e-85ef39426595.JPGfd7aeee0-f5c7-11e9-b561-b98f56da5d9d.JPGIMG_8787.JPG00edf590-f5c8-11e9-9b02-5377ed9429ac.JPG3d246350-f5c8-11e9-83df-6569537b0ad2.JPG

There was also a great temporary exhibition on the flowering of classical concerts and other cultural offerings in Maribor in the 18th - 19th centuries (apparently Maribor was second only to Vienna, in a cultural sense, at this time). Highlights of this exhibition were the collection of historical musical instruments and the room where Liszt played one of his first international concerts.

a1554200-f5d1-11e9-a56b-c3b883e59429.JPGa15c9500-f5d1-11e9-895a-6b27246c19d0.JPGIMG_8814.JPGff6fe110-f5c7-11e9-b561-b98f56da5d9d.JPG

Tucking into some Styrian specialities for lunch - a delicious 'game ragout' which came with local Styrian potato noodles on top, plus 'grits pudding' - sounds unappetising but it was lovely; a bit like thick rice pudding but a type of very small grain instead of rice, with blueberry preserve and another type of preserve I've forgotten on top.

79ba76e0-f5c0-11e9-914c-b35ceb1abc60.JPGIMG_9135.JPG

Posted by 3Traveller 07:50 Archived in Slovenia Tagged snow museum buses slovenia bulgarian explorations natural_wonder maribor styrian_cuisine Comments (1)

The Oberstadt

Bregenz


View Teaching and Travelling Abroad on 3Traveller's travel map.

Update from October 2019: I later found out that the curious object is a mummified shark!

Last day of teaching this week, as it was a short course.

By the time we got back to the guesthouse after school it was 14:30; after only a brief stop we headed out again, into the city centre. I wanted to go to the Oberstadt, the oldest part of town, and H wanted to do some shopping, so after hot chocolates at a bakery we split up and agreed to meet up again at 18:00.

The Oberstadt (as you may have guessed from the name) looks out over the rest of the city from a hill. After following a cobbled path up the hill I reached the old fortified city gate, which had hanging from it the most curious object - it looked like a stuffed or model hybrid animal, like a cross between a dried-up shark and a bird.

402359b0-eacb-11e9-93da-eb2a0d69849a.JPG40785780-eacb-11e9-93da-eb2a0d69849a.JPGIMG_8758.JPG407f3550-eacb-11e9-9bf7-b1bd61b9776e.JPG3e83b370-eacb-11e9-93da-eb2a0d69849a.JPG

As I stood there two women and a toddler came up with sledges and rode down the path I'd just come up. Their dog ran along beside them but didn't try to catch a lift!

72fee980-eacb-11e9-b108-6bdc82ae65a7.JPG732e0fd0-eacb-11e9-9bf7-b1bd61b9776e.JPG

Out of interest, I've seen surprisingly few people playing in the snow here in Austria. No snowmen or snowball fights. Maybe because they're so used to snow here, they go skiing as a matter of course at weekends, but don't go crazy about snow in more casual ways like people do in the UK.

Anyway, back to the Oberstadt. It was small but picturesque and I was almost the only non-local person there the whole time. I imagine it gets a lot busier in the tourist season!

IMG_8762.JPG16d29c00-eacc-11e9-9bf7-b1bd61b9776e.JPGIMG_8761.JPG

I walked down the other side via a smaller cobbled path, then up again and came out by the Church of St Gallus, the church I had come across on Monday. It was closed, so I walked round the outside instead. The snow was deep in places. I came across a small plot of WWII graves on one side; in place of headstones they had thin metal decorated crosses.

555eb990-eacc-11e9-9bf7-b1bd61b9776e.JPG

Nearby the church I saw this Christmas-decorated tree in someone's garden;

IMG_8768.JPG56931ae0-eacc-11e9-b108-6bdc82ae65a7.JPG

On my way back to where we'd agreed to meet up I got a bit lost, but found my way in the end!

56c6fc20-eacc-11e9-9bf7-b1bd61b9776e.JPG

On our way back to the guesthouse we stopped at a big Interspar supermarket to stock up for our journeys tomorrow, before having some pizza at a small Turkish café. The people working there were incredibly friendly.

Posted by 3Traveller 02:53 Archived in Austria Tagged churches art snow austria bregenz explorations fortifications Comments (0)

The German excursion: Lindau im Bodensee

Bregenz and Lindau im Bodensee


View Teaching and Travelling Abroad on 3Traveller's travel map.

A special day today, both at school and afterwards.

Today was the day when all the local teachers were having their annual grade-deciding conference, and as part of that they had a big buffet in the staff room. My co-teacher and I were both urged to have as much as we wanted from it, both during the mid-morning break and afterwards for lunch. The vast majority of the dishes were homemade. I was urged in particular to have a Bavarian speciality, weisswurst with sweet mustard; it was absolutely delicious - so juicy and tasty. I don't normally like mustard but this was much nicer than English mustard. I also had some amazing pumpkin soup (which tasted very similar to Dad's curried parsnip soup), a slice of pea and broccoli quiche, a small cheese and spinach pie and an onion and roasted vegetable slice. What a feast!

After class finished we took a train around the lake into Germany to the historic and picturesque Lindau im Bodensee, which is set on its own little island connected to the main town of Lindau by the rail line and another bridge. We went on a lovely extended wander round town in the sunshine and crisp winter air, admiring up close the harbourside...

0cc35770-eaa6-11e9-a7d7-a9af9d3e31f5.JPGIMG_8693.JPGIMG_8706.JPG

...the lighthouse and Bavarian Lion sculpture at the harbour entrance...

