It’s been ages since I spent Christmas in Germany, and I have always dreamed of being here for the holidays. Although my favorite time of year, it was a time that made me homesick and sad while in the states. And now that I’m here things once again have turned out a lot different as imagined. We change and so do our life’s. We don’t stay the same, our experiences change, although our memories from times past may always stay the same. This Christmas is different as the ones I remember from my childhood. Mom is at a nursing home and we haven’t baked any cookies together. We haven’t gone sledding down the hill with our dog chasing after us. There haven’t been any cozy evenings of crafting straw stars and ornaments, while drinking spiced cider and Glühwein. Times have changed and what I held onto all these years were the memories of the past. We all have them, and not all are bad, some actually warm our hearts.
Life always has a few curveballs in store for us and things seldom go smooth. Perhaps sometimes it’s best not to imagine or expect anything at all. It might sound negative, but by nature I am an optimist, and still can’t help but wonder if the perfect scenarios even exist. Would we learn something if they did? More times then none we have to roll with the punches and our successes and challenges lie in learning to do it well. And to learn not to resist, I think is an additional asset that will assure success.
I am here for Christmas this year, and despite the pros and cons, it is nice to re-emerge into some of our German cultures. I am exited to visit the Christmas markets and catch the spirit admiring the lit up booths, lining up the old inner cities. Many handmade items will be on display and I’m sure that I won’t be able to resist a little souvenir. I am looking forward to taking some picture and watch people mingle.
The picture above showcases the lit up Christmas tree in my village and a little red ginger that has taken refuge under the tree.
“Your sacred space is where you can find yourself over and over again.”
Mine happens to be in Mother Nature and in places like this. This picture was taken high above Mittenwald on top of the Karwendel mountain range.
A giant telescope is hanging over the cliff side to view The Valley below and other surrounding peaks. The clouds rolled in later that afternoon and added additional drama, swallowing up entire mountain peaks. The weather can change quickly in the mountains, always be prepared.
Another picture from the Mittenwald area, featuring this gorgeous mountain chapel. Some of these chapels are shrines, others have actual altars and benches. In the summer month it is not uncommon that these tiny chapels offer worship services, called a Berg Gottesdienst. It’s in my bucket list to attend such a service and I already know that it will be a deeply spiritual experience.
This place is near the Bavarian Stonehenge that I have written about. It’s an idyllic place for me where serenity and beauty peaks. These little barns store hay and other materials over the winter month and are beautifully dotted all over the landscape. A definite must visit place to see. 💙
Not a bad spot for a rest while overlooking the Alps. On a clear day you can see mountain peaks as far as the eye can see. This picture was taken during my trip to Mittenwald, high on top of the Karwendel mountain range.
This was the second time returning to this magical place and there is something special about it. I stayed for quite some time and enjoyed a beautiful sunset with the Karwendel mountains in the background.
I’m pretty sure it has already become a staple and a place I will return each time I come to visit.
Wooden exposed beams are a trademark of German architecture and can be seen throughout Germany. Combined with the flair of a medieval town, and a fairytale is born.
Temperatures are in the 90’s today and the pool is just about the only place to stand the heat and humidity. So early on it was that I pedaled the bike to the neighboring village to spend the day at the pool. And what would a pool visit be without “Pommes”? It’s what we call French fries here in Germany. The other fun fact is that most of us eat them with mayonnaise.
Have you ever enjoyed them this way?
Tonight was Kanapee Street fest in a neighboring city and I got to experience this unique feat with Moni (cousin) and the kids. All the shops stay open late, there is food and games all over the place, and various street musicians can be found rotating spots strategically placed through the old, inner city. I even saw Elvis 😉. Couches (Kanapee’s) are placed throughout the cobblestoned city roads to just have a seat and enjoy the sound.
This is a picture of one musician who was very talented, playing “Midnight train”. I found it fitting after my recent train experience, riding the train until 1AM. A experience I will never forget.
Colmberg castle, a medieval fortress and one of Mom’s favorite places. Today the fortress is a busy place as a restaurant, hotel, scenic place for many Fests and overall feel good destination of many activities. Many many moons ago I enjoyed a medieval dinner at the castle surrounded by knights armor and medieval weapons. A medieval dinner is basically a meal without silverware and utensils. I remember slurping my soup and eating chicken drumsticks, throwing the bones over my shoulder to the ground. What a crazy experience….
I am so glad that we got to celebrate Mom’s birthday in a place that has so much meaning to her. She has long stated that she wished she could push her house up to the castle and live beneath the foothills.
It was truly a miracle of love, dedication and compassion that this was possible for her. I will never forget the day and seeing her happy was well worth the effort it took.