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Feb. 16, 1935: Another entry for the annals of “Things That Didn’t Catch On” from The Times’s Mid-Week Pictorial shows a demonstration of a typewriting device worn as gloves. Although the contraption was expected “to be useful in making bookkeeping entries,” its inventor, Alois Gamper of Bichlbach, Austria, failed to become a household name. Photo: The New York Times

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Winter markets in the winteriest of places



Arriving in the dark provided us with a shockingly epic view to wake up to - we’d accidentally camped at the base of a chair lift up to an impressive mountain. In fact the town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen was surrounded by snow capped mountains in a pleasant valley with a river running through it.
Theo relished the chance to photograph the quaint wooden cabins dotted throughout the fields as the mountains loomed in the background.
An imposing ski jump was our back drop that night. Evening entertainment provided by undercover police, startling us whilst eating dinner - blue flashing lights illuminating the fogged up windscreen. Worried we’d be moved on by them we were relieved to discover they were just keen to identify us as owners of the vehicle (a lot of GB vehicles pass through here with non-GB owners according to the undercover police officer checking our documents).
After 5 months of wild camping we were yet to be moved on from an overnight spot, and this was no exception. The police officer didn’t seem to care that we were staying, so we carried on with our dinner once they’d driven off in their undercover cars.

Austria was in our sights, or it was until we realised we’d need winter tyres. The apparent fine for non-compliance scared us off. Keen to see our first winter market in an idyllic setting we hopped on a train to Innsbruck from Garmisch-Partenkirchen, foolishly boarding incredibly early therefore missing out on the apparently beautiful scenery (guess we’ll never know). We were in fact so early that the market didn’t open until 11am. We had a couple of hours to kill in Innsbruck before we could have a browse of the Christmas market stalls.

The central area of Innsbruck was perfect for a winter market; old buildings with intricate architecture, ice blue river flowing through, and snow capped mountains surrounding us.

Once the stalls were open we swiftly realised this Christmas market was similar to the Frankfurt Christmas Market seen back home in Birmingham, it seems there’s not much difference between Christmas markets. Nevertheless we relished the festive atmosphere with fairy light adorned Christmas trees placed throughout and extravagant lighting strewn amongst the cobbled streets.

After a cup of mulled wine, bagging the mug as a memento, we waddled up the City Tower as we’d over indulged on pizza for lunch - the one food we miss being able to cook. The Tower was quite narrow at the top so we had to squeeze through other tourists up there overlooking the square and the Goldenes Dachl.

Determined to burst before we boarded the train home we popped into a strudel shop to sample the cherry & ricotta strudel (very nice) before hopping back over the border to our waiting van. We were ready for bed