April Snapshots: From Sunny Frankfurt to Snowy Riga (Plus a Taste of the Spessart)

The steeple of St. Peter’s Church and the intricate façade of the House of the Blackheads in Riga, Latvia

You know what they say about April showers bringing May flowers, right? Well, here in Germany, they basically say that April does whatever the heck it feels like (“Der April macht, was er will”). Or that April is pretty much an indecisive little brat who keeps changing his mind (“April, April, der weiß nicht, was er will”).

Okay, so both of those are pretty very loose (and somewhat exaggerated) translations. But still, I’d say the German way of summing up this month is pretty spot-on.

Why, you ask? Because I went from sunny, 70-degree weather that looked like this…

…to 30-degree weather that looked like this:

In all fairness, the change in latitude is partly to blame. I spent Easter weekend in Riga, Latvia, and when booking my flight back in December, I didn’t give much thought to the fact that I’d basically be as far up north as Stockholm. Yep, I was in for quite a surprise (although apparently it snowed here in Frankfurt over Easter, too).

Despite the cold and the snow and the fact that I lacked a good hat, Riga was an interesting and surprisingly beautiful place. Sure, I had heard nice reviews before going. But I certainly wasn’t expecting this:

I’d say the most interesting thing about Riga was that it was probably the closest I’ve ever been to Russia – both culturally and geographically (side note: I contemplated going on a trip to Moscow and St. Petersburg this summer, but the thought of doling out $200 for a tourist visa made me shudder).

As I learned on my free walking tour of Riga, roughly 42% of the city’s inhabitants speak Russian as their NATIVE language. I guess that explains why I was able to stuff my face with some insanely delicious pelmeni while I was there.

Anyways, aside from the bipolar weather we’ve been having lately, Germany is, well, Germany. However, I did go on a day trip to the Spessart with a friend from Aschaffenburg yesterday, and I’ll definitely be writing a blog post about the beautiful little town of Miltenberg sometime soon (update: you can now find that post here).

Miltenberg – a pleasant surprise in the Spessart region of northwest Bavaria

In other news, I’ve taken up an old hobby again – sketching. I’ve been getting together once a week with a few friends for a little over a month now. After cooking dinner and a bit of chit chat, we all turn to our sketchbooks and draw or paint the night away. I forgot how much I missed having a creative outlet (besides writing for this blog, that is), and I’m excited to see where my reacquaintance with this old hobby takes me!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *