Sunday, 3 January 2016

New Year's Eve and the New Year

In recent years, I've always been in Ludwigsburg for New Year's Eve, either at a restaurant for a posh dinner (and dance) or at my parents', my sister's or my own home.
This time, we did something different and went visiting friends at their holiday home in a region of southern Germany called Allgäu. It is a beautiful area of mountains and lakes, green pastures and picturesque villages, and many people go there all year round: in the summer, they go hiking or enjoy water sports on one of the many lakes, and in winter, the region is popular for skiing.
No snow there yet this winter, so we did not need to prepare as if for a polar expedition (suits me!).

On the last day of 2015, I woke up to this beautiful sunrise, seen from my kitchen window:


We arrived at our destination after a 2 1/2 hours drive, still early enough to catch some daylight. Our friends have a (VERY well-behaved) dog, and so we all went out for a walk before it became too dark.
The rest of the afternoon and the evening we spent having coffee, playing a board game, eating a delicious cheese fondue and playing cards. There were five of us there plus the dog. Just before midnight, all of us (except for the dog) took a glass of champagne and stepped on the balcony. The flat is on the 8th floor and offers fantastic views of mountain panorama - during the day.
Now, in the dark and with a thick fog covering most of the valley below, we could not see as much of the fireworks as we would have liked to. But there was still lots going on, and for a good half hour, the relatively small population of the town did their best to entertain us tourists :-)

The next morning, we enjoyed the spectacular view from the breakfast table. It is amazing how the sky there changes from one moment to the next! The following pictures were taken within a few minutes:

After all five us had been through our bathroom sessions, and the breakfast things and kitchen had been cleaned up, the sky looked friendly enough to allow for a longer walk:



I'll take you along on that walk in my next post.

24 comments:

  1. Stunning photos indeed. Warm greetings and best wishes!

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  2. That looks very inviting indeed. Mountains and big skies: for what more could a person ask?

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    1. Hmmm... maybe the Sea and big skies? Just kidding :-)

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  3. Amazing mountain views from your friends' flat.

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    1. Beautiful, isn't it, and never boring!

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  4. It is a wonder and a joyful experience to wake to the sight of mountains every morning. Those are beautiful! It seems very late to have had no snow. Is it really or is that pretty normal?

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    1. It has been an unusually mild autumn and winter here in Germany so far. Quite a bit of the region's income depends on there being enough snow for skiing enthusiasts, so they all hope that the snow will come soon.

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  5. I would simply love a view like that, with lots to see and lots of changeable weather. Last time I was in the mountains (in Austria) there was the most spectacular thunderstorm over the distant mountains, and the sky above much of the range went almost black, with forks of lightning shooting out. I really could not tear myself away from the spectacle, until finally the storm showed signs of reaching me and only then did I rush for shelter.

    It sounds as if you greeted the new year in a totally civilised way - I hope it is a good one for you!

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    1. When I was younger, I spent a few summer holidays at summer camps for children in the mountains, once in Switzerland and once in Tyrol. We witnessed thunderstorms there, and they were indeed spectacular - although a bit scary to me back then.

      Thank you, Jenny, I am convinced it will be a good one!

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  6. Lovely skies to paint, but you would need the photos if they changed that quickly. Good to do something different at New Year.

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    1. One would indeed have to paint VERY fast to capture this beauty on canvas or paper, Maggie! How did people do that before they were able to take photos?

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  7. Dogs make the very best walking companions. The enjoy every moment of the experience and are wonderful at teaching us to savor the present moment.

    I can't wait to see more photos from the walk!

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    1. They'll be online today, Jennifer :-)

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  8. What a wonderful way to spend New Year, in such a magnificent location, and with good company too. I think I would sky-watch the whole time if I lived there, I wouldn't get anything done! Happy new year to you. x

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    1. It is distracting, I must admit, and the others at the breakfast table may have found me a bit impolite because I was less looking at them and more out of the window.
      Happy New Year to you, too, Gillian!

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    1. Thank you, Mary, and the same to you!

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  10. I think the government should hire you to promote the country. Honestly, you make it look so very lovely.

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    1. Nan, I wouldn't mind being paid by the tourist board to promote the many beautiful places we have around here!

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  11. A beautiful place to spend the New Years and good friends to be with. I look forward to seeing your tour. I miss the mountains!

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    1. Most of the time, I don't even think about mountains, but once I am near them, I am always deeply impressed. I am just not sure I would want to live surrounded by them all year round, I love my wide open spaces too much.

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  12. So different to the view I woke up to on New Year's Day. It's summer here, of course so the sky was clear. That doesn't mean it still is, though. We've been having some showers on and off, which is wonderful.

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    1. The rain has now finally reached us, too, after the last three months were way too dry.

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