We took a journey on the ice today, following a northern German tradition. It’s not really clear to me what the point of a kohltour is, although I experienced one once before when I lived in Germany for a year as a 19 year old. Back then it was pulling wagons along the dike of the Weser River. Now it was dragging pulka sleds along the icey roads of our observation village. In both cases some festive beverages were involved,and games along the way. Markus and I were a team for a 3-legged race…. We got off to a slow start but we learn quickly and ended up blasting past the competition to finish first. The whole thing was a bit of a funny scene. Little glasses made of ice hung around each person’s neck, to enjoy the libations. And to enjoy a little walk on the ice, touring our cities, and enjoying some conversation. We don’t have many down times out here, so for a few minutes it was nice to have a down time, no objective, nothing to accomplish in this moment, just walk and relax. I still don’t fully understand the reason for German traditions like the kohltour….. but it was as enjoyable this time as it was my last time.

Advent on Polarstern. Photo: Alfred-Wegener-Institut / Esther Horvath (CC-BY 4).

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