While walking along Panoramaweg, a scenic trail above Baden-Baden, Germany, I saw the perfect symmetry and texture of this vineyard that climbed up and over a hill.
When you’re out for a hike and you see a mushroom like this, you immediately think of gnomes. At least I do. I had the good fortune to take a trip last fall as part of my annual SATW Conference to Germany’s Black Forest. It’s been on my life list for hiking.
After a day hike near Baden-Baden, our group was transported to Baiersbronn, a major jumping-off point for hiking in the Black Forest, so we could enjoy a rather rugged day hike in the deep dark woods. It’s the land of fairy tales, that’s for sure. And I’d like to spend a few weeks in here. Next time. Meanwhile, the gnomes have it to themselves when no one else is looking.
In honor of my Mom’s birthday today, here’s a couple of happy birds from Vogelpark Marlow.
I visited this “Bird Zoo” during my trip to Germany last fall and was enchanted by the uniqueness of the concept – and the free-flying birds within the many aviaries, this one focused on parakeets and cockatiels. Mom’s always been fond of birds and had parakeets when she was a kid. Happy birthday, Mom!
One of the more intriguing hikes I’ve taken in the past year was along the Weinwanderweg – translation, “Wine wander way” – in the vineyard-covered hillsides outside Stuttgart, Germany. Now the adventures had that day are worthy of a feature story sometime soon, but the concept of hiking from winery to winery through the vineyards: wow. Talk about the ultimate in farmland hiking. True to its name, the trail led us through vineyards and into villages where wine tastings awaited.
I’ve been piddling away Euros these past two weeks while piddling in Germany. In my youth, pay toilets were uncomfortably common in urban areas and certain mid-range department stores, Kmart, Newberries, and the like. Ah, the agony of a young girl needing to pee doing the ants in the pants dance while Mom is digging through her purse for a dime or quarter!
And so I say to my German sisters: frei die toiletten! It’s time for a sit-down protest of the pay toilet. When Americans started refusing to use them – because a savvy shopkeeper offered free next door – the pay toilet became a dinosaur, disappearing by the early 1970s. Everyone has to pee, and those who don’t want to pay at German toilets already find a place to do it outside.
Obviously, it’s the women who need to lead this sit-down protest. Take it to the seats, and do it for the sake of your own little girls, dammen!