0bd48aa0-eaa6-11e9-8c40-e79f4e0abc1a.JPGf31892b0-eaa8-11e9-a204-2da2c9e65b6c.JPGIMG_8694.JPG0c8d5350-eaa6-11e9-8c40-e79f4e0abc1a.JPGIMG_8710.JPG

...and the view over the rest of the lake. I spotted some mysterious wooden posts sticking out of the water which I thought could be old supporters of a former, wooden jetty;

0d4afe00-eaa6-11e9-b1a1-5bea42e395a0.JPGIMG_8704.JPG

On our walk round the historic town I admired a lot of the buildings. One of them had an absolutely massive, woody plant growing up one side; maybe an ancient wisteria or laburnum.

3f1341b0-eaa9-11e9-a204-2da2c9e65b6c.JPG40176b40-eaa9-11e9-a204-2da2c9e65b6c.JPGIMG_8712.JPGIMG_8711.JPG4186d9c0-eaa9-11e9-b7fd-552ad6336e0a.JPG571c5d00-eaa9-11e9-b7fd-552ad6336e0a.JPG4058ba00-eaa9-11e9-a204-2da2c9e65b6c.JPGIMG_8741.JPG

Some buildings had murals on the front and antiques stalls set up outside.

IMG_8718.JPGIMG_8733.JPG

Before returning to the train station we stopped at a cafe, where I had a lovely Black Forest coffee. Then we went to a supermarket to get sandwiches for dinner, as we'd already had a main meal at lunchtime.

Posted by 3Traveller 08:00 Archived in Germany Tagged lakes art snow trains austria germany bregenz explorations german_cuisine lindau_im_bodensee Comments (0)

On the shore of the Bodensee

Bregenz


View Teaching and Travelling Abroad on 3Traveller's travel map.

I'm now in Bregenz, on the shore of the Bodensee - almost as far west as you can go in Austria, just a couple of miles round the corner from Germany and Switzerland. I'm teaching an exam preparation course this time, and it's a short course - only Monday to Wednesday. I have one co-teacher (a different one to last week).

After class today we went for a walk into the centre of Bregenz via the edge of the Bodensee. It had snowed overnight and during the morning, but the lake itself hadn't frozen.

IMG_8649.JPGf0dce4c0-dd19-11e9-8860-ed6e64034b98.JPGf1428460-dd19-11e9-9c07-e7bbf4064ec8.JPGf14fa3c0-dd19-11e9-8ebf-d946083f050f.JPGIMG_8654.JPG

Blue skies, peaceful snowy fields, forested hills in the background, ripples on the lake... it was so beautiful!

22010090-dd1a-11e9-9bf7-173624223623.JPG4c0ba2f0-dd1a-11e9-b055-5571dcb8a96e.JPG4bc7e330-dd1a-11e9-b055-5571dcb8a96e.JPGIMG_8993.JPG4ba84d40-dd1a-11e9-9bf7-173624223623.JPG

Once we reached the city centre we were initially a little disappointed with the buildings and general architecture (it wasn't bad, but wasn't as totally amazing as everyone had told us) but then as we followed the streets higher and higher we grew more and more impressed, until we could completely see why everyone had raved about the place to us. I most definitely recommend visiting!

IMG_8663.JPGIMG_8657.JPGIMG_8658.JPGIMG_8673.JPGIMG_8688.JPG

We got a great view of the Oberstadt on its hill, overlooking the rest of the city; it was getting dark by now so we decided to leave going up there for another day. Instead we stuck to wandering the cobbled streets in the twilight.

Before we headed back to our guesthouse we had some dinner at a brewery. I had a lovely dish consisting of roast pork slices with potato dumplings, sweet purple cabbage and gravy.

IMG_9024.JPG

Posted by 3Traveller 01:50 Archived in Austria Tagged lakes snow austria bregenz brewery explorations austrian_cuisine Comments (0)

From east to west: Mödling to Bregenz

Mödling, Vienna, Munich and Bregenz


View Teaching and Travelling Abroad on 3Traveller's travel map.

I'm writing this on the Flixbus from Munich to Bregenz, and I'm absolutely knackered!

I'd deliberately chosen a hostel in Munich as close to the main bus station as possible, because of the heaviness of my big case, laptop bag and other bag (plus one of the case wheels has broken), but even that relatively short distance proved a struggle in the snow which had been falling overnight and was still going. Lots of slipping about, lifting to avoid slush puddles, and grit jamming the wheels. My hands, forearms and shoulders were still painful from the day before, and by the time I reached the Flixbus I had such little strength left in my grip, I'm not how much further I would have managed to go!

I rewarded myself with a delicious jam doughnut with pink icing on top for my breakfast. As I'd passed through the big train station on the way, I'd also bought myself two giant chewy pretzels to save for later, both with melted cheese on top and one with rosemary as well. Together with a tub of rice pudding, the boiled eggs I managed to save from breakfast yesterday and some Maoam sweets, I should have enough food to last me for the rest of today, meaning I won't have to search out a restaurant in Bregenz this evening (the majority seem to close on Sundays in Austria).

The snow has been a sight to behold so far on this journey. Right now we're passing by a pine forest, with ground and branches laden with snow in a stereotypically Christmassy manner. Because it's a bit misty as well, fields and bare hills we've passed have appeared to blend together into one sea of whiteness.

Unfortunately, we've also seen the darker side of snow; not far from Munich we passed a car which had half spun round at the side of the road - luckily a man was standing next to it and there didn't seem to be any passengers inside. A police car was next to it. About half an hour ago we passed a more serious crash - a car was lying on one side in the middle of the road and looked half-crushed, and was surrounded by helpers getting emergency blankets out of cars and things like that.

Posted by 3Traveller 11:51 Archived in Austria Tagged snow vienna austria germany buses munich moedling german_cuisine Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 5 of 13) Page [1] 2 3 » Next