in the last weeks of 2011

…there were so many awe-inspiring sunsets over the river, never-ending skies of inky blue punctuated with clouds a heart-stopping orange, that I stopped taking pictures and vowed to simply enjoy them.

… I fell more and more in love with this towering Christmas tree outside the Altes Rathaus.

….Niki visited Germany for the first time! We explored the perimeters of my Donauinsel and visited the Christmas market at the Schloss Thurn und Taxis (that’s the palace in the centre of the city – oh, Bavaria!) 

…we took a day trip to Nuremberg to meet up with dear friends, where we drank various warm beverages, bought gingerbread, danced to a big band and took refuge from the crowds in the city’s prettiest church – and decided that Nuremberg really is the quintessential German city at Christmastime. 

After a whirlwind weekend trip to Berlin for a dear friend’s 21st birthday (which was so entirely lovely I forgot to take a single photograph), Philly made her way to Bavaria on a fifteen hour train from France….

Though the last week of school was rather busy, we still managed to explore a little bit of Regensburg, visit Christmas markets, have a lovely supper at generous Rudi and Christl’s, partake in a little carol singing, stay up late talking…

…and have a very pleasant evening cooking dinner at a good friend’s new home (I have never been so jealous of anyone’s room in my entire life…he has a balcony!)

On that very same evening, a snowstorm waltzed through Regensburg and really, I’d never felt so contented in my entire life. It was the perfect conclusion to my first term in delightful Bayern…

Living beside the Danube is everything I’d ever dreamed of, and more. See you soon, Regensburg!