Monday, 10 October 2011

Fal-da-ree, fal-da-raa, my knapsack on my back
























  Just a few of the ninety photographs that I took today! 
October 9th, 2011

An autumnal air in the Frankische Schweiz

I like to go a-wandering among the leaves so green, although the leaves are not so green, it is autumn! 

Today the colours were gorgeous. There was the fluttering carpet of orange, red and yellow below the still-green canopy above. Beside us were the bright-green stones with their thick, luxuriant wrapping of moss that were once the inside of underground waterways.

My knapsack was already heavy when I left home this morning for the annual family and friends’ Wandertag. I had filled it with a change of clothes, a brolly, a flask of water, some grapes, rescue remedy drops, a camera, a sketchpad and a book by Oliver Sacks! On the way home it was even heavier, despite my having dispensed with the water and grapes, because I had bought a two-pound loaf of dark, German bread, fresh out of the wood-fired oven that we discovered on our way!

Family gathering

Each year, on the second weekend in October, my German family and their friends go wandering together. Nowadays there are no children walking with us, they are all away at university or busy somewhere else with their own lives, but we still do the yearly up-hill and down-dale trip, with a stop at a very Bavarian restaurant for lunch and at another one for coffee and cakes, as a reward for our sporting efforts, at the end.

We all had knapsacks, we all had walking boots, some had walking sticks, one even had a traditional wander-jacket and shirt on, but no one had plus-fours or a hunting hat on. I of course had a cap on, I nearly always have some kind of covering on my head.

A dilute Indian summer-sun returned

We have had heavy rain in the area for the past few days and there was talk of cancelling our annual get-together, but today the sun shone again for us. Despite the early temperature of only four degrees Celsius, and midday temperatures barely reaching more than eight, we were dry and also, most of the time, because of the quite difficult terrain, as warm as toast.

I must admit that I prefer cycling to wandering and I knew before I set off that I would have aching thighs before the day was out. I was right but a nice warm bath will cure that. It was nevertheless a lovely day, with lots of chatting and laughing, some lovely karst-scenery to admire, some nice coffee and cake and yes, of course, lots of photographs taken.

Although I was quite capable of striking out in front with the fittest I took a back seat. I really enjoyed bringing up the rear with some of the slower movers in the group. I kept them company, enjoyed the scenery, learnt about the history of the area from my wander-companions and the signposts at regular intervals, and at the same time I managed to take some arty shots with my camera.

It makes a change to be tired out from the fresh air and rocky paths

I got home just before dusk, cut myself two slices of the still warm bread from my rucksack, smeared them with the fresh elderberry jelly that I also bought on route today, and with aching legs I collapsed in a chair. As I write my rosy cheeks are burning, just like they would after a walk on a blustery day, on an east-of-England beach.

If it had been just a few degrees warmer today I would certainly have made use of the Kniepp foot and arm baths to sooth my aching limbs. There is always a next time.

Notes

Happy wanderer-


Little Switzerland -

Kneipp


2 comments:

Gillian Maguire said...

Sounds wonderful, wish I could have been there!

Susie Mallett said...

It was lovely and a real change from being a conductor and from writing. A very nice bits-in-between experience for me.

Susie