Monday, 28 December 2015

A Visit to the Mountains

Saturday 26th December was a lovely sunny day and we drove up to Keilberg in the Czech Republic then back into Germany to go up Fichtelberg, berg in German is mountain. You can see both the mountains in the distance as you drive towards them which is about a 1/2 hour  from Annaberg. Keilberg is 1244m high and is on the opposite side to Fichtelberg which is1215m, they are both famous ski resorts for the both of their countries. By the time we got to the top of Keilberg there was thick fog with a bitter blustery wind blowing consequently the photo shoot was very short.
You notice the difference in the two countries almost immediately, buildings, which once would have been quite lovely are now dilapidated or completely derelict. The lack of affluence  is also very notable. Mind you, it does not help travelling in winter when everything looks rather austere.

Coming from New Zealand and Australia it is odd crossing into another country without going through customs! I also found the sky full of contrails, something else we do not see in Australia, not that many aeroplanes crossing each other in the sky.

                                              Ficthelberg on the left and Keilberg
                                                    on the right in the distance
Crossing into the Czech Republic
                                                                Czech Republic
                                             Top of Keilberg with the fog and wind
                                           Overlooking the Czech Republic from the
                                                               top of Keilberg
                                             Crossing back into Saxonia, Germany

I finally saw my first bit of snow arriving at the top of Fichtelberg, even if it was only about 1m deep by 50m across and icy. Everybody has been talking about how bad it is because the snow is usually metres deep with the ski season in full swing. We heard on the radio that it is the warmest winter on record for Germany. From the top of Fichtelberg we drove down to the village of Oberwiesenthal, a small village 914m high being the highest in Germany and also the other end of the very famous Fichtelberg Schwebebahn cable car. Oberwiesenthal is also where young people are trained for all winter sports.

                                           We are about to have hot chocolate and cake
                                                        in Café König behind us
                                               The cakes in Germany are utterly lethal,
                                                               cannot be resisted.
                                                               In Café König

                                                 I love Malamutes,  this time I got a kiss.

                                            There should be thick snow everywhere here
                                                       Cable car coming out of it's
                                                            Oberwiesenthal home

                                              Germany to the left and the Czech Republic
                                                          to the right behind me.

                                              Cable car at the top of Fichtelberg

We arrived back home late in the afternoon driving through delightful villages and stopping to overlook Annaberg-Bucholz then having a tiny glass of apple schnapps after wonderful Christmas dinner leftovers of goose, rotkraut (not to be mixed up with sauerkraut as we often do in Australia) and new potatoes.

                                               One of the very steep streets in Bucholz
                                              Overlooking Annaberg from Bucholz

                                                Sunset from my friend's balcony

                                            One must take lessons in drinking schnapps!!
                                                            It is an acquired taste.

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