Some of the favourite memories of my youth involve sledging – at night. I remember on one occasion it started snowing around nine-ish. We watched it fall from the warmth of the pub, and prayed that it settled. And then when it did, we waited until closing time (to give time for the Dutch courage to work and the snow to build up a little), and made our way off into the night – heading towards the town’s steepest hill armed with borrowed drinks trays, carrier bags, and on one occasion a lilo (not sure where we got that from) as our make-shift toboggans. And there by the orange glow of the street lights reflecting off the snow, we would sledge until the early hours of the next day, making the very most of it (in England, the snow doesn’t usually hang around for long)… Thinking back now, we probably woke half the neighbourhood with our “enthusiasm” for this particular obsession, and I will never know how there weren’t any major injuries apart from a broken arm on one major sledging expedition that I wasn’t a part of, and a mild concussion obtained by one of my oldest friend’s (although she would probably tell you now that it knocked some sense into her – I don’t think she sledged this particular hill again)! I do know that it was the best spontaneous fun though.
Perhaps all of the best sledging is spontaneous? Making the most of a rare sunny day recently we did exactly that at Munich’s vast Olympia Park. Its hills are not for the feint-hearted mind you, there are not many gentle slopes to be had (I think you can even ski down a couple) and Small Boy found that his snow suit alone sufficed after he ditched his “school sledge” (a flat plastic affair we picked for the day as I didn’t fancy lugging the bigger sledges on the U-bahn) after one particularly fast run churned up the biggest snow cloud on his descent. The abominable snowman that greeted me when it arrived at the bottom was not a happy one, but once we dried him off with a (clean) hanky found in the depths of my bag, and picked the ice out of his eyebrows, he was soon back at the top again… The Eight Year old would have given the day a perfect 10 too had she not had a bit of a collision with a post at the bottom of one run – not serious thankfully, but one that dented her pride nonetheless (especially as her mean Mother and Grandmother found it highly amusing). And once the serious runs were dealt, with we found a much smaller hill close to the train station. The Small People played happily for an hour and Mum and I topped up our vitamin D levels. All of it good, healthy (and cheap!) fun…
So should the mood take you while you’re staying in Munich, and you fancy a bit of winter sport without heading to the mountains, then grab a tray or the closest carrier bag, get on the U3 and head for Olympiazentrum… And if you don’t have time during the day? You know what to do…
Funky Wellies says
As you know I am no skiing fan, but sledging I do like! Sounds like great fun, by day or by night. xx
Thank you FW… Sledging is far more appealing! :D xx
Lilinha Espindula says
Sledging seems so much fun, I would love to sledge one day! I’m sure my little boy would love it too! :) x
I hope you get to try it soon enough, thank you Lilinha! :) x
Helen Braid says
Night sledging. It even sounds magical… And the photo is a beauty x
Thanks Helen! Will have to do it again some time, we have bigger hills here! :)
What a fantastically atmospheric photo and yes indeed, I would be tempted to ski down that slope!
I am sure you can actually ski down a few at Olympia Park! Thanks Suzanne! :)
older mum in a muddle says
That looks totally fab – what fun! And I just love the idea of night time sledging – what a laugh – wish i’d done that in my youf!
Thank you… So glad we did it, still makes me laugh thinking about it even now! :)
Stunning! What an incredible still!
Thank you so much… Was taken by my Mother’s fair hands, as my camera had run out of batteries!! :D
Cat (Yellow Days) says
Such an evocative post, reminds me of my childhood in Munich. Glad you’re enjoying it.
Thank you Cat… I had no idea you grew up here, when did you leave? :)
I sledged for the first time this winter frightened me to pieces!!!
You need a good long 8km sledging run like they have here to get you really into it! Thank you Becky! :)
I Heart Motherhood says
what great fun! I’ve never been sledging but I fully intend to get the kids doing it when we have a snowy day next winter in the UK and they’re slightly older. At the moment snow days just involve looking upset at being cold!
I highly recommend it… Perhaps not with a carrier bag though, far too bumpy! :D Thank you! :)
That looks so much fun! We only get to do it about once a year!
It is the only good thing about the amount of snow we have had this winter! :D
Mum of One says
Wow that sounds like such great fun. Doing stuff like that at night always feels a bit more special and memorable somehow…like swimming :)
Funny how doing something a little bit different from the norm makes it more memorable! Thank you Jenny! :)
Trish - Mum's Gone to says
I must have been such a sensible child, – no sledging/plastic bag stories from me. Maybe I should try it – though now living in the Fens there isn’t a slope to be seen. I didn’t even do a hill start in my driving test.
I definitely think you should try it, keep a plastic bag at the ready just in case! Thanks Trish! :)
Sledging looks so much fun, we would love to try this the next time we have some snow, such a lovely photo xx
Can’t beat a bit of sledging! Thank you Wendy! :)
A Patchwork Life says
What fun memories of night sledging! Can’t believe I’ve never tried it! Sounds like such a laugh.
Lovely picture with all the snow spray whipping up x
It was brilliant, honestly! I always think about those nights when we see snow for the first time here (around October!!) :D Thank you xx
Michelle | The American Resident says
this reminds me of night skiing at our local, small but fun downhill ski slopes where I grew up in Minnesota–there were lights and it was all open for skiing and everything but there was still something a bit more exciting about it. And there was a little forest on th slopes that my friends and I always made our own ‘off piste’ tracks through and the lights didn’t get in there very well so that was REALLY daring and fun. And you’re right. All the best sledging IS spontaneous :)
Thank you Michelle… I am loving hearing everyone’s different night sledging/skiing experiences! You are braver than me in the forest though! :D
Such fond memories reading that! I remember doing the same thing at night as a young person, and it was such fun. Love the photo of Small Boy and that spray of snow – great action shot!
I have my mother to thank for that photo, my battery was flat on that day! Thanks Caroline, great memories are precious aren’t they? :)
An Exeter Mum says
How fabulous! Looks like so much fun. I used to love sledging down the little hills in my village when I was a child x
Thank you, I am trying to build up enough confidence in all of us to do the REAL sledge runs down the mountains! :D
Coombemill - Fiona says
What fun! My best sledging as a child was on the sides of a paddling pool when the snow unexpectedly came overnight. Improvisation and being spontaneous can make it more of an adventure. I love your story and the photo. We have had a few flakes in the air today but still nothing on the ground. If we do get a decent covering day or night we will be out to enjoy! Thanks for linking up.
Thanks Fiona, love hearing all these tales of what others used as sledges! :D
ahhhh ye olde past time of drunken plaggy bagging – yup :)
Fishing waders are very good too :) The story of that night is one to be told that ended up with me in someones front garden rockery followed by a trip to the doctors.
I have photos of daughter building snowmen in the dark and quite clearly in pyjama bottoms. When it snows you just got to make the most of it here, as you rightly say. I noticed some teens a few weeks ago in wet suits and thinking how things have moved on so much : we were ‘appy with our plaggy bags !
A rockery? Ouch! Wet suits, that is very inventive! Saw two grown ups with plastic bags at Olympia park. Made me laugh! :D
oh that is magical and what a wonderful picture
Thanks Helen! :)
Midlife Singlemum says
What fun! Cold though, no?
Thank you… ja, both times. But the “dutch courage” helped with one lot, and my Scandinavian winter coat the other! :D