The Big Freeze: Ice Skating on Oeschinensee

But then, on the first Thursday night of the year, I came across something that seemed too unique to pass up - ice-skating on Oeschinensee. That is, ice-skating on deep-blue-turned-black-ice frozen lake nestled high up in the Bernese Oberland mountain range. And the closing argument: ice-skating on a frozen lake up in the mountains that’s only possible when weather conditions are exactly right. Cold enough to fully freeze the water, but without snowfall to cover the lake’s surface. It could last a few days, a few weeks, or simply never freeze over for nearly two decades. The magic only lasts as long as the snow doesn’t fall and the ice doesn’t melt. And right now, Lake Oeschinensee was the ultimate natural ice skating rink for just a few more days, until the forecasted big snowfall on the upcoming Sunday. Doubt of winter sports be damned, we were going ice skating.

Bavarian Rhapsody: Nuremberg, Germany

Nuremberg. Famous (more like infamous) for yes, the WWII war crimes tribunals and hosting massive Nazi party rallies, but also more breweries per square capita than anywhere else, a charming medieval old town, teeny tiny little sausages, and an area literally named after Switzerland (Franconia Switzerland) because it, well, looks just like Switzerland.

One Month In

Moving to a new country is a bit like living in Newton’s Third Law - for every small victory there is an equal and opposite faux pas. I’m remembering to celebrate even the smallest of wins, and laugh off the mistakes as expat rites of passage.