Monday, March 19, 2012

Piracher Strasse in the Snow

 Here's our little street in the height of the snow time this year
The road seemed to get more narrow as the days went by and we ended up taking turns with other cars more and more as the snow piled up on the roadsides. That's one major difference between driving here and the USA...There's not always enough room for everybody at the same time and you HAVE to cooperate with one another
The bottom letterbox belongs to us.  There's a yellow sticker on ours...I dont' have ANY idea what it says. Maybe I should figure it out, but I'm not too worried.
We don't get much mail anyway
 Here's my little viewing window on the second floor. It's my own personal catbird seat...
 I got a picture of the Deutsche Post truck delivering the mail one day.
Most of the time, it is done with a bicycle. My grandfather was a letter carrier for the U.S. Postal Service in Chattanooga in the 1940's through the late 1960's. He would have enjoyed seeing the bicycles with the large baskets and mailbags. He himself had to hoof his way through
the East Lake area all those years!
 The Volvo, with its snow tires, handles wonderfully in this weather
I'm gonna miss this vista when I'm back in Chattanooga.  I'll have these pictures to look back on though.  I plan to collect all the ones I have to create a multi-seasonal montage of this
straight-out view from our livingroom

Robert Koch Strasse in the Snow

 This is one of the main streets I haunt in Burghausen.
The little coffee shop I stop at to experience a little American-style wireless Internet is up on the left in this picture. I can stand up at a small outdoor table and check my email here.  I don't do that very often, because checking my email publically when I could be chatting with friends or observing passersby isn't very German from what I can tell. Rain, shine, cold or hot, there is usually a someone or two at the little outdoor table. I would like to sit at the one table nearby that has chairs, but there are a couple of old guys that kinda hold court there for most of the day-every day!  They talk and play cards a lot of the time and greet friends...many people seem to know them
 There are many hair dressers, optical shops, clothing stores, gift stores, cosmetic companies, day spas and food markets in this stretch of road. The upper floors contain professional offices and private apartments.  The dermotologist I've seen here in Burghausen has a second floor office on the right hand side in this picture. I ride my bike down the sidewalk and have to dodge people along the way. This is where I perfected my "ride at a walking pace" technique!
The footing can be a little tricky in this kind of snow.  Though the roads and sidewalks are cleared to perfection, crossing the snowpiles in between can be precarious. I saw a woman almost take a terrible spill here in front of where I parked my little Volvo. 
In the left background, you can see the Hotel Garni Lindacher Hof. It's one of the nicer hotels in the cityThere's no need for a car if you stay here, as it is nearby to most everything. It's probably a 10 minute walk or so to the train station and there's plenty of restaurants close too. -Mine and Billy's favorite Greek restaurant can practically be seen in the distance- The old town (Altstadt) is a bit far to walk to, but it can be done ...if you don't mind the major climb back up the hill to this new part of the city. There are plenty of cabs to take you there too.
It all looks great in the snow

Romantic Walk in the Frozen Night Air

Billy and I took a walk one night at the lake.  It was totally frozen over.
The previous night we had heard that it was an effervescent and crowded place with people from all over the area.  We were looking for hot wine, hot chocolate, and to watch ice skaters and hockey players. (A friend said the lake only does this every 5-7 years or so.) Then, there was a storm ...and it covered the ice with a layer of snow.
We went there expecting to have to fight our way through hundreds of people. But instead we were met with a muffled silence and stillness that was startling. We walked the length of the lake arm in arm and only met a solitary jogger along the way.
The walkway was nicely plowed and easy to walk.
It was lit with attractive street lights on iron posts

The castle loomed overhead. Funny that it never looks like a cold hunk of stone, but warm and glowing...even in sub-zero temps

The Castle in the Snow

 The castle looks beautiful in the snow. It's a bit like a like a fairy fact it's  ALWAYS like a fairy tale
It was frightfully cold when I took these pictures from the highway across the way. I was glad to have bought boots made in Maine from LL Bean before I left. I also had a very warm down-filled parka I got at the same time.  I wonder how much use these will get back in Tennessee after I return

Warm and Snug in a cafe

As spring rapidly approaches and the snow has already melted here in Burghausen, I thought I'd better get busy and post some of my February snow pictures. I will soon have pictures of blossoms and freshly tilled earth on which to comment.
I have noticed that I'm a bit lax in posting now that Billy and I are well passed the half way mark of our Germany stay. Life has settled into a more relaxed mood in some ways ...I am NOT constantly surprised & astonished at the strangeness of the little things about my surroundings now. Though I still have a little smile for the extra-special sitting over a hot cup of coffee in a cafe and enjoying the way it is served on a little tray with a glass of water. I've spent quite a bit of time this winter looking out on scenes like these with my hat, gloves, and scarf on the chair beside me (There's always a coat rack by the door!) It was a great way to defrost from my bike ride or walk.
I was sitting at a restaurant called the Wiener Brathendl on Marktler Strasse in Burghausen when I took these pictures. My friend Daria (an ex-pat from California) was across the table. This is a place we like to get chicken noodle soup. They also have an imbus...or a place to get orders to go.
I'm really grateful to have met Daria. So often everyone I know here is working or busy with their children and we are both free during the days. We've been able to share lots of good conversation over coffee or soup and have a common interest in art. She is married to a brilliant German guy named Timo and they live in a neighboring town.