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Picture spam, the snowy part. Saturday evening the rain turned to snow and when I looked out of the window in the morning on Sunday, everything was white. On the one hand I'd have loved to do another hiking tour, but on the other hand the effect was fantastic and occasionally downright fairytale-like, since most of the trees not only still had their leaves, but in some cases the leaves hadn't even really turned yet...


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more... )


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Firstly — Merlin 5.05, where things are finally getting serious. (And a bit more ambitious than ~comic relief~, thank God.) The one minor quibble I have is that I seem to remember that Arthur was already more respectful towards magic/the old religion, but my memories are more than a bit fuzzy here because for the last couple of seasons I haven't exactly been watching very attentively. This aside, The Disir is the best and strongest episode in a very long while, and it made me go from meh to genuinely curious what kind of an ending we are heading towards.

spoilers )


Secondly, picture spam. This is from my brief and too-soon-over holiday last week, before the snow. From Hallstatt up to the Wiesberghaus (1.884m). I only regret not taking pictures on my way up when it was still sunny... (In case anyone is interested, this (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) is what it looked like on top. I'm only linking these pictures because they're really crap photography-wise, but there is little you can do if the sky is completely colourless/white...)



DSC_0034

descent into the mist )


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I didn't actually mean to disappear for another two months, but life has been... Hard to say, really. Partly busy, partly depressing, and partly just going through it day after day and just not feeling that any of it is particularly worth writing about. Read more... )


~*~*~



A few uninspired pictures from the two of the three hiking tours I actually managed during my holiday. During the second week it rained nonstop for two days, after which it looked like this higher up: (The lake is at 1154 m.)


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more )


 

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These are from last Sunday, although after last week at work it feels so much longer than that. From Mitterlengau up the Schusterkogel, and then along the rim of the valley via Teufelssprung and Hohe Penhab back down again. The mood is very different here, because while the mountains are about the same height, this is slate rather than limestone, so there are alpine meadows right up until 2.000+ m. (Which personally I'm not so very fond of, because cows? Large heavy animals with pointy horns, and not always so peaceful, especially when they're in a herd with their calves. I'd definitely prefer them behind fences. At least it was apparently still too early in the year for them to be all the way up, so most of the hike was blessedly bovine-free...)

This was also the most relaxed tour, because I didn't put any pressure on myself, but let myself stop for taking pictures, breaks, or just to sit down and enjoying the view for a bit, because I knew I had to drive back to Vienna the next day and really, really didn't want to leave. I don't remember having felt so at peace for a long time, although sadly last week killed that mood pretty fast.



Horses, for a change. At least better than cows, although I try to keep a respectful distance too...

Untitled

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Wednesday, up to the Ingolstädter Haus, once again im Frühtau zu Berge starting vey early because it was still very hot and they predicted thunderstorms for the later afternoon. This is essentially only across the valley from Monday's hiking tour — the treeless green space on the mountain in the background of this picture are the alpine meadows on the first picture.

Once again, so, so gorgeous.



This time I took the camera a couple of times on my way up because the morning light was so beautiful...

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Finally sorted out and uploaded (although admittedly still rather indiscriminately) my pictures from last week's hiking tours in Salzburg to flickr. They're really nothing much photography-wise, all credit is due to the sheer gorgeousness of the landscape, but I enjoyed that time so much that my sense of self-critique refuses to cooperate. Hence, picture spam.

My level of fitness, or rather lack thereof, still makes 1.000+ m of hight difference a bit of an exercise in masochism, but I've never been to Salzburg this early in the year, and not only was it still incredibly quiet and peaceful — even on a Sunday I was more or less alone for most of the day and only met a handful of hikers towards the end of the tour —, but it caught me by surprise how much spring still lingers up in the mountains. Above 1.700, 1.800 m there were still plenty of snowfields, and in other places you could still see the pressed-down dried grass where the snow had molten only recently, with the first flowers coming out.

This batch of pictures is from Monday when we had a heatwave and I got up at 4:30ish and started out at 6:15 in the morning to avoid the worst of the heat, up to the Passauer Hütte. (Which I forgot to take a picture of, but you can sorta kinda see on a high resolution version of the tenth picture, where the right edge of the clouds meets the top of the mountain.) The pictures were taken on the way down, so they're in reverse order, snow and rocks to tree-line and flowers...


Untitled

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Um, another two-week hiatus; but this time it wasn't just sheer laziness/apathy. I've (finally, finally) made it to Salzburg Thu. evening last week and stayed until Wed., and while I didn't do as much as I'd planned, I enjoyed it a lot.

