After having had such a good few days in januari 2009 with loads of snow, we were lucky this year too with snow. Ok, I have been even more lucky with snow when it comes to (lack of) public transport, but hey, really, I love snow :)
As it started snowing just after New Year, and did not really stop, there was enough snow a few days later in the Odenwald.
There is a sweet little village on a rather high hilltop (605m), called Neunkirchen. With a beautiful yellow little church, very nice old houses in the center, surrounded by fields and forests and a view on Frankfurt on clear days, Neunkirchen can be counted as one of my favorites. People that visit my Odenwald images gallery will definately know which village I mean, as there are quite a few pictures taken.
On a lazy Sunday, beginning of January 2010, we decided to become a bit more active and take advantage of the snow, so we dropped the sledge in the back of the Audi and took off.
On our trip we went past the famous Kuralpe, a restaurant/hotel next to a nice straight hill reachable by a path that goes around the Felsenmeer to Beedenkirchen.
Both pictures are taken on the way back, but it was not that much different, it was heaving with people. Understandable; the hill is visible from the restaurant, so I bet I know where the parents were, and what the kids are doing.
A bit further uphill on snowy roads we entered Neunkirchen and the yellow church looked nice with the grey/white background. I can not say anything else than that snow is slippery, geez, even with wintertires. People with cars with summertires would not even have had a chance to get to Neunkirchen.
I only noticed I did not have a Quattro when I tried to park on a higher parkingplace which was still empty :) I quickly found out why, skidded downhill again and found another parking place down in the village. To my surprise there were still many places left, which meant we were both early and very lucky. As always, I parked in, nose to front, to be able to take off without too much hassle. We covered up the car and headed for the slope.
Something very remarkable I noticed while walking. A great amount of blackbirds were sitting under a tree, a few of them in the tree. Normally these birds are very territorial and start fights whenever they can. The cold must have brought them all together and tolerating eachother for once.
Going to the skiing area is a 300m walk, but through the thick layer of crunchy snow it was rather tiresome. It felt like walking through dry sand, but the snow was still slippery enough to slide.
So I decided to handle this differently and take benefit of the sledge. Someone had to test it :P
A lot of families with kids were on their way to the hill as well. As far as I could oversee it, most dads went downhill with their kids, where as the moms were standing on top of the hill. Or somewhere halfway the slope, being a real pain as it is so difficult to steer a fast speeding sledge around moving objects you are trying to evade at…. Focus being the key word here :)
And finally, the view of the hill. The ski-lift is visible in the background, but was unfortunately not in use. More and more people were going to the place, but still it was very well doable.
We had a few runs downhill, which were getting better every time, and a lot faster as well. Although not measured, I bet we were doing a 25km/h downhill on the steeper bottom part, and not us alone. Many other kids came racing downhill, stopping just in time for the bush and path at the bottom. Amazing what speeds they had, in and on all kinds of sledges, from the traditional wooden ones till “bumrutsches”, just a flat plastic lid to sit in and kart-like sledges with steeringwheels in all colors.
Just as I thought I had seen it al even a kite-snow-surfer appeared at the horizon. He had to go away again as there was not enough wind and on the other hand too many people on the slope already. Great to have seen this here though…. makes me think what to ask for my birthday … :)
One of the disadvantages of sledging downhill fast is the snow that gets thrown up in your face while steering, or at the braking at the end, where the snow gets high into your pants :)
But, sitting at the back of the sledge, I had all good options to shoot a little movie of racing downhill (and this time not falling off at the end :))
Our drive back was a remarkable one. First of all the car next to us that could not leave his parkingspace anymore. Then the driving/sliding over a very snowy road (see the Kuralpe pics on top of this page). Although I got told of for driving like an old woman, I returned the comment by giving the Audi some wheelspin by slightly tapping the gas :P We drove back, like in slow motion, bringing us all home safe. Or was it because I still had frozen feet and snow and ice came out of my jeans when I took my shoes off? :)