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Friday, 6 October 2017

The romance of snow



                                         
The prompt above shows us the perspective of a street view in Sheffield on what looks like a rather dismal and wintry day, with remnants of snow lining the pavement. I think old grey snow was one of the sights I was least prepared for when I went on my first trip to Europe, specifically Germany, as a teenager back in 1969/1970. Up until then I'd had very limited experience of snow, and in my mind it was always pristine white and magical, so it was a shock to see it shovelled into dirty piles along the roadsides in an industrial town like Solingen, where I spent three months as a exchange student. 
I didn't take many photos on the entire trip, probably because my camera was very basic and perhaps the grey winter weather didn't inspire me to capture them, but the photo below is one of my favorite memories, which I believe I took on my way to an afternoon wander in a nearby wood. The snow on the footpath still looks reasonably fresh and clean despite being a little downtrodden.
Here's another of my 1976 photos, showing a monument of some kind, taken from the road. The second image has taken on a distinctly sepia tone, despite it having been taken around the same time as the first. Others have too, as shown below

Ducks and reflections in a snowy stream running through the woods where I walked

A snowy walk and an encounter with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs


More snowy scenes from my walk


The Solingen home of my hosts during my stay, the Felix family
Just today I discovered  an article published in 1972 in the Australian Women's Weekly about one of the first German students to come to Australia on the same exchange scheme and she mentioned that she had wanted to get on the scheme ever since an Australian exchange student came to her school in Solingen a couple of years earlier. Can you guess who that must have been?  Nice to know that my visit had some effect on at least one person there! The relevant article can be read here, plus one about my being awarded the scholarship here.

The sepia Saturday prompt above also brought to mind our first trip overseas with our four children in December 1992, and in particular a walk we took from the village of Fussen up to King Ludwig's fairytale castle Neuschwanstein. Apparently the walk was only around 4.5 km long, but at the time it seemed endless and the fun of trudging through the snowy landscape did not last that long, with the cold temperature and some very wet feet getting the better of us all before we reached our destination.

Setting off, and resting en route
The views when we finally got there, of Neuschwanstein Castle (bottom) and of Hohenschwangau (top), another castle further away also owned by The mad King Ludwig, 

An easier way to make the journey.  I think we caught a bus back down the hill.

The walkers have recovered, back in the pretty little village of Fussen. Happy birthday to our son Strahan
here, who turns 33 today.

Map of our walk


The further walk we did not take, from Neuschwanstein to Hohenschwangau Castle. In the circumstances it was a few steps too far!

That's enough of snowy roadsides and snowy walks from me, now just 'let your fingers do the walking' and head over to Sepia Saturday #388 for more posts prompted by that snowy road in Sheffield.
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