In Germany it is the 1st Advent today. Next Sunday will be the second and so on, until the 4th Advent when Christmas arrives. I am not ready at all for Christmas this year and the feel is definitely different this holiday season. But I still enjoy the beautiful Christmas markets here in Germany and there is always some magic to be found. I am glad I got to spent Moms last Christmas with her last year and I miss her so much. Especially now spending all the holidays without her for the first time.
This picture was taken visiting St. Wolfgangs church in Rothenburg o.d.T. It features an underground maze called kasematten with several small spaces, stairways, and tunnels that spread below the church and date back to Middle Age hiding places. Most of the tunnels are narrow with low ceilings and tight openings from one space to another. It is definitely worth a visit and places like these can be found throughout Germany.
Another view of Colmberg Castle and this proud buck. He was first in line when it came to eating the chestnuts fallen from a bordering tree. He was even aggressive and all other females had to wait until he finished eating.
Males 😂 just kidding but couldn’t help it. My sincere apologies to my male followers and friends, but really? Why is this so? What happened to equal rights? 😉
Ok, I go now, I had my moment of silliness.
I have always loved Rothenburg o.d.T. and it’s always been a special place for me. I have to admit that there is a shadow that lingers now because it has become the city where Mom passed away. It’s too early to tell if this will remain or dissolve in time.
One of the several entrances into my favorite medieval city, Rothenburg o. d. T.
With the anniversary of being home and spending nearly a year in Germany, there is no doubt that things were tough. But like with most things, not all was bad, and there are plenty of reasons that Germany will always hold my roots. I don’t think I can live there all year round anymore, but there will always be people, cultures, places and things that will always remind me of where I came from, and draw me back.
Back to Germany and back to one of Mom’s favorite hangouts. The old fortress is privately owned these days and was converted into a guesthouse / hotel / and restaurant. A perfect mixture of old world charm with a modern flair. I got to spend the night there a few years back and would definitely do it again. Last year we got to celebrate Mom’s 80’s birthday there and it was a very special day.
This picture was taken at a later time with just Mom and me, enjoying a couple of deers in the foreground of the fortress.
Last trip to the year round Christmas village in Rothenburg ob the Tauber with my cousins Moni and Michaela.
Michaela gifted me a pickle ornament from that store. Did you know that it is German tradition to hang a pickle on the Christmas tree? Whoever spots the pickle ornament first on Christmas is the one to unwrap the first present.
Merry Christmas everybody. Wishing you all the magic and warmth of the season.
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.