Saturday, 30 September 2017

September Holiday: Black Forest

Zurich was only the first part of our fortnight off in September. After a brief stop at O.K.'s home, we packed our bags again and set off for the Black Forest on Sunday afternoon.
Where we went is actually not that far away from O.K.'s; if all goes well, it takes about 2 hours. But it took longer than that, as there was a long detour due to roadworks. We were later told that there had been a landslide on one of the narrow roads through the forest, and that was what the builders were fixing.

Our hotel was more or less in the middle of nowhere. There is a German term for remote places like that: "Wo sich Fuchs und Hase Gutenacht sagen", where fox and hare say good-night to each other. It's not even a hamlet, let alone a village: just a few buildings (the hotel, a horse stable, one other house, a barn and a chapel), and there is no mobile phone reception. At the hotel, there is no WiFi for the guests, and there are no TV sets on the rooms.

But there are horses, pigs and cows (on the fields, not in the rooms!), there are birds and other woodland animals, and there is of course the forest.

Our hotel:

Our room:

I am not too keen on leather furniture and therefore could have done without the leather headboard, and the shelves at the sides were a little impractical, but overall we liked our room; it was clean and cosy, and we had our own part of the balcony:

Walking around the building, you can see where our room is - at the far end of the geraniums on the balcony:

The neighbourhood:

Looking  at the hotel from further away:

View of the valley we drove through to get to the hotel. Off the main road, a narrow lane leads about 5 km along the valley, which opens up towards the end - and this is where someone at some stage decided to build a hotel.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Read in 2017 - 30: Pollyanna

This is certainly one of the best-known classic children's books, but I only read it few weeks ago, even though I'd often heard about the book and its heroine's "Glad Game".
Now that I have read it for myself I can say that it left me with mixed feelings: Some elements are beautiful, timeless, funny. Others owe a lot to the time and place the book was written in and appeal a lot less to a reader a century later. For those of you who have never read the book for yourselves, here is a quick summary: Pollyanna is an orphan girl who comes to live with her strict and uptight aunt who only takes her in out of a sense of duty. By her sunny character and unusual ways, the girl befriends many people and eventually thaws the seemingly icy heart of her aunt, thoroughly changing the lives of those she is in closest contact with. Eleanor H. Porter wrote "Pollyanna" in 1913. It was so successful that sequels were soon produced - only of them by the original author. Mrs. Porter was born in 1868 and died at 51. From what I gather about her on wikipedia, she was married but had no children. Although "Pollyanna" is her most famous work, she wrote many more novels, both for children and adults. Overall, I did enjoy reading this book, in spite of Pollyanna getting somewhat on my nerves at times. Most of what happened was not surprising, but it made a welcome distraction after a long day at the office on the train home. (You guessed it - this was a free ebook from Amazon's kindle shop.)

Thursday, 28 September 2017

September Holiday: A Saturday Afternoon Walk

After Zurich, we were home from Friday afternoon until Sunday. We used that time to do the washing, ironing and repacking for the next part of hour holiday.
I spent most of Saturday on my own, as O.K. had been invited to join his former school mates for a day trip to Lake Constance. After lunch with his parents, I finished some of the things I wanted to do and then took advantage of the fine weather to go for a walk around the village.

Some of the paths you'll see now are the same ones we frequently use for our Sunday morning runs, and some of the views you have seen once or twice before on my blog. But with the changing of the seasons, they never look exactly the same.

View towards Schloss Ortenberg (Ortenberg Castle), and zoomed in:

This is a "Bildstock", a wayside shrine. It was erected for religious purposes, and the inscription on the sandstone pillar reads: "Disen Bildstock hat aufgericht Gorg Kremre und Georg Vogt 1761". The spelling is oldfashioned and has some errors, but basically it tells us that Georg Kremre (probably Krämer) and Georg Vogt had the shrine put up in 1761.

Inviting, that bench, isn't it?

A selfie:

I think it is a good year for walnuts:

And back towards the village:

It really is a beautiful area, isn't it?