We are still learning new things with our friends in Germany. Like many countries Germany has areas of strong regional differences that can seem like countries within countries. This part of Germany has a big dairy industry and a strong industrial base. It also has amazing hiking and skiing trails – not just in the mountains but between the smaller towns.
Back to the title of this post – the cheese part. This is an exceptionally cheesy part of Germany. There are grazing animals everywhere.
Just before passing these cows, our guide informed us that a passerby had been attacked by a cow. “You mean by a bull?” I asked. She wasn’t sure she had just heard the story. Really? In any case we made no sudden moves as there were no fences between us and the cows.
Later we visited a cheese factory. A heavy investment in copper, these tubs are about 4 feet tall and 7 feet in diameter.
We tried some samples offered to us on a very large cheese knife by this young woman. The picture doesn’t show the seeds embedded in the outside crust of a wheel of cheese about 2 feet in diameter. It is delicious! Cheese of all sorts, yogurt, and other milk products were available for very reasonable prices in this small factory.
The same afternoon we purchased some cheese cake with berry filling at a nearby shop that specializes in breads and pastries.
On to tiny churches. Here is one below in Weilmer-Simmerberg. The tall pole is a May pole with the little branches (you can barely see them) representing the village crafts. There is a long tradition about May poles you can read about here: http://www.bavaria.travel/maypole-day-in-bavaria-germany
As far as the little chapel sitting next to the big church it looked to me like the mama church gave birth. This baby stayed close to mama. More often the chapel is by itself on a country road.
I understand small chapels can be found in many parts of the world including the USA and are not all that unusual. I guess I just haven’t traveled that much. Ariane says the little chapels here are used by the local people for weddings and such. They don’t appear to hold more than a dozen people. Unless there is an event, like a wedding, there is not a minister associated with the chapel.
On to…..Tall Mountains
I had to ride at least one cable car. On a fairly nice day we boarded this arrangement to go up a nearby mountain where there is skiing during the winter and hiking at other times.
These were tiny cars that held a maximum of about 4 medium sized people. This lift took us up to 1700 meters to the top of the Hochgrat mountain. There were some interesting dropping sensations as we passed from on support to the other. Scary. There was literally only one continuous cable supporting the cars -I was uncertain of the safe guards but everything seemed to be firmly attached. A breeze made us sway slightly as we went up. Daniel proposed that we all lean this way and that to get a bigger sway going and double our thrill. I did not think this was funny.
Up, up, into the Alps.
In the background you can see a section of the alps towards the north I think.
You can see it was a fairly steep and rocky climb with a few posts stuck in the ground at the parts where there was nothing but cliffs below. The weather kept changing and it threatened to rain. Down below there was a snow field but Daniel noted we had not brought our ice axes so we probably should not try to slide down. Good idea Daniel.
At the end of our trek and while we were still on the mountain, Daniel went into vending machine inside the resort nearby and purchased a small gift for me. I use it now as a transitional object to help me bravely face the coming adventure when we move on to our next location. It’s best if you view this without much explanation.