With craggy mountain peaks and evergreens on the hillsides dressed in a confectioner’s sugar-like snow to command one’s attention, it is easy to miss the smaller details of winter in the alpine village of Oberammergau, Germany. Before we embarked on errands in the city center of the frescoed town the other day, I was struck by the loveliness of the delicate designs Mother Nature had etched on our windows in frost.
Tricia A. Mitchell is a freelance writer and photographer. Born in Europe but raised in the United States, she has lived in Valletta, Malta; Heidelberg, Germany; and Split, Croatia. An avid globetrotter who has visited more than 65 countries, she has a penchant for off-season travel. Tricia has learned that travel’s greatest gift is not sightseeing, rather it is the interactions with people. Some of her most memorable experiences have been sharing a bottle of champagne with distant French cousins in Lorraine, learning how to milk goats in a sleepy Bulgarian village, and ringing in the Vietnamese New Year with a Hanoi family. She welcomes any opportunity to practice French and German, and she loves delving into a place’s history and artisanal food scene.
A former education administrator and training specialist, Tricia has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in international relations. She and her husband, Shawn, married in the ruins of a snowy German castle. They’ve been known to escape winter by basing themselves in coastal Croatia or Southeast Asia.
Her writing has appeared in Fodor’s Travel, Frommer’s, and International Living.
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45 thoughts on “Winter Wonderland Wisdom”
Stunning shots! Congrats
Wow. That is beautiful! Great job on capturing Mother Nature in the act!
Attem Noom, “capturing Mother Nature in the act” – love it!
Ana Lucia, there’s so much beautiful detail all around, but I must just remind myself to slow down and appreciate it. :)
These are stunning! The most beautiful of artworks, even more affecting for their ephemerality.
Ephemeral – such a fitting word to describe Mother Nature’s achievements, Rachael. Given how aggressive the snow had been early on in the season, I was surprised that we largely had a green/brown Christmas, and not one dressed in snow.
Here’s hoping you and your family had a joyous Christmas. Looking forward to seeing more of your splendid work in 2013!
Thanks, Tricia. Merry Christmas to you and yours :)
These are gorgeous! They need to be framed.
Juliann, tardy holiday greetings to you, and thanks for your comment. It’s funny that you mentioned that I should frame these, as my husband and I are in the process of unpacking a plethora of framed pictures from ’round the world and we’re swiftly running out of wall space! Perhaps a coffee table book with pictures from around the year is in order, though. :)
Great work, really nice Tricia.
Thank you, Mark. Here’s hoping you enjoyed a wonderful holiday back home with family. All the best for 2013!
Exquisite photographs. Insightful and thought provoking quotes Tricia. V.
Thank you so much, Virginia. Sending you and your family warm wishes for the continuation of a beautiful holiday season.
Freezing and fabulous! Merry Christmas, Tricia.
Thank you for the Christmas wishes, Jo. Here’s hoping you enjoyed a beautiful holiday yesterday!
It’s true that when I’m lamenting about the cold temperatures, I should remember what beauty that make possible. :)
This is so beautiful. Happy white christmas! :)
Mekala, surprisingly our Christmas was rather earth-toned, given that we had a bit of a warm-spell just before the holidays. Though I lamented the snow’s passing, my family was thrilled not to do shoveling duty on the driveway. :)
Here’s hoping you’re having a splendid holiday season. All the best for 2013 too.
Beautiful photos and heartwarming quotes. Most definitely a winter wonderland with wisdom!
Thank you, Judy. Belated holiday greetings to you and your family! From the look of it, your kitchen seems to be overflowing with sweet goodness.
Thank you! I feel very blessed to be able to prepare so much food for others. A big cleaning day today :)
Have a wonderful holiday season!!
Thanks, Judy! We were happy to have a bit of a break from cooking today, but whipping up old and new treats is such a fun part of the holiday season. Here’s hoping your cleaning day goes well. :)
Tricia, thank you for sharing your very poetic post in beautiful words and images. Isn’t winter in the Alps magic?
Cornelia, indeed it is magical! We went to the midnight mass on Christmas Eve. There was standing room only, and the church was beautifully lit with candles – which of course were dramatically extinguished for the final ‘Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht.’ Quite special.
Frohe Weihnachten wishes to you, Cornelia, and all the best for 2013!
Trisha I’m so excited for you that you’re spending the holidays in Germany! Have tons of fun and warmest of warm wishes to you and your family!
Antoinette, your warm wishes must have worked, for we’ve been having a bit of a warm spell here these past days, resulting in a not-so-white Christmas. Here’s hoping you’re having a splendid time in the Big Apple! Will you be ringing in 2013 there too?
At first glance, I thought these were sun prints, but on black paper! Gorgeous…it’s these little things that make me SO in love with nature. Great shots!!
Desiree, when I was a child, my mom bought me a package of sun print paper. Sadly, by the time I’d gotten around to using it, it had spoiled. I did a little research on the internet though, and found that it can be done with construction paper. Perhaps once we’ve gotten all unpacked, it’s a creative project I can tackle.
Speaking of creative inspiration, I’m very much enjoying seeing the work from your painting marathon!
I remember seeing sunprints recently at a novelty store of some sort…I’d love to see your project if you end up doing it at some point!! Fun!
Tricia, I have nominated your blog for a Reality Blog Award because I enjoy your stories and photographs so much. Information on the award is here: http://theeternaltraveller.wordpress.com/2012/12/21/thank-you-to-my-blogging-friends/
I’m so very flattered by the award; thank you!
I’ve very much enjoyed chatting about some of the similar latitudes and longitudes to which we’ve both visited. All the best to you and your family as we approach 2013!
What beautiful shots, and hope you have a lovely Christmas.
Thank you, Lucy, and a belated Merry Christmas to you and your family! Once things slow down a bit, I look forward to catching up on your recent journeys. All the best.
Thank you for your photos and your words. We look forward to them. They uplift our spirits.
Marie, that’s really the highest compliment I could receive – thank you so much for taking the time to stop by again! Here’s hoping you enjoyed a wonderful holiday, with still more festivities to come before we reach 2013.
Happy solstice, Tricia! Enjoy the wonderland.
Sid, sending you belated holiday greetings and many thanks for yours! Surprisingly, with the way winter had begun here, we didn’t have much snow on the ground for Christmas (it had melted since my last posts), but the Alpine surroundings still created the perfect setting.
Merry Christmas!!! I just wanted to take a minute to say Thanks for all the Beautiful winter pictures, I have been SO thoroughly enjoying them!!! We have really been missing Germany, and seeing your pictures brings joy to my heart!! So glad you guys are able to spend time in Oberammergau!
Enjoy Christmas tomorrow! Love, Heather
Heather, it’s so nice to hear from you, and to know that the little glimpses I’ve shared of Germany during the holidays have helped your homesickness. We are really quite lucky to be here this time of year! I hope you and your family enjoyed a wonderful Christmas together. I’ll catch up with you soon by email. Hugs!
Interesting compilation of quotes and thoughts Tricia! I love your philosophy of travel! I look forward to future postings.
Thanks so much, Andy! My husband and I are really enjoying our time in the Alps, though after spending last winter in Southeast Asia, I’d also like to do a post on summer wisdom sometime in the near future. :) Glad we connected!
Absolutely stunning captures Tricia! And inspiring words as well :-)
Thank you so much, Madhu. The majestic frost seemed tailor-made for the inspirational quotes. Hard to believe that almost one year ago, we were under the blazing Indian soon!
Great shots :-)
Thank you, Nada.