08.06.2013 - 08.06.2013 24 °C
A brilliant blue sky and blazing sunshine greeted us this morning. I saw it a great deal earlier than everyone else having gotten up a little after 5:00 am. I had a number of business items from home nagging at the back of my mind so I decided to put them to rest since I could not. I was able to work through them along with half a pot of coffee before anyone else darkened the kitchen doorway.
The concept of re-entry into the real world is beginning to make itself known. I think it is a good thing to start gradually mulling over post nomadic life. There are many, many things to look forward to about life back at home, especially the people. We have no worries about Hannah and Abby’s re-entry into home life, especially since it will still be August vacation when they return. The process of Muriel and I getting back in the saddle may be a little more difficult but at least we are trying to prepare for it by chatting about more frequently over the past couple of weeks.
The wonderful weather did not greet a totally copasetic trio of women. Somehow a cold virus has once again hitch-hiked along on our vacation. It seems each country has its own version of cold virus to share. Although all three of my girls were somewhat subdued by head colds they were not ready to declare defeat—the weather was just too perfect to stay home. Our host had ladened the table in our foyer with countless brochures about sights and activities in the area. Unfortunately, every last one was in German, so we had to rely on the pictures to give us some ideas as to what was most promising. We saw a great photo of a gorge walk that also featured an icon indicating it was an easy stroll which seemed perfect for a group that wasn't functioning on all cylinders.
The length of the drive to our destination was not ideal but time lines can be compressed somewhat when you get to drive the autobahn which has no speed limit. In a diesel powered Renault Kangoo, which has less than 100 HP, there is no danger of getting to the 200 km/h speeds that we see the BMWs, Mercedes, Audis and Porches getting up to, but 150 km is quite achievable and normal pace for most. The Germans only seem to be in a hurry to get to a place to relax and enjoy the outdoors. In this region the numbers of people out walking, hiking and biking at anytime is staggering. It is inspiring to see the passion for the outdoors is multi generational. The only thing that takes a bit of getting used to is how the Germans outfit themselves for any kind of hike no matter how short or gentle. Everyone is smartly dressed in the latest in expensive outdoor fashions complete with huge hiking boots, large backpacks and trekking poles that seem more appropriate for scaling the Alps then a few kilometre stroll over asphalt and well packed gravel.
The Breitachklamm Gorge is one of the deepest in central Europe. In 1905, Priest Johannes Schiebel was the first person to trek the whole length of the gorge, which is quite a feat considering it is only walkable today because of a great deal of blasting work and walkways attached to the canyon face. Schiebel’s description of the gorge is more of a backhanded compliment than poetic musing. He is quoted as saying the gorge is “Not a devils’ work, but a godly creation!” I am not sure I would have been a big fan of his homilies if the first thing he needed to assure me that this canyon was anything but divinely gorgeous. Despite that, I can’t dislike a guy who is responsible for making such walk accessible today.
With the temperature being in the mid twenties and it being a weekend, the walk was extremely popular. As with many walks in southern Germany, the wild is made comfortable and civilized by having restaurants located at both ends and plenty of benches to sit on. Our very pleasant outing showed us once again that Canada does not own all the rugged beauty in the world (a huge share mind you) it just has less people walking all over it.