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  • Writer's pictureNigel


Updated: May 19, 2023


Fancy a glass of cool milk on a hot day? Maybe flavoured with banana or strawberry?

I've been walking in the Rhine valley and come across little huts where you can help yourself to bottles of wine, but never milk. Well here we are in the Odenwald, south of Darmstadt. A very useful little train has taken us down here, starting off in Frankfurt.......あついですね。冷たい牛乳をのみませんか stopped in Hoechst im Odenwald. A very small station indeed.

In our walking group we have all been following different weather apps and everybody has a different result - none of which are accurate. Which means: It is lovely hot sunshine and we are striding along a country road. A little sign says : 👉🏻 Milch selbstbedienung 2. Links Self service milk second left. OK, let's have a look. Aha, lots of cows...and a little hut where you can buy Wenyi fills up her water bottle, and the clever machine works out how much milk she has taken and gives change from her 1 Euro coin.........very impressive. 週末にハイキングをしていたとき、酪農場を見つけました

Photo: Phe

Julia presses the "banana" button, and out pops a little tub of powder to mix with the!

Afterwards we say hello to the cows themselves.....MOOOOO! "こんにちは" 、にゅうぎゅう.......乳牛さん

This milk episode was just one of several funny things which happened to us on our hike last Sunday. Here's a map by the way, given to us by a friendly Geo-Park Ranger......場所の地図

Just a little earlier, a very fit-looking cyclist had pulled up and simply started chatting to us. He spoke in a local dialect, but we understood that he was looking for a cycle way over the hills for his "Freundin" ("girlfriend" )..............actually none of this really added up. He was obviously a local, (on an e-bike), and I think he just wanted to chat. I asked him politely how old he was.......80, he said. We all gasped and waved him on......what next!🚵🏻‍♀️ 自転車に乗っていた人は80歳でした!

We had come from over the hills, having slogged up to the mighty Burg Breuberg.....私たちはブロイベルク城まで丘を登っていました

Now Burg Breuberg is the real thing, a medieval castle with massive defences.....

and a tower you can climb up......塔からの眺め

With one odd curiosity.........on the parapet Russian prisoners of war have carved their names and city into the sandstone...捕虜の名前

All castles seem to have grim histories. At least this one has a café where you can eat and have a beer. * (this photo actually comes from the Mal Sehen Kino in Frankfurt, but the food is the same 🤣)...このお城にはカフェがあります

Photo: Esther

Just walking.....ただ歩くだけ……

At the start of our hike we had followed a path up a narrow valley called the Obrunnschlucht. This is a place steeped in German romanticism.....The path is called the Märchenweg, and was built in the middle of the 19thc. It's a place of fairy tales and myths...destroyed by storms in the 1950's, vandalized in the `60s and `70`s, but now restored through local initiative. Here`s a fairytale castle...with two non-locals....おとぎ話の城

And it was here that we met another friendly Odenwalder......"One man and his dog", and he began telling us all about the valley, and hoped that he would see us later that afternoon at the Apple Blossom Festival in Hoechst. We knew nothing of all this of course, but he was very chatty, and kindly took this photo for us......("Oh, I've got a handy* as well you know...." he said) *handy is what the Germans called mobile phones

Photo: One man and his dog

These Odenwalders. Why are they always stopping to chat with us? At another stage of our hike we were admiring some futuristic forest houses when (obviously the owner) stopped his car to explain that these houses were available on Air B&B to rent.....Did we look like tourists? (yes).

Well before catching the once an hour train back to Frankfurt we did find the famous Apple Blossom Festival. It was sort of finishing though. But there had obviously been a procession of sorts....had this been pulled by cows do you think? 牛が引く馬車?

But we had other things on our minds................💙ICE CREAM. I needed a spaghetti ice......欲しかったスパゲティアイスクリーム

nor was I the only one.....

........although some opted for cherries......mmmm ウラジミールはサクランボが欲しかった

End of a perfect day......"pilot and co-pilot...." in other words, when I lost the trail there was always someone backing me up.....😄「パイロットと副操縦士」

Photo: Phe

I don't like Mondays. Which band sang that many years ago? 月曜日は好きじゃない

photo: Wenyi


Scene change : Frankfurt Musikhochschule🎵.フランクフルト音楽アカデミー

You never know what you might hear if you get up and go to a concert on a miserable wet Thursday evening. Wigbert Traxler had titled his recital "He should not be called a stream but an ocean!"

Referring to Johann Sebastian Bach of course (Bach = stream in German). Herr Traxler appears on stage in a grey suite and small bow tie, bows politely and turns his attention to the Steinway Grand. The silence in the audience is almost palpable. I feel we are privileged bystanders at an event between a musician and his instrument. He plays it all from memory......take a look at the programme....彼はすべてを記憶に基づいて演奏した!

And this is just the first half. When the audience had finished applauding one Fantasia and Fugue you could see that he couldn't wait to play the next one. Amazing. However, I didn't stay for the second half, whether it was to do with seeing the "bearbeitet von Max Reger" (arranged by Max Reger) in the programme, or just needing a curry and a beer, remains open to discussion. Here's the second half.....

Lucky the student who can study with this man. When I grow up I want to play the piano. 大人になったらピアノを弾きたいです🙄


Bach or no Bach, we are in the month of May. And the famous song comes to mind "Now is the Month of Maying", written by Thomas Morley in 1595. If you want to know what the madrigal is really about, then click on this link.

So I now present a little gallery of Langen in May, but that is as far as it goes I'm afraid........今は5月です....A doorway in the medieval town wall.....戸口。 中世の城壁。

A white and yellow flower......

Fachwerk in the Altstadt.....ランゲン。 古い家

Buttercups.......きんぽうげ 金鳳花

a quiet corner......静かな一角。。


Half-timbered detail.....詳細..

"I am not a red tissue, I am a poppy".....ひなげし 雛罌粟

I can take picture postcards too....!絵葉書も撮れるよ……!

And here is a hairy bug who likes buttercups.....

The old town hall.....市役所

The following photo is of a house just around the corner from me. It has been standing empty for at least 5 years, and the garden is flourishing......It reminds me of that book I mentioned last week "The World Without Us"

This house is very much lived in, and the rhododendron is competing with the wild flowers outside the town.....しゃくなげ 石南花. Classy house, classy flowers....

Blushing pink wild rose..........ピンクの野バラ

into the fields we go.........ランゲンの周りを散歩

a spikey flower with visitor.......

These look the picture of innocence.....

Meanwhile the passengers on this train have no idea what they are missing as they swish through Langen.......😄 乗客は花を見ていない…。


Thank you for reading ".......🥛.........."


Feel free to share the blog with friends.





ps. Ever tried to explain the plot of a Mozart opera?🤣


"Comes to dinner" sounds like a pretty harmless ending. In fact the guest, in one of the most dramatic and spine-tingling moments of any Mozart opera, makes an entry with an octave-plummeting "Don Giovanni, a cenar teco m'invitasti" ("Don Giovanni, you invited me to dine with you"). The only problem is that the guest is..........well....err.......dead. The audience loved it when it was given its first performance in......1787. オペラの終わりに幽霊が現れる.

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matt jordan
matt jordan
May 19, 2023

"Now is the month of ..." Currently in our choir's rep. Goes down very well!

May 20, 2023
Replying to

........ are the barley breaks included?

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