skating, skating, skating

when i read in late november that the district council had granted a license to a business owner from [euthal][] (which is at the southern end of lake sihlsee) to operate a small café on lake sihlsee in case the lake got frozen solid, i laughed and thought, “yeah, right, that’s going to happen…” — well, the saturday before christmas the district of einsiedeln declared the ice south of the euthal viaduct safe for skating!


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after christmas i managed to get decent skates in my size and went for a morning of skating! lots of fun! the ice is a bit rough in places, but you’ve got a couple of kilometers of skating fun — just going around the outer loop takes you about 15–20min. plus, the ice field café is doing bratwurst 🙂

*[bratwurst]: and i just love bratwurst 🙂

* [link to photo blog](

a dawn BBQ in the snow up at 1491m (4’809ft)

just back from a snow shoe hike with a twist: [fredi kälin from blue-Dimension][bd] had [advertised a christmas snow shoe hike][xmas-ssh] from alpthal up to amselspitz and back:

> […] Wir stapfen mit den Schneeschuhen durch leichtes Gelände, über Anhöhen und werden unterwegs wenn es schon zu ämmern begonnen hat, ein Feuer entfachen. Der auf dem Feuer frisch zubereitete Glühwein und etwas Grillgut werden uns sicher wohlig wärmen.[…][^1]

[^1]: loosely translated as: “we’ll plod with our snow shoes through easy terrain, across some hills, and shall, once the sun sets, start a BBQ fire. The freshly made glühwein and grilled sausages will for sure warm us up again.”

aside from the “hill” being a veritable mountain with a steep climbing piece everything was as advertised and we had a lot of fun! it’s not every christmas that you have a BBQ up at over 4’800 feet on top a snow covered mountain, with all of central switzerland stretching away in the sun set! i’m not going to reveal my secret recipe for _burning sausage noir_ though…

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in case you are interested:

* [the rest of the photos][pix]
* [google earth track with photo links][ge]




[that cough]( has not become any better :-(, the weather has not become any worse 🙂 so after church (we are now attending the worship service of the local reformed church) a second breakfast, and a short nap (me), we go for a short walk around einsiedeln: up the hill towards the monastery (lots of people on the ice skating ring there, got to do that next week!), around it (lots of people doing cross country skiing), around it and then up friherrenberg mountain (lots of people skiing and sledding there). the weather seems to be taken from a picture book or some tourist advertisement about switzerland: just bl**ding marvelous! once we have cleared the summit of friherrenberg we are all by ourselves and enjoy the snow and the views 🙂

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the sun is getting ready to settle down for the night by the time we reach chälen, on our way down we encounter a BMW that clearly is stuck on the icy road up to chälen, but can’t really do much about it (quite a traffic jam by the time we leave: two cars trying to push–pull the BMW up the hill, another car whose driver just wants to get past and down the hill to einsiedeln).

back home, we settle for a repeat viewing of the [2005 version of pride and prejudice with keira knightley and donald sutherland][pp], have tea and upload [the pictures of this weekend.](


i just hope the coughing will get better (or worse if you look at it from the point of view of the cough) by tomorrow: [i’m scheduled to give a lecture on virtual worlds tomorrow evening at the university of freiburg…][lecture]


afternoon snow shoe hike to gueteregg


cough, sneeze — i’ve got a cold 🙁 one of the consequences of that is that i’m not really up for a full day snow shoe hike, even though we have splendid winter weather: lots of snow, it’s cold, and we have full sun shine…

…so, after a lie-in we have breakfast, buy some lights at the local [EKZ][] store and only then start for an afternoon hike from [willerzell][] up to the [mountain pub at gueteregg.][gueteregg] we enjoy fantastic views across lake sihlsee and the mountains surrounding einsiedeln and have a substantial soup at gueteregg before heading down again.


we do miss the bus by 7min, but luckily make it in 30min across the viaduct to the other side of lake sihlsee and then past the monastery back home.

fantastic afternoon (even though i’m absolutely knackered).

in case you are interested:

* [link to our pictures](
* [google earth track log][]

[google earth track log]: “google earth track log with links to our pictures”