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A Christmas Market … Lakeside (Seeweihnacht)

Festive twinkle light adorned market booths sit along side of the picturesque alpine lake, Schliersee. Its dramatic backdrop of snow capped mountains. This is Mother Natures holiday decorating at its best. The air, fragrant with all the magical scents of a traditional German Christmas market. From mulled warm wines, to the cinnamon spiced candied nuts. All these sights and sounds help create the magical atmosphere of this lovely little market.

Seeweihnacht in Schliersee is the first Christmas market to start off the 4 Advent weekends of fabulous holiday festivities. Held on the 2 and 3 December in the Kurpark am See located near Vitalwelt. You can come by car or by train as the market is a short walk from the train station. It is a great alternative to sitting in holiday traffic.

What is wonderful about these small town local Bavarian Christmas markets is they are so intimate. Each both contains gifts that are created by loving passionate hands. You won’t find plastic or mass produced items from lands far away at this market. These are handmade gifts destined to become heirlooms. From the foods to the Christmas ornaments, each item is uniquely special.

Each year the ladies of the Frauenbund from the Catholic church in Schliersee work tirelessly preparing the most fantastic array of German Christmas cookies called “Plätzchen”. You have to arrive early to make sure you get a box as they go quickly. Definitely worth making a trip to savor a few of their delights.

Families have gather around in the firelight listening to Christmas carols while wagging dogs snuggle with warmly bundled children since the first days of this market. Eyes bright with age old Christmas cheer. This is a timeless image of small Bavarian village tradition. Visiting these local markets is where you truly can experience an old time German Christmas market feeling.

Some of the great highlights for the whole family are the horse and carriage rides which are held on Saturday and Sunday at 2 pm till 5pm.  Alpine brass Christmas music fills the air every day of the market starting at 8 pm and a very special visitor greets the merry makers at 5pm when Nikolaus arrives in all his Christmas glory.

 

 

This is a market that can’t be missed. It’s a great finish to a long day on the slopes.

 

Opening times:

Saturday 2 December from 2pm till 8pm

Sunday 3 December from 12 till 8pm

 

Address:

Kurpark Schliersee

Perfallstr. 4

83727 Schliersee

 

 

Laura Boston-Thek Laura Boston-Thek

American artist, photographer and professional wanderer who, after 20 years of roaming, put down roots in a 100 year old Bavarian farmhouse and fell in love with the Alpine village and its residents (both 2-legged and 4-legged).

 

 

 

Loipen Lovin’

I have never tried cross country skiing, but am totally fascinated by the sport and it’s beautiful trails. Perhaps it will be my new sport for next winter, though I am not sure anyone would like to ski with me since I would need to stop constantly to take photos of all the natural beauty. So in order to give you some knowledgable information I recruited a Loipe Lovin’ girlfriend who kindly share her passion for the sport with me.

My girlfriend, who met and married a German man and came to live in Irschenberg from a warm southern state in the United States, needed a sport she could become passionate about in order to learn to enjoy the long alpine winter months. Winter can be a real challenge to those who grew up without snow. The lack of sunshine alone can be daunting so finding a winter sport that motivates you to get out is very important.

Daily the trails in Schliersee and Spitzingsee are skillfully and precisely groomed just like our downhill ski slopes. What is most incredible is that once you buy your own gear, many of the local Loipen are absolutely free. Yes, you heard me….FREE. Not only do you get incredibly fit doing cross country, you are out in the winter sun, soaking in all that vitamin D. Another great tip about the Loipen in Schliersee is that when the slopes get busy on weekends you can almost guarantee that the Cross Country trails will have plenty of space.

One thing I found really incredible with the Cross Country gear is that it was incredibly light. My girlfriend has a Mini and she just popped her skis other gear right in back. No need for costly roof racks. Also it is possible to rent Cross Country gear at any of our local ski rental places for anywhere between 15€-25€ average price per day. I have been told that taking a lesson is really important to help you get started. Lessons can be found right where you are renting your skis. It is all very convenient.

