Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Munich, winter

My previous train-travel post didn't mention a feature of this particular route (Stuttgart to Munich). About a third of the way in, at Geislingen, the track climbs a 200-metre escarpment by running up the side of a box canyon. The ICE's are so powerful, they can just shift down a gear and roll on; but the old diesel-electric IC's don't have enough muscle for that, you really feel the locomotive struggling to make the grade at a pace that a fast cyclist could match (on the flat (if you see what I mean)).

I am writing in the train, on my way to Munich for a conference given by the makers of the database software toolkit that I use. It's a nice combination of education and fun, we are meeting up this time in a Museum of Aviation History on a disused military airfield. I had hoped for a chance to meet Chirpy again (she lives in a town halfway to Munich), but she is booked up. We'll meet in December when she comes to Stuttgart for a day.

We are travelling in bright sunshine, the sky is brilliant blue with just a few decorative clouds. The high plains of southern Bavaria are covered in fresh snow; the trees at the edge of the fields are frosted with lines of snow along their thicker, higher branches. At moments like this, the origin of the Bavarian flag (a diamond-checkered field of light blue and white) is obvious: sky and snow. It (the snow) looks only ankle-deep, but still it's there. Winter is here, hooray.

And me with no camera, damn and blast again.

[continued later] Munich is definitely colder than Stuttgart, it's below zero and breezy, but still very sunny and clear skies.

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9 Comments:

Blogger CarpeDM said...

Wish you would have had a camera but you also have a great way of painting a picture with words. That is an art. I have always been horrible at descriptions.

November 23, 2005 at 8:04:00 PM GMT+1  
Blogger Savtadotty said...

It's a joy to read your lively and loving descriptions. They make me open my eyes to my surroundings more than any photo could do.

November 23, 2005 at 9:32:00 PM GMT+1  
Blogger The Lioness said...

I second the ladies, I can't describe landscapes to save my life, but above all I am thinking "You poor, poor man, the cold! The cold!"

November 25, 2005 at 1:00:00 PM GMT+1  
Blogger Philip said...

I can't believe you go anywhere without a camera...

*sigh*

But your words paint a lovely picture. I miss European trains. I've done some of my best work on trains . . .

November 25, 2005 at 5:35:00 PM GMT+1  
Blogger brooksba said...

You paint a lovely picture. I'd love to be there, taking in the view.

Keep warm!

November 25, 2005 at 9:28:00 PM GMT+1  
Blogger Liza said...

I miss snow... Want to trade train rides? My daily train ride to Tel Aviv takes me parallel to the Tel Aviv-Haifa Coastal Highway (but it's too far inland to see the actual coast). The high point of the ride is laughing at the poor suckers stuck in traffic as the train wizzes by. Sad is the life of She...

November 26, 2005 at 4:10:00 PM GMT+1  
Anonymous Wong Online PoK√©r Hu said...

I wish you could have brought your camera so you could have posted photos of the views during the train ride. It seems like a pretty sight.

November 28, 2005 at 4:19:00 AM GMT+1  
Blogger Udge said...

The camera wasn't forgotten, it's dead.

November 28, 2005 at 3:43:00 PM GMT+1  
Blogger sirbarrett said...

Nothing like that clear northern air to sting your nostrils as you breathe. How Mission Impossible for you to be writing from the train.

November 28, 2005 at 6:41:00 PM GMT+1  

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