Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Enjoying the Winter

As Ariana at Still Parenting says, winter often gets a bad rap. People tend to focus on being cold and getting sick. But it can be a great season, and as I wrote last year, it is a spiritually important season.

There are fun things you can do outdoors if you dress warmly enough: explore the forest, ice skating, sledding, etc. And then there are the things to be enjoyed inside: hot drinks, snuggling under warm blankets, reading books, extra time to make art together, perhaps learning to knit (we are kind of on-again, off-again learners with knitting!). 

Last weekend, even though it was one of the coldest in Berlin this year, we managed to spend most of it outside. Each winter, we visit our beloved Grunewald, Berlin's largest forest within city limits. We walk around for several hours, and then we have a wonderful meal at a cozy German restaurant called "Die Scheune" near the edge of the forest. (While it may seem strange to say we were at a German restaurant in Germany, Berliners only eat German food occasionally, because it is rich and heavy.) This time, I had roasted duck, Rotkohl (simmered red cabbage) and Kartoffelklöße (potato dumplings). . . yum, yum! There really aren't words to describe the feelings I have after walking around in the bitter cold and then sitting by a fireplace with incredible German food afterwards.

I never get enough of seeing small children play with big sticks!

And I will be really sad when my daughter gets too old to have snow fairy adventures.
The picture above was taken at a curious spot at the highest point in the forest, an artificial hill made from the rubble of WWII called the "Teufelsberg". During the Cold War, the American NSA had a listening station there in which they spied on everyone from the Kremlin to the East Germans. 

It has been abandoned for many years now, but you can still take tours of it. My son is standing in front of one of the domes that had top secret equipment in it. The echoes when you are inside the domes sound freaky - like something out of a horror movie. 

And the next day we were crazy enough to go ice-skating at an outdoor rink! Ah, winter . . . savor it while it lasts (before Mother Thaw comes and wrecks all the fun)!

Linked to Friday's Nature Table at The Magic Onions


  1. what fun. we get about 3 weeks of winter here in AZ and we are heading full steam ahead into spring. so fun to see everyone else in the middle of it all.

  2. Replies
    1. It's now gone here, too, but I hope we will get some more before February is over.: )