Mild as it’s been, enjoying late autumn

 

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Louis the boy dog at Lake Starnberg in Upper Bavaria

It’s been mild, we get it. November was rather warm here in Munich, and there hasn’t been much sunlight. It’s a good time to hole up and read. Or write.

However, when you’ve got dogs, there’s only so long you can stay inside. I’ve tried to convince the hounds to take themselves out, but they seem to appreciate my company. So outside we go.

The above photo was taken at Lake Starnberg a few weeks ago, and what a gorgeous day that was. There’ve been plenty of those lately.

Why am I throwing in a photo of Louis and not much else? Well, a little while ago, I wrote Once you get a taste of The Daily Argus, you can’t get enough. It got plenty of attention, and I even got a nice comment from the people over at The Daily Argus.

Here’s exactly what was said:

Hi Ken! Thanks so much for your kind words about Argus. We’d LOVE to see posts about Ella & Louis. Let us know if you ever come to Austin and we can get the pups together. I’d love to hear about living in Munich, also. We’ve traveled extensively but haven’t been anywhere in Germany yet – Munich is high on our list. Cheers!

Looks like we’ve got new Vizsla friends. If you’ve not yet been there, take a look at The Daily Argus. Good stuff.

I’ll leave you with a nice shot of a snail I got the other day:

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The Media’s ‘Silly Season’ is Upon us – What the Germans call the Sommerloch

This originally appeared in MunichNOW, which you can find here:

The Media’s ‘Silly Season’ is Upon us – What the Germans call the Sommerloch

We have entered what the Germans call the Sommerloch, which is yet another example of a German word for a situation that we did not even know was needed. Directly translated, this is the ‘summer hole‘, but for some it is more colloquially referred to as the media’s ‘silly season‘.

To fully understand this phenomenon, one first has to understand that many Europeans are on holiday for the entire month of August. Small shops are closed and getting a craftsman to do even the smallest job is inconceivable. Politicians are far away from their constituents, and as a result, there is little traditional news to report . Because these newsmakers are absent, journalists are left to write about topics that would not normally make it into the news.

Several years ago, a lot of both real and virtual ink was spilled to describe Yvonne the wild cow which had miraculously escaped from a slaughterhouse in Upper Bavaria. A few years previously, there was an octopus who could accurately predict World Cup game winners.

One of the most recent examples of such stories we read only last week on the German news site Focus Online. We were alerted to the plans that some Swiss had to annex regions of Southern Germany; culturally and philosophically, the southerners are far more aligned with the Swiss than with Northern Germany, after all.

These feel-good stories would perhaps otherwise be mentioned in the local section of a regional paper, but for a few weeks in the summer they receive unexpected national and even international exposure. Whether this is proper news is debatable at best – and certainly laughable.

In English, we might say that we are having a slow news day. In this case, we have an entire season of it. In Germany, we are right in the middle of the Sommerloch.

licking her lips atop the ‘sea mountain head’

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How did we get up here?

It was the first hike of the season last weekend, and it took me this long to upload the photos. Ella and Louis look rather regal, don’t they?

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The church in the middle of the village.

We took the train to Bayrischzell, which is an area of Upper Bavaria we know quite well. We’ve hiked here often. Sitting in the square before we began our way up the mountain, the dogs wondered what was taking us so long. Here we go…

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Bayrischzell from above.

Since we hadn’t hiked yet this year, I had to stop for relatively frequent breaks. I took the opportunity to snap a photo of the village on the way up. The dogs could’ve run on without any pause.

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‘Why do we have to stop?’

The mountain in the background is Rotwand (‘red wall’), which we’ve climbed in years past. Maybe that’s in our near future, as well.

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Aggressive bovine activity.

These cows might look friendly enough, but they were anything but. We’ve actually been chased off of a mountain by aggressive bovine activity in the past. Not a pretty sight.

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Ella licking her lips atop the Seeberghof at the moment of arrival.

This is the girl dog atop the Seebergkopf (‘sea mountain head‘). Her brother tires after about 6 or 7 hours of hiking and has to lay down, but I’ve never found Ella‘s limit. She doesn’t stop wanting to hike. Ever.

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Louis at the train station on the way home.

For some reason, I’ve always liked old train stations. The one in Bayrischzell is no exception. It wasn’t the longest hike, but it’s good to ease into the hiking season slowly. Well, for me, anyway. The dogs were ready to climb another mountain that very day.