I’m a mountain girl and there is just something special to be surrounded by a landscape that is so magnificent and wild. A view that takes my breath away while restoring a deep sense of gratitude and fulfillment within myself. I love the ocean too, but my mountains have a special something that always stirs my heart. I found a quote that just about sums it up.
“Mountains are not stadiums where I satisfy my ambition to achieve, they are the cathedrals where I practice my religion.
Picture: Above Mittenwald Germany 2018
Last year while in Germany, I got to spend time at the face of this amazing Mountain range, located near Berchtesgaden and Salzburg. Folklore has it that fairies, gnomes and noble people along with great treasures are inside the mountain called the Untersberg. One of the most known myths is that the emperor Karl the great is waiting for his resurrection add will rise from the death at the mountain, although his remains are buried in Aachen. It is said that he sitting at a great marble table with a few other noble men. His long beard is growing longer, wrapping around the table. Every 100 years he sending a servant to count how many crows are flying around the bottom of the Untersberg. If 24 crows are counted, not more or any less, the emperor rises to fight the last battle of humanity. If less than 24 crows are counted, the emperor is sitting back in rest to sleep another 100 years.
His beard has to wrap the marble table three times in order to call this battle into action. It is said that his beard has wrapped the table twice already. Folklore states that if 24 crows are counted the next time he wakes up, we could be faced with the end of all days.
What a story, isn’t it? For me it was the beauty of that mountain range and this area definitely had a vortex for me. I felt at home and at peace. Let’s just hope Emperor Karl is sleeping for long time to come yet.
While I was in Germany last year we were able to watch some great bobsledding practice runs. Both, the men’s and the women’s team practiced that day, and for us it was a completely unplanned event. We just happened to be in the right place at the right time. I say “just” and yet timing is everything, isn’t it?
There was only a handful of people watching, mostly coaches, sponsors and a few spectators. It was a prime viewing event as we stood right next to the track with the bobsled rushing by us. A truly unique experience. ❤️
A shot from Gosau, Austria. It was chilly and the frozen snow cracked loudly beneath our footsteps. But the landscape was pristine, casting this icy blue hue onto the land. Quiet, without disturbance there it laid before me, while I breathed in the cold crisp air, admiring the beauty of mountains, glaciers and alpine lakes.
It looks like just another day in the shire, my small, little village where I was born. It’s where Mom settled with her parents, fleeing from the war as she was five years old. It’s where Mom and Dad roamed the streets, fell in love and later married.
How Mom loved her little village. She was a loyal supporter of the church and other projects, and even outside her village she would regularly donate or purchase goods from from organizations of a good cause.
This is were it all began and where I first saw the world. In the Valley at the foot of rolling hills, called the “Petersberg.” In the foreground is the St. Veit church and the cemetery where both Mom and Dad are now buried and remain in the village they once fell in love with.
A scene from the Ansbacher Christmas Market. What a cool little stand with it’s rotating roof that reminded me of something like a windmill. These ornate, usually out wood Christmas displays can be found all over Germany and are intricately detailed and carved. The stand itself was serving hot Glühwein (mulled wine) and more. There isn’t any Christmas like the one at home, here in Germany. Where the hectic and greed of making sales, keeping the stores open day and night hasn’t quite caught up as much. Here, you can still enjoy shopping the markets for unique, often handmade goods, many times benefitting a good cause and the less fortunate. Here, you still take the time to bake cookies, while children count down the days with daily surprises or goodies from their advents calendars. Here, you still enjoy family and friends, getting together for a nice meal and simply just be.
There is no place like home for Christmas.
Another shot from my recent trip traveling the German Austrian border. I was immediately intrigued about the jagged mountain range, although our trip took us the other direction, away from this wild beauty.
Our destination, Hallstatt was overrun by tourists, even this time of the year, which was surprising to me. I would later hear that there is an exact replica of Hallstatt in China and the tourists were here to see the original. We soon found ourselves seeking an area that wasn’t buzzing with quite as many humans. And guess what, that jagged, wild beauty seemed like a perfect solution. And it was.
This particular picture was taken at the end of the day when the clouds rolled off the mountains, leaving its breathtaking landscape in a mysterious and little eerie looking fog. Imagine the sound of church bells echoing through it all and you are literally right there.
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.