April 21, 2017
Spring in Germany is a glorious time of year. The well-tended gardens are beginning to blossom, the trees are beginning to flower and the window boxes are beginning to bloom. The entire countryside is awash in color. One of our favorite things on earth is exploring the German countryside in the Spring. In Germany the paths are well-marked and well-groomed, and a perfect place to spend a beautiful spring day, basking in the warmth and beauty of the earth.
The Bavarian Village of Kalmunz
A perfect day scampering in the fields with a book.
The kids test their mountain climbing skills.
You never know what you’ll come across on a walk in the woods.
These woods nourish the soul.
A close encounter with a fierce predator.
Hiking trails meander through farmland and forests.
Luscious green fields and thick vibrant forests are a perfect place to spend the day.
A wide open field beckons to you – it’s the perfect place to stop and watch the clouds roll past.
“We need the tonic of wildness…At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.” Henry David Thoreau
This week WordPress is taking a look at Earth you can find other interpretations here.
February 3, 2017
In my dreams, I can repurpose anything. I believe that I am going to have the time, material, and creativity to transform trash into treasure. In reality, I move far to frequently to hold on to all the treasures I’d like to restore and repurpose. Instead, I wistfully pass along my pieces of inspiration to those with larger storage areas and fewer potential moves.
I do love to see repurposed items, and one of my favorite was the Kunstwald – the art wood in the forest not far from my home in Burglengenfeld, Germany. This hiking trail was truly unique. Much of the art was carved from wood blending seamlessly into the woods along the trail. They added the unexpected to the trail – repurposing a solitary walk in the woods into a reflection on nature and art.
Occasionally, though, you’d encounter something unexpected. Something truly magical – something repurposed.
Hunting Stands are a familiar sight in German forests. Decorated Christmas trees? Not so much.
Head over to the Daily Post to see more examples of Repurpose.
May 20, 2016
This week, the WordPress photo challenge takes a look at getting to know people as an artist by studying their Face. This week for the photo challenge, I thought I’d take a look back at some of the faces I’ve come across in my travels.
Many works of art masterfully depict faces to convey a message, an emotion, a brief snapshot of a period in time. I love to stroll through the galleries and piece together the past through the work of the great artists, marveling at their ability to capture so much within their canvas. But for this challenge, I decided to look at some of the faces of folk art and art in public spaces I encountered in Germany.
For me, the great art provides a glimpse of the epoch, the themes that prevail on the larger scale. I find that the art people make, the art that they keep in their homes and erect in their communal spaces, allows you to see the individuals. It shows you how they choose to honor what is most important to them.
As George Bernard Shaw famously wrote, “you use a glass mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul.”
In Pfullendorf, a small town in southern Baden Württemberg we see the faces of the past in the local cemetery.
Half hidden by vines, a statue holds a thoughtful pose in a cemetery in Pfullendorf
A solemn figure on a grave marker in Pfullendorf’s cemetery.
A metal cross with the likeness of Mary and Jesus on a grave marker in Pfullendorf.
And in the water park, we see the faces of the future.
This statue looks over the water park in Pfullendorf.
In Burglengenfeld, a small town in Bavaria, we find the faces of the people in the local folk art.
Bavarian farmhouse style art is beautiful and functional. This wardrobe in Burglengenfeld’s Folk Art Museum, depicts a variety of Catholic themes.
Another exhibit in the folk art museum shows a traditional costume. Across southern Germany and Bavaria, as well as many areas in the Alps, masks play an integral part in many festivals. The masks themselves are often intricate works of art.
Another depiction of a Catholic theme on a wardrobe in the Folk Art Museum of Burglengenfeld.
A special exhibition of the Folk Art Museum of Burglengenfeld focused on the handcrafted toys of children in developing nations. The faces of toys reflect a reality of the children.
And the faces of the community in the public spaces.
The fountain of the main square in Burglengenfeld.
This statue stands in front of the Rathouse in Burglengenfeld.
The castle in Burglengenfeld is a home to many residents who participate in art therapy. Here on a tour of the castle, the guide talks about some of the royal faces the residents have chosen to depict. On a side note, this was our first outing in Bavaria after our move. We went on a 45 minute tour, and didn’t understand a word our guide said. It was all in Bayerisch!
And a glimpse into the soul as we view the faces in the Kunstwald.
The still woods of the Kunstwald provides the perfect resting spot for this giant.
An artists rendering of the face along the trail of the Kunstwald in Burglengenfeld.
