Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Four Churches Walk

Yes, another walk! It is just the perfect time of year for it, and my favourite activity anyway, so I gladly grab any chance I get to be out there in the sun.

The Friday after Ascension (see my previous post), both O.K. and I worked. I was able to finish early enough to catch a train to Offenburg in time for a leisurely sundowner on the balcony. In fact, the train was almost 10 minutes EARLY - something that happens very, very rarely!

The Saturday (May 23) was rather chilly at only 12 Celsius, and rainy. It was the perfect excuse for a quiet day of lounging around with just a quick walk around the village late afternoon when the rain stopped. 

But Sunday, the 24th of May, was sunny again. In the village's weekly paper, I had come across a suggestion for a walk covering all three villages that make up the administrative community of O.K.'s village, and their four churches. The walk was prepared and signposted by the community's Heimatverein, an association of people who love their area and care for it, promoting its beauty and quality of life.

We started at the church of O.K.'s village, St. Gallus in Hofweier:

Being local, of course we knew quite well how to reach the next village and the next church, but we were determined to follow the description and the route as intended by the Heimatverein. The path took us down Church Valley and uphill again, along the top of the hill between orchards and vineyards to this tiny chapel:

View of O.K.'s village, the clouds making for great skyscapes:

Approaching the next village, Niederschopfheim:

Coming up towards the next church, St. Brigitta:

We did not go inside, but had a look at the sign outside, explaining a bit about the church's history:

On we went across the fields to the third village, Diersburg:

Church No. 3 on the walk was the only Protestant church in this small cluster of villages; as you can see, much newer than the others, although there had been an older building for centuries (dedicated in 1790), and the stained glass windows and other elements from the old church have cleverly been incorporated in the new building.
Does anyone else find that the tower looks like a not very happy face?

 The Catholic church in Diersburg:

It was now 3:00 pm, and before we left Diersburg, O.K. bought us coffee to go from a bakery/café that was open for business, a welcome stop.

The signposts led us to a different route out of the village than what we would usually take:

Looking back at Diersburg:

Up and down several hills...

...before the communal wood of Hofweier (called Hohhölzle) came into view. From there, it wasn't far to the cottage.

Top-down view of the recently planted troughs in front of the cottage, as seen from the balcony. We had chosen the flowers together during our holiday at the start of May, and they are doing really well:

This had been a very nice walk. At 13 km, it was not too long to be utterly exhausting, but not too short, either. Signposting could have been better in places, and if I had not been with O.K. and not known the area rather well already, I would have probably taken the wrong path a few times. But we both enjoyed this closer look at the three villages and their churches, and I can well imagine to repeat the circuit on a sunny autumn day, when the vineyards show their colours.

Saturday, 30 May 2020

A Day Off

Here in Germany, Ascension is a Bank Holiday. It always falls on a Thursday, making Friday a popular day off for most people. 
This year, both O.K. and I had to work on the Friday, meaning we were each on our own for the 21st of May and saw each other only on the weekend. We have had this situation a few times in the past years, and it has become something like a tradition for my sister and I to spend that day together, like we did here, for instance.

We took advantage of the sunny weather and went for a walk, on a circuit that my sister chose from a book she has.

The first leg of the round trip was by train, starting in Ludwigsburg; just two stops until Freiberg (wearing our masks, of course), where we took our time exploring the old part of the small town (without masks).
You can find Freiberg's wikipedia entry in English here. If you scroll down to the headline "Notable buildings", you will find information on the buildings we looked at:

Beihingen Old Castle:

 I found this view towards the church rather picturesque:

 New Castle, on the other side of the road from the Old Castle:

Tithe barn:

 Wine press:

Amandus church:

View from the church (which was locked) towards the Old Castle:

Eventually, we left the town and walked towards the river, where the route from my sister's book took us along the "Old Neckar", an abandoned arm of the river not suited for ships and nowadays a nature reserve:

After several kilometers of walking, we saw the small town of Ingersheim ahead:

We decided it was time for a break, and had our picnic (provided by my sister) near here, not far from the river but away from the endless stream of cyclists on the paved path:

Ingersheim is, as you can see, similar in character to Freiberg. I loved the Renaissance banister on the staircase outside the church. (Sorry about the foggy picture - it definitely was NOT foggy that day! I guess the sun played tricks with my mobile phone's camera.)

A short way after Ingersheim, we entered the forest of Bietigheim. No pictures from there, I'm afraid. At one time we came across a pond so full of frogs we could hear them from far away - it never ceases to amaze me how those small animals can make such a racket!

After the woods, the route was across fields (look how dry everything is round here) until we reached the outskirts of Bietigheim.

In Bietigheim, we took the train back to Ludwigsburg, of course once again wearing our masks as required by law these days.

In Ludwigsburg, "my" Irish pub (where I used to go to the pub quiz "before Corona" and had my 50th birthday party two years ago) was open - seating and serving was only happening outdoors on the market square, though. We gladly took the opportunity to have a refreshing cider (me) and beer (my sister); it was nice to do something so normal - even though the waiters wear masks and I had to put mine on, too, when I briefly went inside for the toilet.

My sister came back to my place with me, where we had coffee at the table in the corner under the cherry tree. 
What a nice day it had been! We already have plans for a different walk in the same area for some time later this year.

Friday, 29 May 2020

More Sunsets!

One can never have too many beautiful sunsets in one's life, right? Or pictures of it! 

Sunsets have been high on my list of favourites since childhood. From just before I turned six until I was 20, we lived in a terraced house in Ludwigsburg. My room was facing West, with a view of nearby Asperg, the mound you have seen on many of my posts, for instance on this one.
For some of those 14 years, my bed was placed underneath the window. And many an evening, I would kneel on my bed, elbows on the windowsill, and watch the sun setting over the Asperg. The fascination for that particular time of day has never left me, and so I ask you to bear with me while I shall fill this post with more pictures of sunsets (and a few others), taken between the 15th and the 20th of this month, more than half of them by O.K.
Friday, 15.05.2020; O.K. had just arrived at my place in time for a quick walk to catch the sunset.
Sunday, 17.05.2020; a walk to Asperg and the view from there across the town towards Ludwigsburg.
Still Sunday the 17th, the sun setting over Asperg.
Similar view to the one I used to have from my bedroom window as a kid.
Wednesday, the 20th of May - background picture randomly chosen for me by the operating system on my work computer. It must know me well!

The rest of the pictures here were taken by O.K. on the 20th of May during his evening walk just outside the village. I know this circuit so well by now, but never tire of it and the beautiful views it offers.

There, that's enough sunsets for one day, I guess :-)
My next post will show you many historical buildings and more, from a walk I undertook with my sister on Thursday, the 21st of May, which was a Bank Holiday in Germany (Ascension).

And now it is 8:00, and time to start work.