June in Germany 六月のドイツ”
Updated: Jun 18, 2022
This is serious. There is no coffee coming out of the espresso machine. And it is Monday morning. Hello brain! What about putting some coffee grains in the machine to start with ?月曜日の朝.コーヒーがない🤨
My body was protesting at getting going, probably as a result of a long hike yesterday. The day had started with a shock - Andreas, our Meetup walking guide, had been taken ill and the walk was cancelled 😮. But it was a glorious summer day, too good to be wasted. A few Whatsapp messages later I was in the old Audi diesel, picking a fellow hiker up near Darmstadt. Off we went into the summer sun. It's not a good feeling burning Russian oil, but the trains were packed with the crazy 9€ bonanza ticket which is taking Germany by storm. So it was a compromise.
It was still morning when we parked in St. Goar. Ever been to St. Goar? No, I haven't either. It is a really pretty old town on the Rhine just north of the famous "Loreley". A picture postcard church stands above the Altstadt, and on the hill behind lie the generous remains of a huge fortress - Burg Rheinfels. My walking companion, Phe, insisted that it was a fortress and not a castle. When we eventually found the path up to it I saw what she meant - here a few pics.
There is of course a commanding view of the river......見晴らし
▶ A side note here: This is an extremely pretty and peaceful place. But I had seen that view before somewhere. In a black and white photograph. You can turn a blind eye to history歴史 if you like, but just short of 80 years ago, in 1945, the Americans were trying to cross the Rhine right here. A GI called Robert Gallagher wrote a diary at the time.....https://gallagherstory.com/ww2/chapter18.html
▶ Many of the walks which I describe in these blog posts are only possible through the organisation Meetup. They are truly international. I have friends from many countries thanks to these walks. We talk, we laugh, we walk. We work in a Europe that has left all that (previous paragraph) behind us. Until this year, when one single man, an ill- informed autocrat with a narcissistic longing for the past, abruptly changed the course of history. We will continue walking.歩き続けます.
A view of Burg Rheinfels from across a side valley...
So here we are again......I always seem to have a castle (or a fortress) in my posts. But they are great fun really😄.
It got really hot. So a sun hat and the odd bench were very welcome...帽子が必要です.
But doesn't it get hot in all these feathers?. In the quiet village of Werlau we said hello to this lot.......こんにちは鶏さん、
The cock wanted to show us his feathers of course.....Hey, look at me guys, I'm the Nr. 1.
いちばん here ! 🙄.
Soon we were in the cool shade of the oak forest which hangs onto the west bank of the Rhine. The path snakes tortourously through the trees, and all of a sudden you get views like this.......オークの森.
Where there is often a bench inviting you to stop for a thirst-quenching drink.......and a photo of course...もちろん、写真.
Want to see an example of low-energy recycling? Generations of walkers must have rested their weary behinds on this bench....which is slowly but surely returning to the earth from whence it came.....リサイクル.
After all that walking in the heat the ideal destination is one of St. Goar's many ice-cream cafes......AAARHH!! Spaghetti ice..... (for readers in the UK - this is not real spaghetti, my dears...). I'm in Heaven. スパゲッティアイスクリーム.
Now ice-cream is dangerous. Why? because it is moreish. In other words, you need some will power to stop eating it. Here's two other things I find moreish.....Gummibärchen - "little rubber bears". Basically they fuel the German economy. You will find them in the CEO's office, at the car-rental firm, in the Volkshochschule, ...on a Meetup walk......私はこれを翻訳することはできません🤣
and even more dangerous.....
no, I don't mean the beer, I mean the Kaki no Tane. These are little crescent-shaped rice crackers - senbei (jap. 煎餅), and they are.....mmmmmmm 美味し😋. And just for your information, it seems the word moreish has found its way into the dictionary!
June in Germany, yes. The cornflower is blooming,ヤグルマギクが咲いています.
the corn itself is nearly ripe, 麦はほぼ熟した。
the brambles are sharp,
and the heat rises. Time to venture up into the loft and get my fan.扇風機が欲しい!
German private houses don't really have air-conditioning, although you can expect it in supermarkets, offices and trains.
The building season is in full swing, and in Langen a vast Wohngebiet - housing area -
新しい住宅地、ランゲン, is arising.
Roads always get built first, then the houses. This is a roundabout in the making....
But the heat takes its toll on stringed instruments. Especially if you leave them on the back
seat of the car. Which is what happened to this cello. It now has got a big crack in the back.
Oh dear 🙄 璺.
We read this book in my book group last month. I was fascinated. It is the story of the friendship between two women who work with a diving collective in S. Korea. More specifically, on the island of Jeju, a strategically situated island which was important for the Japanese and the Americans in the 1940s. I learned a lot about friendship and history in this book. For one, I knew very little about the tensions which ripped Korean society apart when the country was divided into North and South. I highly recommend you read it.
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