A row of faces stands watch along the trail of the kunstwald in Burglengenfeld.
A carving along the trail of the Kunstwald in Burglengenfeld.
Carving along the trail of the Kunstwald in Burglengenfeld.
One of the many works by local artists on a forest trail in Burglengenfeld, it is known as the Kunstwald – the art woods.
To find more Faces, head over to The Daily Post challenge – Face
This week the WordPress photo challenge is taking a closer look at the ubiquitous circle. In the Journey of Crazy Horse: A Lakota History, Author Joseph M. Marshall III writes that “life is a circle. The end of one journey is the beginning of the next.” I love this sentiment. What a truly uplifting way to …
Believe it or not, Oktoberfest kicks off in Munich this weekend. Yes, it actually kicks off in mid- September. What began as a celebration of the marriage of King Ludwig I to Princess Therese in October 1810, has grown to a beloved cultural festival. From mid-September to the first weekend of October, a festival is held at …
September 19, 2015
Movement in Munich
When you visit Munich, you expect to see beer and pretzels, Dirndls and Lederhosen, fest tents and beer gardens. Of course, Munich has all of that. But leave the heavily congested tourist areas and you’ll find the unexpected as well. It is in these areas less traveled by tourists that you’ll find some of my favorite spots in Munich. Take the tram out of the city center to the Hirschgarten recreation area and eat at the Königlicher Hirschgarten – the world’s largest beer garden. Or visit the winding peaceful trails centrally located in Tierpark Hellabrunn. Or why not visit my favorite place in Munich? The wide expanse of green space known as the English Garden.
It is in the English Garden that you will find the most unexpected thing of all.
We were on the way to the Chinescher Turm Biergarten when we were distracted by movement near the Himmelreich Bridge. What we came across there was probably the last thing I imagined I’d find in Bavaria. But there it was. Oddly juxtaposed against the background of a beautiful fall in Bavarian, with trees in vivid oranges, reds, and yellows bathed in the golden light of early evening, was a man in a wetsuit. He was carrying a surfboard. There in the middle of Munich, we had stumbled across surfers. Dozens of them. Yes, Munich has a thriving surfer population, you’ll find them lining the banks of the Eisbach canal in wetsuits, waiting for their chance to master the manmade waves.
While you expect to cross paths with bikes in Munich, you may not expect to see them with a surfboard in tow.
Not what you expect to encounter in the fall. In Bavaria.
A crowd gathers on the Himmelreich Bridge to watch the surfers.
It takes quite a bit of skill to maneuver the short distance across the canal – and back.
Showing off some moves in the English Garden.
A surfer expertly moves from one bank to the other, above a manmade wave in the Eisbach Canal
We stopped to watch the expert movement of these unique athletes. The manmade river is not particularly wide, and with crowds of observers and surfers crushing in on all sides it appears even smaller. The movements of the surfers are sure and quick as they deftly maneuver back and forth, from side to side, until they lose their balance and the next individual quickly moves from the bank into the water.
Although surfers have put their skills to the test here since the early 70’s, it has only been legal since 2010. Because of the quick turns and rapid current, only experienced surfers should attempt to cross the banks.
If you are looking for something a little unusual to do in Munich, head over and watch the surfers in the English Garden.
This week, the travel theme at Where’s my Backpack? is Move. Stop by and see what moves other travelers!
Someone once mentioned in passing that a somewhere in Bavaria was the largest horseback procession in Europe. They didn’t mention much more than that, but my curiosity was immediately piqued. At the time we lived quite a distance from Bavaria, so I tucked the information away and forgot about it. Until this year. Bad Kötzting is …
I’ve driven past the large brown signs for several years now. The signs on the Autobahns that indicate the presence of cultural attractions and regions. I’ve seen signs for castles, museums, Carpland, Spargleland – you name it. But one that’s intrigued me beyond the others was the sign for Hundertwasserturm. The tower looks more like …
This week, the travel theme over at Where’s My Backpack takes a look at Youngsters, a wonderfully appropriate theme for springtime. Of course, the best place to catch up with youngsters in the spring of the year is at the Zoo. Last year, we took a trip to Tiergarten Nürnberg. The Nürnberg Zoo is a lovely day trip, …
Last May Day we headed out to Donaustauf to observe a traditional Maibaumaufstellen – raising of the Maypole. Why are Maypoles raised? No idea. From what I’ve read, it is most likely a continuation of ancient pagan rituals, but where those rituals originated is not known for certain. The traditions vary from place to place, and …