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).”

Snow Chaos in Schliersee? Not a Chance

The New Year, 2019, began with an amazingly extreme snowfall of several meters. “Snow chaos” or “schneechaos” was the hashtag that the press gave to the storm, but for the Schliersee locals, it meant we had just scored gold for this season’s winter fun.

This part of Germany does such a great job of snow safety and snow preparation that with simple precautions any mount of snow can truly be wonderful. Once the “all clear” was given, everyone was able to joyfully head out and explore the deep, fresh powder.

After work one evening, three of my snow loving girlfriends decided to introduce sledding to one of our crew. Due to avalanche risk, we discovered the sled route from Obere Firstalm had not been cleared. This discovery thankfully did not stop our plans, at this time of night, the snow-covered road, Kratzerweg, that goes to Untere Firstalm has little to no foot traffic or vehicles, so coming down the same route would be very safe and possible.

With sleds in tow, we began our snowy journey. We were absolutely astounded by the unimaginable height of the snow.  The walls they created, climbed on either side creating a feeling of walking through a snow tunnel. All the well-known views were unrecognizable. It was truly magical.  Seeing the roofs of the little cabins along the way, heavily blanketed of meters of snow, made them all so inviting.

Breathless and chilled, and banging the snow from our boots, we entered the warm and welcoming interior of Untere Firstalm. As the weather changed outside, we cradled mugs of our steamy reward in our bitter hands. Our cozy visit was cut short as we realized a fast-moving snow storm was rolling in. So back into our wintery duds we jumped and back into the freezing weather we sped.

As the sun set, the snowstorm threatening and the winds building, we quickened our pace up the hill on the road that connects Untere and Obere Firstalm. You can only rent sleds from the food counter at Obere Firstalm so up we went. The sound of ice pellet like snow dancing across the snow walls in the wind gusts motivating us.

Once we all had our sleds, and a few bits of advice were shouted above the roar of the storm, we wasted no time heading back down the mountain. With the joyful sound of continued laughter, we soared. The steep snow walls on either side of the way gave our newest sled enthusiast a feeling of great security.

As always, the fun ended far too quickly, and we were once again shivering in our cars cheering on the heater and the defroster, chalking up another day filled with wonderful memories.

 

 

To Plan your own adventure, check out these site:

http://firstalm.de

http://www.unterefirstalm.de

 

 

 

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).

 

 

Frau Holle has been Shaking the Bedding in Schliersee

So today, we are going to learn something that is very german. Every winter I hear all the local Germans either thanking a woman called Frau Holle or begging her to stop. So I had to ask myself, just who is Frau Holle and what is her story? Is she saint or sinner?

My research has led me back to the old tales of the Brothers Grimm and one of their many children’s stories. Actually it has been said to be a tale even older than the Brothers Grimm and possibly a local legend in a part of Central Germany called Hesse.

Frau Holle has many names and in English we might know her at Mother Frost. The little story comes from a volume of books by the Grimm brothers, Jacob and Wilhelm, called “Kinder- und Hausmärchen” in English it is called “Children’s and Household Tales“.

In short, the tale in which we discover Frau Holle seems to be a version of the Cinderella story, where a little girl, or stepdaughter, is forced by an evil widow to do all the hard housework, while the older biological daughter is allowed to become very spoiled. Everyday the stepdaughter would sit outside the cottage and do the spinning by a well.

“One day she pricked her finger on the point of the spindle. Leaning over the well to wash the blood away, the spindle fell from her hand and sank out of sight. The stepdaughter feared that she would be punished for losing the spindle, and in a panic she leapt into the well after it. The girl found herself in a meadow where she came upon an oven full of bread. The bread asked to be taken out before it burned. With a baker’s peel she took all the loaves out and then walked on. Then she came to an apple tree that asked that its apples be harvested. So she did so and gathered them into a pile, before continuing on her way. Finally she came to a small house of an old woman, who offered to allow the girl to stay if she would help with the housework”. (https://www.pitt.edu/~dash/grimm024.html)

The woman identified herself as Frau Holle, and cautioned the girl to shake the featherbed pillows and coverlet well when she made the bed, as that would make it snow in the girl’s world. The girl agreed to take service with Frau Holle, and took care to always shake the featherbed until the feathers flew about like snowflakes”.