When you first approach a trail or a Loipe you will notice that there are two different parts to the track. One part has two very carved grooves and one part in the middle is smooth and many times in the snow is a herringbone pattern being created by the skis. There are two types of skiing going on. One is the traditional Cross Country which you move your skis in a smooth forward to back rhythm. The other very challenging type is called Skate Skiing and just like it’s name you ski in that flat middle part of the track in a skating manner. It really looks so graceful when you see someone very proficient Skate Skiing.

I really hope that you will get out and try one of our Loipen and give this beautiful traditional sport a try.

Here are a few of Schliersee’s Loipen:

Hoamatsau Loipe:
http://www.wandern.com/touren/hoamatsau-loipe

Valepper Almen Loipen:
http://www.bergfex.de/bayern/langlaufen/spitzingsee/loipen/226/

Kirchbichl Loipe:
http://www.bergfex.at/tirol/langlaufen/kirchbichl/loipen/2998/

Information on all Loipen:
http://www.loipenportal.de/tegernsee-schliersee

Loipen Review:
https://www.skigebiete-test.de/langlauf/spitzingsee.html

 

 

Laura Boston-Thek Laura Boston-Thek

American artist, photographer and professional wanderer who, after 20 years of roaming, put down roots in a 100 year old Bavarian farmhouse and fell in love with the Alpine village and its residents (both 2-legged and 4-legged).

 

 

 

The Icy Daredevils of Schliersee

This is how Wikipedia describes “Skijoring (pronounced /ˈskiːʃɜːrɪŋ/) is a winter sport where a person on skis is pulled by a horse, a dog (or dogs) or a motor vehicle. It is derived from the Norwegian word skikjøring meaning ski driving.”

 

How would I personally describe it? Gritty, loud, bitter, daring, fascinating and utterly unforgettable.

 

When winter is JUST RIGHT here in the valley and we get the perfect amount of snowfall, you will notice one of our local Fischhausen farmers starting to prepare a snowy racetrack in the middle of one of the fields. He might have to prepare this track more than once in a year simply loosing it to warming temperatures but build it repeatedly, he does.

Here is a little excerpt from an article by Sebastian Grauvogl of the Merkur

 

“Just like all the 62 teams who duel in the skijoring behind motorcycles on the 400 meter long snow race track in Fischhausen. It will be launched in seven classes – including 125 and 250 motocross, 500, and side and side drive cars. Up to six teams compete at the same time. If you accumulate the most points in three preliminary stages, you can make it into the final. Already for the 11th time, the MSC is exhibiting the motorsport spectacle on the meadow next to the Pusl Autohaus. Since 1997 it has been canceled a few times because of lack of snow.”

 

I don’t know if I would call the weather we had “perfect” for my first experience with Skijoring in Schliersee, more like “not fit for man nor beast”. Despite the near blizzard conditions, contestants and spectators arrived in droves. Motorcyclists, skiers, pit crews, and spectators all huddled together in anticipation of the day’s races.

 

The bright colors of bikes and riders, the grinding and revving of gears and the smell of exhaust is all so incredible in contrast to the purity of the fresh white snow. My heart was racing the entire time, as I am sure many others were as well. Racing that day were teams of motorcyclists and skiers in teams that started with just two people and lead up to teams of four or five with everyone hanging on for dear life as they sped around the icy track blowing waves of snow in their wake. They offer excitement, chills, and spills. The announcers are also not kidding when they suggest you stand at least one meter from the track. This photographer had to learn that lesson the hard and cold way. I must say, the snow bath was totally worth it!

 

So keep on the look out for the posters and billboards announcing the next skijoring event. It is all up to the weather the date but it is normally around February and it honestly is something to be enjoyed by young and old.

 

This year at Jan, 29. … don’t miss !

 

 

Laura Boston-Thek Laura Boston-Thek

American artist, photographer and professional wanderer who, after 20 years of roaming, put down roots in a 100 year old Bavarian farmhouse and fell in love with the Alpine village and its residents (both 2-legged and 4-legged).