I stayed in my mom’s friend’s place for the Christmas vacation. Tita Dang’s was really warm and nice to me. It isn’t my first time to go there but their welcoming hugs were as warm as they were when my mom and I visited them last November. They live in Markdorf – a little town in Baden-Württemberg, south of Germany. It’s a pretty place to be in. This is the Lake Constance (or Bodensee in German). I can see three countries from where I was standing. See that land across the lake? That’s Switzerland already. And when you look to the left, that’s Austria. And of course, I’m in Deutschland. Too bad I don’t have a panoramic shot (or maybe I do, I just don’t know how to use my camera properly). The lake acts like a border. I wish I was able to ride a boat and reach the middle of the lake so I can brag about being in three places at the same time.
No, this isn’t their house yet. This is just the street they live in. Their place is around 1.5km away from the city center. You can only go there by car or by foot. There are no bus stops around the area.
View from their second floor. If you go right, you’ll end up in a forest. We spent one afternoon there walking and marveling at the trees and greens. We passed by this part of the forest where we could see Bodensee and the Alps. It’s a very beautiful sight. I didn’t bring my camera that time because it was too cold outside and there’s no way I could take decent pictures with frozen fingers.
I didn’t get my white Christmas but I got to see snow. And hail.
It could only get as thick as this. Come midday, they will all melt away. Unlike last year, they said snow started as early as end of October and there were lots and lots of snow. *sigh*
Just like the ones I see in postcards.
Just me being giddy at the sight of everything white (well, almost).
This was taken on another day after all the snow melted and everything was colorful again. I challenged myself to go to the city center by foot. I was halfway there when I saw a McDo nearby. You can pretty much guess what happened after.
Anyway, I sat on that bench for 10 minutes and had my quiet time. It felt so good to inhale fresh air and not think about anything stressful. Il dolce far niente – the sweetness of doing nothing. :)
Simple but breathtaking.
Yes, my legs got longer because of the long walk. ;) =))
It felt like Fall again…
…except that the trees didn’t have leaves anymore.
And of course, a Biergarten in the middle of a highway.
And oh, about Christmas…
The Raubers gave me a jigsaw puzzle of Santorini – my second dream place next to Italy. I still feel bad that I wasn’t able to go to Greece. Going there was one of the things I was looking forward to when we were planning our travels. But because of a misunderstanding with the residence permit, we decided to cancel Greece since we’re already 2 weeks behind our plans. We thought we could not go out of Germany without the residence permit. Turns out we can because we have Schengen visa. We waited for the residence permit to arrive first which only came at the last week of October. :/ ANYWAY. It’s not like Santorini’s gonna sink anytime soon, is it? I’ll be back.
New Year’s Eve here wasn’t as special as it always is back home. They don’t hang 12 grapes on their windows and doors, they don’t make any noise during countdown, they don’t fill their cooking pots with coins and jump three times because I don’t think they would still wish to grow taller next year. They don’t really have these traditions. They have fireworks too – but not a lot since you have to have a permit from the Rathaus first before you can light up the sky. And they have very very very few firecrackers.
I couldn’t ask for a better way to spend Christmas last year than spend it with the Raubers. They’ve been so kind to me. Tita Dang treated me like her own and she was actually the one who helped me and gave me advice about what to wear, what to buy, what to do, the moment I stepped foot in Germany. We even went to a thermal bath before I left. I miss them already. And I do hope God would continue to bless them because they really are a nice bunch of people and they never failed, even for a second, to make me feel loved during my short stay.