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  • Writer's pictureNigel

Bright sparks on dark days 暗闇の中の明るい光 16th January 2022

Updated: Jan 16, 2022


With the light fading at about 5pm what are you doing with all these dark evenings?

Aha! Well I see the Harry Potter films have now all made it to Netflix. Back in 2001 when the first film came out, we were doing things like buying DVDs. Who buys DVDs these days? Streaming is now the medium, so don't be surprised to hear that I have now been working through the whole lot....from The Philosophers Stone to the Deathly Hallows . Following the daring adventures of our (then very young) bright sparks Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson. Looking at the credits now, I am amazed at the all the really good actors who joined the cast. Alan Rickman, Robbie Coltrane, Richard Griffiths, Ian Hart, Zoe Wanamaker, Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter and Maggie Smith - to name just a few! Why did they all want to star in these films? Well, maybe one said - "If you join I will too...see you there.." and the ball started rolling. But I think the deciding factor was probably a cracking good story to start with.

Perhaps that is why, when I was walking through a very gloomy and misty Rhein valley yesterday my thoughts on..........

The plan was to walk from Assmanhausen to Lorchhausen, a distance of about 14km. I read somewhere that it would take about 4 and a half hours, but I scoffed at that.

And with such confident signs at Assmanshausen, how could I go wrong?

Still down at river level I stared at Burg Rheinsteig from across the murky who would want to stay there?...It looked almost like another school for witchcraft and wizardry............Maybe they have a Quiddich team?

However, the boats looked all pretty modern and reliable, so "no worries" (as they say in the UK these days)...

It was, however, when I began the ascent to the "Rheinsteig" (the high level track on the side of the valley), that the mists really began to close in.....

It took a good half hour to reach the Rheinsteig up this steep path. But shelters (probably built for the grape pickers) are at hand for the weary walker.......

...with misty views down to Father Rhein...............

Now, it was when I began stumbling through the forests above that I began to imagine a narrative. I remember a scene where Hagrid leads the intrepid trio into the dangerous wild woods around the castle. I think to introduce them to his brother, who is a dim-witted giant.

(Harry Potter) "Hagrid, could you please just tell us what we are meant to be doing here?" (Hagrid) " Never mind, my boy, we just have a small job to do...." (menacing noises in the background....)

(Hermione) "you realise Hagrid, that we are breaking the rules coming here...! "

(Ron) "Bloody 'ell, what's that?.....I think we should turn back now.......?"

(Hermione) "Oh for heaven's sake, Ron, it's a dragon, and it's dead...anyone can see that!"

" is this one too......"

(Harry)...."er, Hagrid, what exactly is this place?..." (Hagrid)....Oh, er..never you mind, my boy....must be moving on now......."

Anyway, back to reality.

I must say, the vintners of the Rheingau are very enterprising. At this little hut the weary hiker can simply swipe a bank card to gain access to a nice bottle of Spät Burgunder ...Pinot Noir....and the glasses are included! Ok for a summer's stroll from the village maybe. You could then roll back down the hill........

My final destination, after a modest 11 Km, was Lorch...I followed the yellow line on a paper map (what's that?). I hate having to get out my phone and follow its little screen.

In the villages along the way, random old-fashioned wine -making equipment now serves as decoration....

But the real thing is never far away......Here is Traubenwerk Weingut -a real vintner in Lorch. I liked the star made up of vine branches.......

so....see you soon, またね.

And I would be honoured (or even honored !) if you felt like subscribing to my blog.

By the way. Don't miss the "About" menu point on the opening page 😊

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