I love this analogy of snow being like feather bedding being shaken out. I now have a better understanding why the locals talk about Frau Holle when we either have too little or too much snow. With our weather warnings and extreme snowfall conditions, this year so far Frau Holle has been incredibly generous and we are all asking her to spread her generosity out a bit throughout our winter and not all at once.

Before I go, I learned something else that might help you if you are visiting Schliersee in the winter months. Another way to say it is snowing in Germany is to say “Frau Holle schüttelt ihre Betten aus” or Frau Holle is shaking out her bedding”. I do not know about you but I am going to memorize that tidbit of information.

I absolutely love to learn as many of these little local idioms as possible, they make me feel more a part of the wonderful German life here in 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).

 

 

 

Schliersee Magazin – ein Jahresrückblick 2018

Nach drei Jahren Schliersee Magazin habe ich die ehrenvolle Aufgabe den ersten Jahresrückblick zu schreiben. Was hat uns im Schliersee Magazin 2018 mit fast 200 Artikeln bewegt? Unser Bürgermeister Franz Schnitzenbaumer hat bei der Eröffnung der Ausstellung „Sport ohne Grenzen“ gesagt, dass man schnell dazu neigt zu sagen, dass es die Berge und die Landschaft sind, die Schliersee ausmachen. „Aber eigentlich sind es die Menschen, die in Schliersee leben“, berichtigte er.

Wenn ich darüber nachdenke, ist es bei uns genauso. Wir im Schliersee Magazin sind ein bunt gemischter Haufen. Wir treffen uns alle zwei Wochen zu Redaktionsmeetings und da entstehen ernste Themen, verrückte Ideen und auch Ansätze, die sich nicht immer umsetzen lassen. Es ist unser Kreativ-Raum. Alles ist erlaubt.

Wer konnte schon wissen, ob unser Kuramtsleiter Mathias Schrön wirklich im April in den kalten Schliersee springen würde, um offiziell anzubaden, als unser Redaktionsleiter Daniel Wagner es in den Raum warf?

Alles, nur nicht wasserscheu

Natürlich ist Mathias Schrön ohne zu zögern in dem 14 Grad kalten Schliersee zum Schwimmen gegangen. Ich selber bin nicht weniger verrückt und habe mich im Sommer kurz unter den Josefstaler Wasserfall gestellt und den ultimativen Pool-Test in luftiger Höhe auf der Schliersbergalm gemacht. Wir haben unseren Wasserrettern – der Schlierseer Wasserwacht – einen Besuch abgestattet, ein Portrait über unsere Kapitänin auf dem Schliersee gemacht und SUP’N’YOGA ausprobiert. Ohne Wasser geht es bei uns in Schliersee nicht, deshalb fand im Herbst auch die erste Luftmatratzen Weltmeisterschaft in der Vitalwelt statt.

Immer gleich dabei und nah dran

Egal ob Gastronomie Neueröffnungen, wie etwa die Bar Schliersee, La Stazione in Neuhaus am Bahnhof, die Spitzing Alm am See, The Culinary Art Café oder ein Pächterwechsel auf der Insel Wörth, wir waren dabei. Manchmal durften wir auch schon vor der offiziellen Eröffnung einen Blick ins Innere werfen, das war dann besonders spannend. So hat mich Architekt Johannes Wegmann noch während des Umbaus mit in den Anbau des Heimatmuseums genommen und Sandra Leu traf sich mit Julia Zilken, die seit Dezember ihren Laden „Hoamat Gfui“ in Schliersee hat, zum Interview beim Einräumen der Regale. Wir trafen uns mit dem Schlierseer Förster, den Machern des Kulturherbstes, Schlierseer Autoren und Prominenten. Unser „Kultur-Profi“ Katharina Fitz hat sich unter anderem mit der Schlierseer Schauspielerin und Kabarettistin Christine Eixenberger getroffen. Wir haben Projekte der Gemeinde begleitet, wie die QR-Code-Beschilderung für Schlierseer Straßen, den Schlierseer Gartenzauber, die Luftmatratzen Weltmeisterschaft, 10 Jahre Vitalwelt und die Ausstellung „Sport ohne Grenzen“. Beim ersten Schnee war Ulrike Mc Carthy, diesen Winter als erste  mit dem Fotoapparat draußen unterwegs, um euch das Schlierseer Wintergefühl direkt ins Wohnzimmer zu bringen. Ich war eine der ersten im Skilift, um für euch den Schnee zum Saisonstart im Skigebiet Spitzingsee zu testen.

