It is our first real winter for the last ten years! Wooow!!! I am so excited! You can hardly find somebody in Bavaria this time who is as happy as I am to see the snow covering all over around.
It is so strange when you still see the weather reports on your phone that it’s +27 in Israel and your friends spending a weekend on the Tel Aviv beach, while here in Herzogenaurach you are in a complete winter tale. I miss the sea, but I adore winter. Snow, silence, stingy and wet streetlight… this always reminds me the endless winter evenings with a cup of imperial spice tea and my favorite the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.
So, while my family enjoys the sunny days on the Mediterranean coast, we enjoy a real winter with snow, Christmas garlands, lights, Advent calendars and Christmas rush. We live in a small town, and it is so strange after living for so many years in a big city its hectic pace of life. Here everything is very calm. Very scheduled, very slow.
When my husband started the relocation process, we heard nothing about this place. Herzogenaurach is a small and quiet town comparing to a usual Israeli city, but it is not so small and remote place as it seems from the first look. It is best known for being the home of two biggest sporting goods companies Adidas and Puma, as well as one of the largest private car parts manufacturer Shaeffler Group. There are a lot of different folks here, lot of interesting places nearby but still, it is not Tel Aviv.
Of course, there are both advantages and disadvantages in living in a small place like this.
Everyone knows everyone and after a while, you start seeing the same faces even if you are new in town. I see from the kitchen window that every day at eleven o’clock this old gray-haired lady are going to the grocery, and after that, at afternoon the old man is going for a walk with his dog. I meet him every day because we are going to walk with my daughter and every time we meet him he asks me the same question: “Is it a boy or a girl?”. Since the last, probably twenty-fifth time, I started thinking about changing my answer.
Silence. It is very strange when you do not hear anything at night. No ambulance sirens, no remote music, no big city noise we are used hearing even at night. Here it is just silence, solitude and the winds.
Everything is fast because you do not have many people. You do not have lines in supermarkets. We have several supermarkets here and they are amazing, so clean, so inexpensive, with a big variety of different products for every taste. And no lines to the cash register. It is a nonsense, to come to buy and simply to go. In Israel, you will spend half an hour buying groceries and an hour waiting in a line to pay, and probably several unpleasant minutes fighting for your place in this line.
Great food. To continue the grocery topic, here you have a great variety of a tasty and healthy ready-to-cook food. It helps me a lot, since with small baby, sleeping half an hour, crawling everywhere and trying to swallow everything, you simply do not have time to cook. Since I am vegetarian, I was surprised by a wide choice of vegetarian food in such meat-lover part of Europe. Not to speak about vegetables, meat and other product of the excellent quality.
Cars are beautiful. They all drive BMW. OR Audi. Or Mercedes. No comments here. Just to say that in Israel VW was a really big deal for us.
Very clean, very neat town. There are not many new buildings, the majority of houses built in 1970-1980 but they look like on the postcard: white with brown roofs, a lot of flowers, lawns, and low decorative fences. No garbage, no paper, no cigarette buds, just clean sidewalks and clean yards. Of course, I shall not compare southern Middle-East country to old Europe towns, however, I enjoy the cleanliness and comfort of our small Bavarian town. It is Sunday evening and I see my neighbors chatting and cleaning their sidewalks.
It seems to be a great place for kids. Nature all around you, clean air, quiet neighborhood. It takes fifteen minutes to get to Erlangen and half an hour to Nuremberg. It is only two and half hours to Munich, Frankfurt or Prague.
I think our next stop will definitely be the Christmas Market in Erlangen and Nuremberg.