Ruhpolding is a lovely village nestled in the Bavarian Alps. We weren’t sure what to expect when we booked it – we chose it solely because it usually has snow at Christmas, and we’d promised the boys a white Christmas.
It turns out Ruhpolding is a farming community in the process of transforming itself to a tourist destination. It has a range of tourist activities and infrastructure, but all against the background of the wafting smell of cow manure.
We arrived yesterday to be met by our lovely hostess who gave us a lift from the station. She, in common with everyone else we’ve dealt with here, speaks only German. In spite of that, we have managed to communicate fairly well – I even managed to stretch my German to a weak joke. Certainly our German is such a long, long way ahead of our Chinese that we’re feeling positively local.
Our apartment has turned out to be in a charming, traditional house and in far better condition than we expected. This has been one of those rare situations where the website completely under-sells the place. It’s much larger than we expected, especially as it has a third bedroom which will save Bob from the couch when he arrives tomorrow.
Having some additional space is lovely. Being able to go supermarket shopping and get some breakfast cereal and milk feels like a luxury. Shopping in a foreign country is so much more fun than at home; choosing a bottle of milk can become an adventure. Having a home-cooked meal last night was fantastic.
This morning started disturbingly early, as we’re all still suffering jetlag, but that was okay because it’s my Birthday. We had a very quiet morning sitting about doing nothing, or doing schoolwork. The boys did handwriting, journal entries, blog posts and Mathletics. That took a solid couple of hours and made up for some slippage over the last few days.
After lunch we walked up the road to the cable car and travelled up one of the nearby Mountains. The view was remarkable with peaks on one side and snow-covered plains on the other. We spent a happy couple of hours trying to cause avalanches, digging snow caves and generally sliding about in snow up to our knees or thighs. Finally we walked home along a meandering track that followed a river through a pine wood.
A pizza dinner in the village and a cake back at ‘home’ topped off a lovely day.