Feste feiern wie sie fallen

Egal ob, Pfingstfest, Seefest, Bergseefest, Inselfest, Altschlierseer Kirchtag, Highland Games, Leonhardi-Ritt, Kulturherbst oder Adventszauber – wir waren dabei. Wir haben den Maibaum-Diebstahl verfolgt und waren beim Leonhardi-Ritt schon beim Schmücken der Wägen dabei. Besonders gut mit Schlierseer Tradition und den passenden Rezepten zur Jahreszeit kennt sich unsere Redakteurin Angelika Prem vom Hennerer Hof aus.

Sportlich und sportbegeistert

Bei uns muss auch der Kuramtsleiter Mathias Schrön auf den Berg. Dieses Jahr ging es zur Hauptalmbegehung mit Ministerpräsident Markus Söder. Julia Zilken lief die 24H Trophy, die dieses Jahr anlässlich des zehnjährigen Jubiläums der Vitalwelt in unserem Kurpark startete, im Selbst-Test. Ursula Höllerl probierte eine Tennis-Trainerstunde, an der ihr alle mit der Gästekarte kostenlos teilnehmen könnt. Natürlich haben wir die großen Sportveranstaltungen in Schliersee, wie den Sixtus-Lauf und den Alpentriathlon begleitet und uns mit den Olympiateilnehmerinnen Vanessa Hinz und Elisabeth Schicho getroffen. Unser Kuramtsleiter Mathias Schrön war sogar privat im Februar vor Ort bei Olympia in Pyeongchang/Südkorea und konnte direkt über die Schlierseer Sportler berichten.

Mit mehreren Sprachen Schliersee in die Welt getragen

Als Urlaubsmagazin der Marktgemeinde Schliersee sprechen wir natürlich nicht nur bayrisch. Unsere Italienliebhaberin Kathrin Zott ist im Sommer in die Partnergemeinde Barberino Val d’Elsa gefahren, hat sich mit den Austauschschülern aus Italien in Schliersee getroffen und war mit Patrizio vom Lago Maggiore beim Weißwurstfrühstück im SLYRS. Diese Artikel wurden von Kathrin sogar ins Italienische übersetzt. Unsere Redakteurin Laura Boston-Thek, die in New Jersey / USA geboren und jetzt in Neuhaus zuhause ist, hat eine eigene Rubrik: Lauras Welt. Sie entdeckt die Schlierseer Traditionen, trifft sich mit Bauern zum Heumachen und Schafscheren. Ihre Artikel, die ganz neue Blickwinkel auf unser Schliersee eröffnen, sind alle in ihrer Muttersprache Englisch geschrieben. Unverkennbar sind auch Lauras tolle Fotos.

Last but not least erzählt auch die kleine Hündin Lilly ihre Erlebnisse auf vier Pfoten in Schliersee.

 

 

Lesen müsst ihr jetzt selber. Stöbert doch einfach mal durch unsere Artikel des letzten Jahres. Viel Spaß! https://magazin.schliersee.de/

Wir freuen uns schon auf das neue Jahr mit euch!

 

 

Judith Weber Judith Weber

Redakteurin/freie Mitarbeiterin bei “Das Gelbe Blatt Miesbach”, Webdesign und Fotografie – Freude an neuen Blickwinkeln mithilfe eines Quadrokopters. Reiselustig und heimatverliebt. Lieblingsplatzerl: Insel Wörth im Schliersee

 

 

 

Rauhnächte…Old Rituals are Alive in Schliersee

Between the 21st of December and the 6th of January, in what is known here in Bavaria as Rauhnächte (smoke nights), it is believed that at this time the veil between this world and the hereafter is at its thinnest. This is a time for change, purification and reflection. It is believed that at this time, through the ritual of “räuchern” or incense burning, you could affect positive change in the new year while protecting your family, farm and livestock. This might all seem very mystical but these old beliefs are now being found to have real evidence in science in our modern times. Many of these plants have antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.

