After leaving Hintersee on the German-Austrian border, we snaked our way back through a number of tiny villages. Traveling the narrow roads that were filled with little to no traffic, we were lead through green pastures and dream like settings. I noticed more people on bicycles vs. people in cars, and it is truly a different way of life. Things are slowed down and most errands are done by bicycle such as daily trips to the local bakery where an array of fresh breads and pastries await, or a trip down the road to the local butcher store where you can pick up fresh cuts of lunch meat or a savory steak. Everything is fresher with fewer packaged and preserved items and therefore they taste better as well. You won’t find a big chain retailer such as Walmart anywhere and honestly I can’t even imagine the sight of it in those settings. The surroundings of those villages are quaint with a local economy that is far from mass production. Many are nestled at the bottom of granite mountains with a dramatic backdrop. I felt as if we were driving through a fairytale. Add the golden hues of fall and you have nothing short of breathtaking. Magical, and it was as if seeing it for the very first time. I accepted it as my final conclusion and had no recollection of being here in younger years. At least nothing stood out about spending quality time here, which meant a prolonged stay. Maybe I had driven through here with my parents as I was little, or we passed by with the motorcycles as teenagers. Either way, it was a long time ago with faded memories that no longer existed. It was a great time to visit and I made a mental note. The temperatures were comfortable now and had lost the humidity that often causes me to struggle. Especially during hikes in higher elevations, or during climbs. I prefer them to be on the cooler side and I just tend to do better if I don’t feel the pulse in the back of my neck pounding from over exertion. A moment of bittersweet hit me as I realized that the return back had officially started and that the time had come to leave this peaceful place. We were on our way back, back to Mom and I had a mixture of emotions that don’t need further explanation.
Our plan was to stop at Ramsau and take a peek at the little, famous, and picturesque church named St. Sebastian. It’s an old Catholic Church in front of such described dramatic backdrop, and we had to pass through it anyways. A few other people had the same idea, but it never felt crowded. We saw an older couple in traditional dress with Lederhosen for the man and a Dirndl for the woman, strolling through the area. It was neat to see and it added to the overall fairytale feel. I couldn’t help but wonder about their life and their story living at the feet of the Watzmann, Germany’s third highest mountain. We wandered around the church, checked out the old cemetery and this time I briefly went inside the ornately, elaborately decorated church. Time stood still and all noise disappeared. What remained was silence and a feeling of bliss to experience this present moment. I stood still, with an awareness that was sharp and took in every little detail and noise. It held the intend of holding on to that feeling and that very moment. I wanted to remember what it felt like, and I wanted it to be the fuel for all the tough decisions that would lie ahead. This moment in time would become a reminder of what my heart is yearning for, and it would be a place my soul will call Home some day. Not in the physical sense of living in Ramsau, but in the pursuit and the recognition of that very feeling, wherever it would be in aiding and eliminating the feeling of in between, one day I would call that place Home in more ways than just the physical sense.
I’m not even sure how else to describe this sight in words and it is one of those moments when a picture does speak a thousand words. However, it is different for everybody and might not hold the same meaning for you. Perhaps it is dependent of the current state of your journey, your frame of mind and what is near and dear to you. In either way, it is something you have to experience for yourself and in the meantime I will lead you to your own conclusion about this serene little place called Ramsau. If you like it, I hope you get to visit some day and have your own story to tell.