Munich for the last few weeks has been barely snow-free. A proper winter. After the heavy snowfall on Boxing day, the snow keeps coming intermittently in varying amounts. Enough to keep the walkways either covered in snow or glazed with ice until the next batch arrives.
Without the hassle of a car journey to work through snow and ice, I’m learning to appreciate the pleasures of winter. The glistening snow reminds me of the tacky christmas cards that use glitter to mark the snow. The wonderfully dampening effect of the snow on the usual hustle and bustle of city life. The beauty of the parks and open spaces, decked in a permanent layer of white. The comforting draw of Munich’s many breweries.
For me, the sight of so much snow is sort of a novelty. Whilst I wince at the sight of every pensioner who glides his or her Zimmer frame over the slippery surfaces, seemingly oblivious to the dangers of a fractured hip, or look in awe at young mums striding without a care with tiny babies slung to their chests, the locals here seem to be used to the terrain.
Talk at work on a Friday centres around the centimetres of snowfall in anticipation of day trips to the alps or the cross-country skiing hotspots in and around the city. Even the works outing is a one day ski-trip.
As I write this from the cosiness of our still relatively newish home, with light snowfall and a howling wind as a backdrop, I can’t help thinking that the joy of spring will be a particularly special one this year.