Here are our first glimpses:
A strange collection of wooden poles, old rooftiles and... an upturned tombstone, of all things. Very unexpected!
This friendly little fellow spent a few minutes with us, letting me stroke him or her (I didn't check) and getting my hands all dusty from the earth it kept itself rolling on. In Germany, three-coloured cats are called "Glückskatze" ("Lucky Cat") not necessarily because they themselves are luckier than other cats, but because they are believed to bring luck. It's rubbish, of course, but I still like the term Glückskatze.
This was the building the cat had come out of. It almost looks like a piece of art, as if the plant growing from its brick wall was put there deliberately. A fascinating example of how nature gets where nature wants, if left undisturbed.
It was now about 1:00 pm and we had been walking for about an hour. Breakfast was hours ago and so we had a short rest on this bench, eating our savoury biscuits and some chocolate and drinking water. Friendly people with bikes and dogs passed us, and as you do in such instances, greetings were exchanged (never happens in town, does it).
We were ready then to explore the village. There wasn't much to explore - it's a handful of houses, and I'm afraid we were rather disappointed - not by the size (because we'd of course seen its size from afar and knew it was really more a hamlet than a village), but by its looks and condition.
Really only a few buildings were as handsome as the ones you can see here; old, traditional barns with their timberwork, large gates and sturdy stone foundations.
There was a general air of shabbiness about the place, a bit sad to look at. Many houses had been either built or renovated during the 1960s and 70s, and it showed - the style of those decades simply does not look so good in the countryside, and you could tell that nothing had been done to those houses ever since. A select few houses had been built or renovated recently and looked new, neat and clean, with solar panels on the roofs and decoration around their front doors making it obvious that here was a young generation leaving their mark on the village, but even those houses somehow lacked character.
Does anyone know what this tree is? Not even my Mum was sure, and she is usually very good at trees' and flowers' names.
We were soon finished with our exploration of the place. Leaving the village, we both agreed on that we still wanted to walk on and not return to the allotment already. Instead, we walked down the hill again and on towards the woods.
Nearly at the same time last year, I posted about spring in the woods; there is something so wonderful about the atmosphere in the woods at that time of year.
But we weren't there yet. First, I had to be daft and have my Mum take pictures of me:
It was a good day, and I know more of the same (or similar) will follow.