The weather in Karlsruhe is unreal lately. This time last year, I used the trams to get around because it was too unbearably cold to ride my bike. Today, I am wearing shorts and a t-shirt, bought stuff to make smoothies, and am rushing through this post so I can go outside and enjoy the sunshine at the park with the rest of the city. There so many people outside on days like today, I’m pretty sure that everyone who works indoors just threw in the towel and said screw it…. except that it’s been like this every day this week and things are only looking up.
This changing of the seasons is making blogging very difficult and I don’t know why exactly. I’m doing a lot more, so I should have more content, but it seems I rather keep doing things, while also neglecting to record them. I am constantly impressed with bloggers, generating content out of nothing. Heck, I’m doing thing and cannot seem to generate content. I guess there’s only so much you can say about the park. For now, my loyal readers, get used to seeing lots of pictures of us hanging out at the Schlossgarten.
So for now, back to it. Have a wonderful, sunshiny weekend!
Since I arrived in Germany two-and-a-half years ago, I’ve heard about the proximity of skiing and how people just hit the slopes after work. A quick after-work ski seems pretty unbelievable in a city as flat and bike-friendly as Karlsruhe, but when Shayla came to visit, it was time to finally give it a run.
Full disclosure: Since graduating college and moving to Europe, I no longer find downhill skiing an enjoyable activity – maybe it is because I am out of shape, or maybe I am just uncomfortable on the European mountains, but I prefer sip drinks and enjoying the scenery then flying down it these days (because it actually scares the crap out of me).
Warm weather characterized this winter in Germany, and I am not AT ALL complaining, but it did make picking a nearby ski location more difficult. The Black Forest offers a plethora of ski hills and cross-country trails during a typical German winter, but this atypical German winter left many ski resorts runs closed. Fortunately, one nearby mountain, Mehliskopf, opened on Shayla’s last day in Germany. We just hopped on the S-Bahn in Karlsruhe to Bühl and then from there hopped on the city bus to Mehliskopf. It look just over an hour to get there and cost us each only €13 round-trip, not too shabby. Since Mehliskopf was open, we headed out there on a Friday morning to hit the slopes.
Or at least I thought we’d be hitting the slopes…. there was actually precisely one slope to hit. I was a bit surprised that THIS was the nearby skiing everyone chatted about. Sure, it’s convenient, but coming from someone who only knows the likes of skiing at Colorado resorts, I was a little shocked. Fortunately, the prices reflected the size, and we still enjoyed our few runs and the only blanket of snow I’ve seen all winter.
On the slope, there was one T-bar to the top and one that went halfway up. We started with the halfway T-bar to warm up since it’d been awhile since either of us had been on skis. Well, apparently it’d also been awhile (read: never) since we’d been on a T-bar and not a chairlift, because we both successfully took 3+ tries to properly mount the T-bar. We both fell round one trying to get on together, I then fell and the T-bar dragged me while trying get on solo, and then Shayla fell two more times. The sixteen year-old working the ski lift was wildly amused; it’s safe to say we made his day.
Eventually, we learned from our mistakes and were able to dismount fairly successfully and then glide down the slope with ease for the remainder of the day… or at least until our legs and knees begged us to stop and our mouths lead us to the restaurant for some Après-ski, which this particularly day was a lovely glass of Bananenweizen.
The mega-advantage of skiing at Mehliskopf on a weekday was that we were basically the only people there! There were a couple expert skiers there who just zoomeddown, getting in the equivalent of their afternoon run, paired with a couple of children learning the ropes, but other than that, the mountain was absolutely empty.
Incase you ever wondered while I am always in sunglasses, now you see why: even if it is overcast, my eyes are too sensitive to sunlight. P-A-R-T-Y.
What activities do you have right in your own backyard?
You know when you arrive at a party and realize you are probably not cool enough to be there? That’s a Turtleneck Club party.
Somehow, by the grace of God, or perhaps by the sheer un-compensated amount of work we’ve poured into Karlsresource, we were invited to a gathering of Karlsruhe’s elusive Turtleneck Club. Naturally, we jumped at the opportunity to be a part of this spectacular evening. Karlsruhe lacks the cool factor of other German cities like Berlin and Hamburg, but there are some people that appreciate Karlsruhe enough to bring some special events of their own to this gem of a town. So, what is the Turtleneck Club?
Simply put, the turtleneck reminds us of a time when letters were written by hand, when a glass of booze had bite, and wearing one meant the hammer was cocked and it was time to get it on.
The Turtleneck Club was founded in Karlsruhe, and yes, you do have to wear a turtleneck to the gatherings. My mother found this hilarious as she could not force a turtleneck over my head as a child and yet here I was, wearing one for a night out.
Craig and gang executed everything flawlessly. We met at The Commodore Room for some good ole fashion socializing with Hendrick’s Gin-based drinks: classic gin and tonic with cucumber, basil smash, and the third is escaping me. Mid-way through the gathering, Craig, the founder, opened up another room for a photo shoot by Sebastian Heck. We are still awaiting the mass of photos from the shoot, but luckily we’ve received a few teasers I can share with you. Then, we were whisked off to another location on a tram from the 1930s. We were not transported empty-handed either, but with roadies packaged especially for the event by Der Kofferraum. We arrived at HubBar for you guessed it, more gin. This luxurious night was not only packed with premium drinks, but premium people. I have been in Karlsruhe sometime now, and lately I’ve been pretty lazy when it comes to expanding my social network, but nights like this remind me how much I love making new friends.