live slow, love nature, be adventurous

Monday, February 16, 2015

Walking in a Winter Wonderland || Taunus, Germany

Last week, we drove up to Frankfurt to visit my parents and used the occasion to go on a little walk in the Taunus mountains. I'm not in the mountains a lot anymore and so going on a hike again was a great break from the study-intensive few weeks before. The Taunus is a low mountain range just north of Frankfurt and a popular recreational area for people of the region. We used to go there a lot when I was a child, but back then I definitely failed to appreciate the beauty of the German mountains or rather the appeal of their hiking paths and it had been years since I properly had visited the last time.

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We took the underground (that is actually an overground for more than half of its route) right to the foot of the mountains and set out on a lovely little tree-lined path. It was a gorgeous day with air that had that sort of clarity that is so characteristic for a bright winter's day and the light of the sun was kissing the sparse tree tops. After weeks of grey, uninspiring skies that made you detest winter and long for spring, it was a revelation to feel the sun lift our spirits and we weren't the only ones that were out and about to make the most of the day.

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The trees along the path quickly grew denser and with the sun hiding behind thick clusters of branches, the light quickly started to disappear and soon we found ourselves in one of the dark fairytale forests of our childhoods in which you suspect trolls hiding behind rocks and witches tracking your moves to put a spell on you.

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The path rised gently and with every meter that we climbed there seemed to be more snow on the ground. We had had no idea that there would be any snow at all and so we were very delighted to have the opportunity to escape to a veritable winter wonderland at least once during this season.

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With the snow, there also came the people. We were passed by sleds occasionally - more often ridden by adults than by kids! -  and I not so secretly wished we would have brought one, too. I don't even remember the last time I went sledding (though I had some major sledding envy in Norway, too), but my old wooden sled still has got to be somewhere in my parents' basement!

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After an hour of walking we finally reached a mountain ridge where the trees started to clear a little bit and the sun illuminated the pure freshly fallen snow. Is there anything more beautiful than snow shimmering in sun light? I can't think of a lot things!

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While I was furiously snapping away at the beautiful scenery - it's been a while since I felt that inspired by photography and the insane amount of pictures in this post is only a little collection of all the photographs I really took that day - I was reminded of this beautiful shoot I had seen a few months earlier and it kind of made me wish I would have brought a ball gown up to the mountains: Wouldn't this be an absolutely stunning scenery for a fashion editorial?

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My boyfriend remarked that the landscape looked more like an advertorial for winter vacationing in the Alps than what you would expect to find in Central Germany and I definitely had to agree. Unfortunately, the Taunus isn't always this prettily covered in snow - in fact, snow is probably the exception rather than the rule - but that made the timing of our visit all the more special.

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We took a little break at the Fuchstanz, a mountain pass and the highest point of our walk, and treated us to a cup of hot apple wine, a local speciality, in the hopes that it would warm us up a little bit. It also seemed like we were joined by half of Frankfurt as walkers kept on pouring in from the other paths.

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We started to descend on the other side of the mountain and eventually spotted a clearing between the trees. Curiously we strayed off the path (I know that Gandalf told us not to, but the magic of Mirkwood was too strong!) and suddenly a beautiful overlook of the landscape opened up in front of us:

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We found our way back to the path - no enchanted rivers or creepy spiders for us - and continued to follow it down the mountain. The amount of snow started to decrease again while the signs of the closest town became more and more apparent until we found ourselves in our final destination, Kronberg, just as the sun was setting and hopped on a train back to the city.

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The mountains of Central Germany may not be the mountains of Norway, but a day spent outside in nature is always a good idea!

Do you get a lot of snow where you're living?


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