Sunday 16 May 2021

A Different Walk

The day after O.K.'s first vaccination was Saturday, the 8th of May. Because of the doctor's advice, we decided on a walk that would neither be too long nor too strenuous, just to make sure; O.K. felt fine with only a bit of a sore arm.

We love viewing towers, and there was one not too far away where we had not yet been together, the Buchkopfturm near Oppenau. 

There is a parking space nearby, adjacent to a large meadow where paragliders have a base for their flights (do you say flights or jumps with paragliding?). As expected, many had found the day good for paragliding, and many more for watching them. For much of the walk, we saw them in the sky; at one point, we counted around ten in the air at the same time.

The path to the tower started on a rocky downhill bit but then eased into a comfortable forest road. We did not encounter many other walkers, but there were small groups of people at the tower.

We waited until one group came down before going up - there is not that much room at the top, and we wanted to keep our distance.

From there, we walked further down and through the woods before arriving at a place that normally operates as a shelter and restaurant but was of course shut. It offers nice views to the opposite side of the valley and the large hotel/restaurant complex of buildings. A couple of years ago, I accompanied O.K. to that place when the village band was booked there for a performance. Now it looks as if they have been enlarging it even more - I wonder whether they will get enough business to survive, since they had to shut like everything else during the last 14 months.

Before we arrived back at the parking lot and the paragliders' meadow, we came past another shut hotel and restaurant. They had a kiosk open on their parking lot, offering hot and cold snacks and drinks. We would have liked to support them, but neither of us was hungry or thirsty - we are now so used to bringing our own food and water, unlike in previous years when we could always rely on one place or other along the way being open, where we could have a shandy and maybe a snack.

It was late afternoon and the gliders had packed up for the day. The sky didn't look as if there was going to be much of a sunset to see later, but once we were home at the cottage, the evening light changed completely, and we were out once more to enjoy the sunset, as you will see in my next post.


  1. It looks another lovely walk. Our cafes and suchlike open up again tomorrow - for how long will depend on the spread of the Indian variant.

    1. Here, we are hoping for at least outdoor places opening again soon. The numbers of new infections have been going down, but vaccinating is still going at a painfull slow pace.

  2. When I paraglided in New Zealand I called it a flight because we didn't actually jump off anything. Paragliding is one of the most wonderful experiences I have ever had.

    I do love your 'big skies'.

    1. That makes sense, Graham; it's not a jump like with a parachute out of a plane.
      I think I would like a flight with a paraglider, too; of course it would have to be a tandem flight.

      Those big skies are why we do that - puff and pant up mountains, I mean!

  3. I'm so glad you got your vaccine with little after effect. The walk is certainly lovely and you cannot beat those fabulous views. I admire the gliders -- I wouldn't want to do it but -- well, if someone really taught me well...!

    Thanks for stopping by Marmelade Gypsy today. A pleasure to see you there!

    1. I have not got my vaccine yet, Jeanie, not even an appointment; the campaign is still going at a painfully slow pace in this country with just about 11 percent of the population covered. It was O.K. who had his vaccine on the day before that walk.
      I would do a tandem flight but I am not in a hurry to try it! :-)

  4. Your views from the tower are beautiful! That must have been quite a climb but well worth the views. It would be fun to watch the paragliders too. I hope you have had a good weekend and had the opportunity to get caught up with your sister and parents after your holiday. May your work week go smoothly for you!

    1. Thank you, Bonnie! The climb was surprisingly easy, I kept waiting for a really tough bit but it never really came :-)
      I did manage to see quite a lot of my family over the weekend, and now I am ready to tackle what is going to be a very full week. Admittedly, I could have done with another week off!

  5. I do so love your walks! And I really think that I am impressed by how few people I see in your photos, is it always so lovely and quiet? Truly looks heavenly to me!
    So, OK got his vaccine, I'm glad! Did you get yours too?
    Take care!

    1. I do try to get no other people in my pictures, but this time there really were not that many, with the exception of the paragliders' meadow and the tower. Walks are at their best when all you can hear is birdsong!
      As for the vaccine, see my reply to Jeanie...

  6. Distance is the theme in many of your posts.
    Distance as enchantment, distance as an extension of the self.
    Buchkopfturm (a bright new word it is a pleasure to write) looks as far as the Vosges.

    I remember an Air France poster on the wall of our school classroom with a photo of the Vosges. Our teacher who had been there on holiday quoted Goethe as well as Racine.
    I knew the mountains were in eastern France, close to the border of Germany.
    I could not wait to go there and drink the wines of Alsace.

    J.M. Coetzee, the elusive novelist, said that people have only one landscape, the one they belong to, no matter what empathy they have with other places on earth.
    You are the exception since Yorkshire belongs to your past as well.
    J Haggerty

    1. Interesting that you see distance as a theme in many of my posts, I have never thought of my posts that way.

      We can see the Vosges from the hill behind O.K.'s village, and we note their visibility as an indication of air quality, air pressure and weather forecast.

      In the five years I have been commuting between my place and O.K.'s, we have been to Alsace only once, in spite of Strasbourg being a mere 20 or 25 km away. Their wines are certainly good, but we have good wineries even closer to home; think Durbach, Gengenbach and the Kaiserstuhl area.

      If it comes to landscapes where I belong, I would of course say that the area around Ludwigsburg is my original home landscape, where I was born and have lived most of my life. But the Black Forest and Yorkshire feel almost as familiar by now.