Recently, on a very cold dark night in November, my colleague Ulrike McCarthy and I, were invited to learn about these traditions at one of our local farms. Our spiritual guide, Angelika Prem, also a writer for Schliersee magazine, has been teaching and performing these ancient rituals for more than 15 years. You can say she has been involved in them much longer as it was all just a very normal part of the seasonal calendar for her family farm. What she didn’t learn at her mother’s hearth, she learned by taking courses and reading extensibly on the subject and now offers courses and seminars at her farm, Hennerehof, right here in Schliersee.

When we first arrived, before we gathered together around the roaring fire,  Angelika used a “Räucherbündel or Räucherzigarre” to clean our energy and prepare us for this ritual. In the US we call this a smudging stick. The plants for the purpose of making smudging sticks and other smoking rituals, are traditionally gathered on the 15th of August the official holiday of the Assumption of Mary.

Once “clean” Angelika began to hand us various items she had gathered for ceremonial purposes from the forest around her farm. Hardened tree resin, dry bunches of various plants and even hand written notes. All were given out at different times in the ceremony and we were encouraged to dig deep in our emotions and cast the difficult or negative thoughts into the flames, along with the plants and powders. “This is a great time to unpack your baggage” she repeated often to us. I have to admit I had a hard time deciding which bag to unload as it sure has been a challenging year.

When we could stand the blustering cold no longer, we went into the cozy alpine farmhouse of Hennerehof. Once inside we sipped steaming mugs of tea and snacked on homemade pumpkin soup and cookies. The energy of gathering with such knowledgable women was very intoxicating. Could that magical moment be a result of the exotic scent of mystical vapors from the various incense we were learning their uses? I do not know the answer, but I have to highly recommend coming to Schliersee and taking a few of Angelika’s seminars. It will most definitely reignite your connection with the traditions of the old ways.

 

 

To find out more about the amazing Angelika Prem and sign up for her courses, please click this link:

https://www.hennerer.com

 

 

 

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).

 

 

 

A Sheepish Rescue in Schliersee

I often get phone calls that others might think strange. Recently I received such a call from my soft hearted colleague Ulrike McCarthy. She asked if I would come take some photos to help save the life of a young,Weißes Bergschaf, male sheep. The poor creature’s only mistake was to be born a boy in a herd that already had a Ram and future issues of fighting and inbreeding must be avoided.

So I packed my camera bag and grabbed the camera and fresh batteries and off we went. Friedl von Fridolin as he is now called was gathered with his flock out in a Schliersee pasture. His very protective mother watched our every move and inserted herself between us and her baby. They obviously had a deep bond. Friedl was easy to spot with his polka dot nose even amongst the other wooly thick coated lambs.

For the past 6 months Ulrike has watched over this little creature. Having a sheep of her own has been a lifelong dream for Ulrike so she was very invested in his well being. Determined to secure a safe place for Friedl, Ulrike set about to enlist other people in Schliersee passionate about the welfare of animals. She found a kindred spirit in one of our local residents, Margot Wolf. Margot was the perfect person to become Friedl’s God Mother. All the pieces were beginning to fall into place. to save Friedl.

With a benefactor was on board, Ulrike learned of the cost and logistics of keeping a farm animal when she herself lives in an apartment. The purchase price, winter feed costs, castration and vaccinations all add up. But I think she would tell you, little Friedl is worth every euro.

It is with great joy that I bring the news to you that Ulrike was successful. Friedl’s future is secure. Better yet, Friedl will continue to live out his life amongst his flock along side his loving family. He will continue to go to the woodland Winter pastures in Litzldorf with his farmer and this pasture is located close to where Ulrike works so she can visit Friedl weekly.

Friedl von Fridolin or Friedl as he is now known combines the Bavarian nickname for Fridolin, meaning peaceful one, the protector. Right in his name, the “Von” indicating high born status. A fitting name for such a noble creature to live out his bucolic existence.

 

 

 

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).