Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Welcome to Germany

Germany: welcome to the land of castles, green rolling hills, and charming villages. I felt like an inarticulate idiot the whole trip because I continued to repeat phrases like "this is so cool/awesome/brilliant/fantastic" and "this is so beautiful/gorgeous/etc." It was true every time I said it, and that is really how I felt. I just could not find the words to really do the landscape justice. Now I am going to embarrass myself by failing to find an eloquent way of relating my feelings on a public blog. Fail.


After layovers and writing a seminar paper in the air for eight hours, I landed in Frankfurt. The lovely family of my friend's in-laws came and picked me up, and we went to the neighboring town of Heidelberg. Technically it is on what is called the "Unromantic Rhine," but it epitomizes Romanticism as its castle inspired many German Romantics--even Goethe walked around these grounds. As far as the university goes, it is a Philosophy powerhouse. It boasts of many famous philosophers including Hegel and Gadamer. Impressive. Perhaps the most impressive fact about Heidelberg is that it was the birthplace of the gorgeous Michael Fassbender; we are forever in the debt of this German city.

 Here is the castle that inspired those German Romantics. 

This bridge is famous because Mark Twain used to sit and write on it. I'm sure all of those writings were witty and scathing. 

A view of the bridge from up above

The houses along the river

Awkward statue? Check. 

We returned to the village that my hosts live in. It is a farming community with fields full of cows, horses and a few chickens. As you walk around, you find these gloriously antiquated barn walls housing old and modern farming equipment. Similarly, the houses have walls that date back hundreds of years ago, add on walls from about a hundred years ago, and solar panels on their roofs. The yards and houses are impeccably kept houses and gardens. It makes for a colorful and gorgeous walk around the village streets. Among the town occupants is the "Bee Lady": a local women that keeps bees and sells candles and honey to her neighbors. Of course, I had to buy a few jars. Outside the village, there are innumerable nature walks--complete with foxes and deer. Unfortunately I only got to go on one walk through the village. If I had a few more days, I would have spent it just exploring this charming village.

The town pride and joy are these 12th century--I think they are 12th century--ruins, tucked behind one of the barns. 

 Every town in Germany has one of these poles. Mittelbrunn has flags for chickens, golfing, soccer, hiking, etc. If I had to join one of these clubs, it most defiantly would be the chicken one.

After getting gelato, we went to the top the hills around Mittelbrunn when the sun was setting. 

These yellow fields are blooming everywhere in Germany right now; they are used to produce oil.

Remember how I said I couldn't find the right words to express myself? Well I hope you get the reason why. Thank goodness for photos and artists to express what we commoners fail in expressing. 

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