St. Patrick’s Day; Munich Style

I think I read somewhere that something like 90% of the blogs created in the last 3 years are now considered dead; i.e. having no posts or updates in the past 3 months. If my blog isn’t dead yet, it’s certainly on lifesupport, so the goal of this blog now is simply to keep close friends and family informed and occasionally entertained and to serve as a semi-permanent, online, searchable archive of our travels, experiences, pictures, thoughts, all that jazz.

So anyway, I’ve added a new photo gallery of some recent snow and a very cold and snowy St. Patrick’s Day festival. Also, my brother Todd and his girlfriend Becca spent a week here in Muinch over their Spring Break. They left 70+ degree weather in Raleigh (and returned to 80+ degreesǃ∂.) to spend 8 days in the cold and snow. The first weekend of IMG_0178their trip, Southern Germany was slammed with the largest snow storm in 20 years, dumping over 20 inches of snow in downtown Munich. The snow made it a bit difficult to do all the normal tourist stuff, and we even made a foolish attempt at taking the Die Bahn (regional train) for a day trip to the Linderhof castle. I was thinking “what’s a little snow to a 50 ton train?” I failed to account for ice downing trees and debris on the tracks, and we ended up stranded for 6 hours in a Munich suburban train station before finding a cab back to town. By the next day the tracks were cleared, and they managed to escape to Vienna for a few days, where the weather was at least slightly warmer and there was considerably less snow.

The weekend after they left, there was an early St. Patrick’s Day celebration downtown. I kind of overslept though the parade, but did make it to part of the after-parade party. A s 2006 - 3_smcouple days of rain had cleaned out most of the snow, but by Sunday afternoon it was well below freezing again and the snow arrived just in time for the Irish jigs on the main stage. There was still a pretty good crowd, because one thing I’ve noticed about Europeans (taking experience from Munich, Austira and Prague though the past few months) is that they don’t mind standing around outside in freezing temperatures and horrid conditions, as long as they are with a big group of people and have something alcoholic to drink. In this case it was cold beer, but around Christmas the drink of choice was Gluwein, a very tasty heated, spicy red wine drink.

Since I got here last summer, I’ve heard from Germans how unusual all the weather has been. When it rained for a week in July, it was “oh no, this is highly unusual. We never get this much rain.” Then it got hot in August and we heard “this is very hot. It never get’s this hot usually.” The first snow came in November and there was “wow – we usually don’t get snow until Christmas. January and February is when we get the most snow.” When it snows for 10 days straight in January I hear “don’t worry. It never accumulates more than a couple centimeters in the city, and it’ll be over by the end of February.” So of course when we got almost 2 feet of snow in the 2nd week of March, the disclaimers were coming like crazy. I’m beginning to think Bavarians are in a constant state of denail, with their idea of perfect weather only existing in their own mind. 😉

They may be telling the truth though. Here is what St. Patrick’s Day looked like in 2005:

And this year in 2006: IMG_0182_1.JPG

But weather aside, thinks are still going well. We have about 3.5 months left in Germany before heading home. I’ve been cutting back on the travel recently, but hope to get some more trips in when the weather turns a little nicer. But Alisha is making up for my lack of travel; in the past month and a half she’s spent time in Tuscany, Vienna, Australia, and is now on a 4-week stint in California. Check out the impressive schedule she has here.

I’m slowing trying to populate my video section, so here’s a short clip from the St. Patrick’s Day festival this weekend. Maybe one of these days I’ll get up the pictures and videos of or anniversary trip to Paris (hopefully before our 2nd anniversary arrives!)

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