Personal ramblings and a few photos. )
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It's a bit weird posting these pictures now, and almost impossible trying to recreate the mood three weeks further into spring and back at home, but I was so busy writing that I didn't even look at them once I downloaded them. From my trip to the Chiemsee on the 11th, which was just completely, utterly gorgeous. I was walking on the beach rather than the footpath for the most part (from Chieming to Seebruck & back again), completely alone except for gulls & ducks; all pastel blues and browns, the water on one side, a cloudless sky for most of the day, the mountains faint silhouettes across the lake, and on the other side dry, yellow reeds blending into the brown of the still bare trees; stones covered with half dried mud and shells under my feet. All very quiet and lovely. It was a strange in between state of things, not quite winter, but not really spring yet either. In the woods you could already see the first flowers, snowdrops and Schneerosen and crocuses and Leberblümchen, but a couple of days later I was going for a walk up the Bluntautal, and although the altitude isn't really that much higher, it was like a trip back into winter especially towards the end of the valley that doesn't get a lot of sun; everything, including the path, still covered by an unexpected amount of snow. And then, walking back again, gusts of warm wind on my face, a striking contrast to the chill from the snow crunching under my feet, tearing last year's dried leaves from the beech trees and blowing them across the snow. It felt like spring cleaning, and somehow strangely joyful.





+8 )



And two more from the Hallstätter See. I barely took any picture on that day because everything was just bound to come out like the worst kind of postcard kitsch, but it's a really beautiful place...

+2 )


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While I'm posting photos, this is the only one from the Salzburg holiday that I'm actually sort of fond of because somehow it manages to be more than just a pale echo of reality. Even the sun-flare kind of works on the b&w version.





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Some more photos from a week ago, this time from Hallstatt. Again, nothing much photography-wise, but it's a pretty place...






+11 )
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From last Friday. They're nothing special photography-wise, but they still give at least a bit of an impression...






+7 )

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God, I'm tired. Cleaned up the flat, drove home, deposited the luggage, gift-wrapped the overdue birthday gift for my niece (toy cash register, of all things—*groan*—, but she absolutely loves it and has apparently been asking for it all the time ever since her birthday a couple of days ago), spent more than an hour on the underground and bus getting to my sister's new flat in the middle of nowhere Groß-Enzersdorf, helped put together the IKEA mini-kitchen she (the niece, not the sister) got from my parents, spent another hour on bus & underground, and had Russian lesson, at which point the day started to feel slightly surreal.


Briefly went through my photos & am a bit disappointed, because mostly they all pretty much suck. Either I've lost it completely, or I'm better at finding beauty in unexpected places than photographing it when it stares me in the face; maybe both. Still posting this though, because it gives a pretty good impression, in spite of all its postcard-kitsch glory.




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Zero points for originality, since a version of this photo probably exists on millions of computers all over the world, not to mention photo albums before that, but I still kind of like it...





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Brief weekend update...

Friday evening; made a cake for my mother's birthday.

Yesterday -- morning run in Schönbrunn (no, seriously; even if it only was some 6 or 7 km); birthday with family, Torte & Brötchen, and I guess I must be doing something right niece-wise, because it was Tante Noni this and Tante Noni that all the time. *big pleased grin*


Today -- lazy, lazy lazy; wrote a bit, read (Ch. Jackson, The Fall of Valor, which I came across in TM's diaries, and I've got to say they've proven to be a good source for reading material so far, from Russian and German classics to the odd American novel of the 40ies and 50ies...), wrote some more, did a bit of belly-dancing practice and a whole lot of nothing.

And hello there, Monday. ::sigh::




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+3, because I couldn't decide which to pick )



Sunday with sister & niece, who is being very cute, climbs up to the slide (no steps, just round wooden rungs) all by herself, leaving me open-mouthed and staring, and, noticing a spider-web says 'Spin-nen-netz' with near perfect articulation. Three weeks ago I was blowing soap bubbles for her, now I'm holding the soap water for her to avoid major spillage & she's doing it herself. And catches them again. Clearly the bestest & most intelligent niece ever. *g* She still loves unpacking my bag & wallet, and was fascinated by my Pet Shop Boys Actually CD. Neil Tennant is the funny man ('lustiger Mann'), Chris Lowe isn't so funny ('der nicht lustig'). They're so much more fun when they're growing up, instead of vomiting milk on you.

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Because I need a bit of holiday nostalgia to cheer myself up.


 



ETA, because I've always loved Chess & this has been stuck in head for days now.


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