Monday, October 20, 2008

Autumn in Bavaria

Like a patchwork quilt gently blowing in the wind, the trees of the Bavarian countryside bedeck the soft, rolling hills. Bright hues - yellow, red, and green - make it impossible to look away.

Narrow, curving streets etch their way through colorful forests and fairy-tale towns, like a walking impressionist painting. Letting it soak in, you remind yourself that any attempt to capture these images in photos would prove nothing short of mediocre. Hell, the world's best photographer couldn't capture this utopian scene through a lens, and you consider yourself blessed to be a part of something so incredible, minuscule though you may be.

Moments like these remind you of why you travel. They breathe air into your deflated lungs, and inspire you to live life to it's absolute fullest. At once, you're inspired to create, be it paintings, novels, or scientific inventions. Perhaps it's just another way to share the beauty that you've taken in.

Bavaria, in all its splendor, consists of seven key regions -- Upper, Middle and Lower Franconia (which together once formed the center of the far-reaching Frankish Kingdom), Upper and Lower Bavaria, Swabia, and Upper Palatinate.

From our home in the tiny Upper Franconian town of Kleinsendelbach, we followed the back roads on one sunny day to Nuremberg, in Middle Franconia. It's one of the most picturesque drives in any season, but to see it in Autumn is to fall in love, as you can see from this photo (above left).

The following day we had a traditional Sunday meal with Tobi's family before heading back to Holland. As luck would have it, there was a big accident on the Autobahn, and the navigation system lead us along the “scenic route” to Frankfurt.

From Upper Franconia through Middle Franconia, and on to Lower Franconia, we followed the Main, watching as the colors of the trees reflected in its waters, slowly meandering into the forests of the Spessart mountain range. Simply incredible. Along the way we passed (and photographed) a beautiful old town with a castle and medieval city wall, Gemünden am Main (below).

Our journey may have been an hour longer, but I am so grateful that we didn't miss this awe-inspiring country... in all its Autumn glory.

P.S. I realize that the picture of me in the collage (at the top) isn't the best ever. Make-up free, it was still a nice moment, as we walked down to the meadow at the end of our street on that cold, frosty morning.

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