Surprise

Surprise! After many months off I've written a new post, and I intend to keep writing, although at a slightly slower and more sustainable pace than last winter. I started researching Surprise, Arizona, only to discover that it may have been named after Surprise, Nebraska. Then while mapping Surprise, Nebraska, I found that there's also [...]

Chamonix

Chamonix, France, hosted the very first Winter Olympic Games ever. This small town in a valley beside Mont Blanc, and a bunch of other mountains, (and I mean a bunch - the valley is surrounded), was "discovered" by modern tourists in 1741 when a pair of Englishmen showed up there and published their account of [...]

St. Moritz

St. Moritz, Switzerland, hosted both the 1928 and 1948 Winter Olympic Games. The first record we have of the town is around the years 1137-39 as ad sanctum Mauricium. St. Moritz is named for Saint Maurice, (Moritz is a form of Maurice), patron saint of, among other things, armies, armorers, clothmakers, dyers, and he is [...]

Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, host of the 1936 Winter Olympics, used to be two towns, Garmisch and Partenkirchen. This is probably not a surprise when looking at the name of the city. The two towns were combined by Hitler in 1935 in preparation for the 1936 games and have remained together to this day. We'll look at [...]

Cortina d'Ampezzo

Cortina d'Ampezzo, an Italian city surrounded by the Dolomite mountains, hosted the 1956 Winter Olympic Games. Because of its location, Cortina d'Ampezzo has been part of both Austria and Italy, but since the end of the first world war it has been part of Italy. So, how did Cortina d'Ampezzo come to be called Cortina [...]