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posts about winter.

while we now had snow for quite a while, most of the time it was either good weather, or we were home. so some days ago we were quite happy that four things coincided: the weather was great, we were home, the little cats were playing outside, and we noticed and joined them with my camera :) so here are some photos of miukumauku and her friends enjoying winter. and two photos of pantone.

a happy new year to everyone!

we spend the last couple of days of the last year in braunwald, glarus, for a short skiing vacation. the weather was great, much better than announced. it was sunny most of the time:

(sorry for the photo quality. i only took my tiny compact camera with me…)

it was also the first time i ever stood on skis. after a couple of skiing lessons, i even managed to get down the little hill (school to braunwald) and – with a lot of help – the bigger hill (grotzenbüel to school). it was great, even though i was pretty dead afterwards. skiing is quite exhausting, especially with regard to some muscles which i don’t really need for my daily life :)

monday and tuesday i was in basel, attending the speedup workshop, including a tutorial on intel threading building blocks and cilk plus. something i have to try out, by writing some lattice enumeration code with it, to see how it copes with it. especially the tutorial was definitely worth the time spend there.
but besides business, i walked around a bit in basel during monday’s lunch break, this time with my camera. this resulted in some nice photos, and some of these are here:

yesterday i made a trip to arosa, taking the cable car up to weisshorn and walking down around 750 m (total elevation difference); it was essentially this hike, except that i stopped at prätschli as the sun began to hide behind the mountains and as i missed the turn somewhen before which lead to maran. anyway, it was a great day for a hike, with clear sky, a bright sun (i had to use my sunglasses; something i haven’t needed in lappland ;-) ), and lots of snow.
several parts of the trail were pretty steep, for example the very beginning, which was a bit scary at first. at these moments, i really wished i had some kind of stick, and was somewhat afraid to slip and slide down. but nothing went wrong, i got down safely and without slipping. i had lunch at the sattelhütte, and did a lot of small stops to take photos. well, the whole thing took me much longer than the anticipated 2 1/2 hours, but who cares. :-)

the way back was a little more adventurous. the idea was to take the regional train from arosa to chur, and then changing into an intercity to basel, jumping out in zurich. i was sleepy (the night wasn’t very long, getting up at 5 and going to bed at 1 isn’t a good combination) and dozed off several time. at one point i noticed we were still at the same point as before i dozed off the last time, but then dozed off again. eventually i realized we were sitting in the darkness, the only light coming from the other train standing next to ours. i started to get awake a bit, and to listen to the other people in the coach, to find out what’s going on. well, nobody really knew, until the conductor walked by outside and someone in my coach opened up a window and asked him. apparently, the locomotive had a defect. eventually they got light working again, though no heating, and we even started rolling a few meters, probably to enable the other train to continue, as the end of our train was apparently blocking its way. after some more waiting, almost one hour after we stopped there in the first place, a second train came up from chur and we changed into that one, which after little more waiting took us down to chur. with somewhat more than one hour of delay, and our intercity to zurich having just left the train station, i ended up in an interregio train to basel via zurich, which took like half an hour longer than the intercity. so, with around 1 1/2 hours of delay, i finally got home. at least, we had some fun in the darkness in that coach, and also later on with light and on the new train; it’s great to sit among nice people :-)

(and no, i didn’t write that text into the snow. and there was more text, like hearts and names and stuff. didn’t took pictures of these, though.)

this is not the first night it snows – yesterday, flakes fell down as well. but this time, the snow is staying. not for long, i’m afraid, but at least for a little while. time to go outside and enjoy it, which i just did. not yet enough to play in it (that probably has to wait until the end of the year anyway), but great enough for some hopefully nice photos. enjoy!

today i did a walk outside, enjoying the beautiful snowscape with a litte bit of sun.

today i was a second time in the fish creek provincial park. this time, it was covered in snow. here are some impressions:

the temperature in the park was really nice. i never felt cold, more like sweating under all my covers. (which changed when i left the park, somehow…)
speaking of temperatures, yesterday, apparently at 11 am, calgary was the “second coldest place on earth”, or more precisely, the second coldest place in the list of places watched by wx-now, with -33 degree celsius.
well. i was inside at that point :)

…came, and went a few hours later. nice try, winter.

it’s white outside. for a couple of days now. after a few white days during october, and rather warm temperaturs during most of november, the coldness finally returned, and with it the whiteness. an unfortunate companion of snow is ice, and by now, there’s plenty of it. mostly on sidewalks, sometimes on the roads. let’s see when the next chinook is coming.