September 20, 2019
I have been neglecting my blog, it's been over two months since my last entry. But now I again feel the need for writing here. This is where I write for myself, post the pictures I like, this is where I think the least about what might please others or meet some standards defining what is good photography or an interesting narrative. I am in my own living room. It is very liberating to get rid of the censors, both in the world around me and in myself. Also very difficult, but I can try.
Yesterday we had another absolutely gorgeous September day, can't really call it autumn yet since everything still looks green and the sun is strong, but it's getting there. I rode my bike aways along the Würm. It's a wonderful path along the little river as it meanders on its way to Munich and beyond. I'm usually looking for a photo with my bicycle in it. I think I have even become a bit too fixated on this project of getting 180 rides that are documented with a decent picture of my bike. That explanation just in case you are wondering why my bike is in every single picture! Maybe it's time to take a few more pictures without a bicycle.
I didn't continue too far along the Würm before turning back. I spotted a cyclist taking a little path that I hadn't noticed before and thought I should have a look. It was a stony uphill ride, leaving the Würm valley. I encountered a few kids walking their dogs and a man walking back from the local farm with his bag full of fresh eggs and potatoes! Yes, walking through the woods to shop at the local farm - how idyllic is that! I am also happy to see the children out on their own in the woods, no chaperones needed. It reminds me of where I grew up in New Jersey - it was a dead end street in a reservation. I knew all my neighbors on the street and my playground was the woods behind the house.
Once on top of the hill I turned left on the trail leading back to Gauting. It soon intersected with a familiar road back down the hill to the river, a road with asphalt but no cars. This must be a shortcut through the woods for some parents when picking their children up from school. I saw several kids with their schoolbags and moms, all on their bikes, flying down the hill. While I dallied with my camera, a man with a bulging bag in his hand came by. I assumed he had been mushroom hunting and I was right. He proudly showed me a beautiful porcino or yellow boletus, one of many that he had found not far from the road.
I had my tripod with me and made a few selfies. My original plan had been to get some pictures of myself while I rode by the camera. I had seen some inspiring examples on this on Flickr and wanted to give it a try. It turned out to be not so easy and I settled for a simpler version.
Altogether it was a short loop along the river, up the hill and down again, but with much diversity. A happy outing.
Tuesday July 9, 2019
Another Tuesday afternoon with splendid weather for the weekly ride with the bicycle club. Two o'clock and eight cycists were ready to roll, Sebastian leading the way. Today's theme was wild plants, flowers or so-called weeds, that grow on the wayside where crops are planted or in the woods. Although I can't recite the names of all the interesting specimens Sebastian introduced us to, I was more than impressed at his extensive botanical knowledge. Not only could he name in German and Latin just about anything that was growing, but he also knew if it was edible, had medicinal properties, was a pest or a boon for farmers, what kind of soil and conditions it indicated - and so much more.
The ride itself was short, I think 25 km altogether, and at the end of the ride we stopped at the Kraillinger Brauerei, an old and traditional beer garden, for a chat and something to drink before we headed home.
And now for a few pictures
Tuesday June 25, 2019
It felt like anything but glacial on the day we joined the local chapter of the ADFC or German Biycle Club for their weekly Tuesday afternoon ride. The blazing sun brought the temperatures up to a sweltering 32°C/90°F. Nevertheless, nine brave cyclists showed up for the outing. The program was to investigate some glacial erratics that had been dug up in the course of construction for a new highway near Starnberg, a ride of altogether 30 km.
I was familiar with the German word for glacial erratic, findling, but glacial erratic had not yet found its way into my English vocabulary. Here is the lowdown: A glacial erratic is a piece of rock that differs from the size and type of rock native to the area in which it rests. Erratics are carried by glacial ice, often over distances of hundreds of kilometres and mark the path of prehistoric glacier movement. Their lithographic origin can be traced to the parent bedrock, allowing for confirmation of the ice flow route. Erratics can range in size from pebbles to large boulders. *Wikipedia
Although Janos and I have already discovered many good bike paths in the area on our own, today's ride with the bicycle club expanded our repertory with some interesting bike paths that we will want to cycle again in the future. Our group leader, Sebastian, was well informed and stopped here and there to fill us in on some interesting details about the landscape and local architecture. He also seems to know the trails around here like the palm of his hand. The pace was just right and about half of the group were riding e-bikes, and since it was a week day afternoon it wasn't surprising that most of the participants were retirees. We first followed a dedicated bike path along a road out of Gauting to the west, then turned south on dirt paths between fields to the villages Unterbrunn and Oberbrunn. Then on to the site of the glacial erratics.
No ride is complete without a coffee stop. We stopped at Rieden where the golf course there has a cafe-restaurant open to the public, you don't have to be a golfer to take a seat, have a refreshment and enjoy a sensational view of the Alps.
From there we cycled back to Gauting on paths through the forest that were familiar to us. Altogether a very enjoyable day.
Here we are in Gauting, all settled in, and I even have internet as of three days. My last blog was exactly two months ago, when we cycled out to our future home for the first time, excited and filled with happy expectations. We haven't been disappointed. This move was a good move.
Today after supper I thought a short stroll would be nice. I went downstairs, but then quickly returned for my rain jacket, just in case. The initial gentle drizzle was fine, I actually enjoyed it. I liked it, too, when it rained a little more and I could hear the rain drops patter on my hood. Good I had my rain jacket and that the pockets are big enough for my little Sony Nex camera, if I have a small lens attached, which I did. The further I got from home, the harder it rained. Yes, good I had my rain jacket. Thunder rumbled in the distance, far away not threatening. Eventually my shoes were soaked through and my drenched jeans clung to my thighs. Yes, good I had my rain jacket and its pockets are big enough for my Sony Nex camera.
It was a walk to celebrate the June solstice, no bonfire, no sunset, just a walk in a warm summer rain.
A Bicycle Ride
Yes, we are on the move, as a matter of fact we are moving! We are moving to Gauting. But today we are just cycling there.
First of all, why are we moving? We like our apartment in Munich, we have been here for several decades, it is our home. But ... we felt it was time to find a place where we will feel comfortable as we get older. In our Munich apartment we have three flights of stairs to climb, a tiny bathroom, a narrow hallway. Who knows how long this will fit our old-folks' needs. So we started the search for a suitable apartment and to our amazement found a place that we liked on first sight. It was hard to believe how easy it was. We will no longer be in Munich but more or less in the country, or at least fields and woods are down the road while in the other direction we can go shopping on foot - pretty near perfect.
We signed the contract beginning May 1 but have the keys already. The day before we got the keys, we decided to ride our bicycles out to Gauting. As soon as we had the keys we knew we would be busy readying the place for our move. Gauting lies about 20 km southwest of Munich and much of our bicycle route was familiar. We rode through Westpark, one of our favorite green refuges in the city and then continued on through Forstenrieder Park, actually a forest, where we have often cycled as well. We chose a different route for the way back, following the Würm, also not new territory to us.
Hover mouse over images for captions or click images for enlarged view and captions.
Moving is a chore ... that's an understatement for sure. But I am trying to tackle it with elan. For a start, we are frequently driving out to Gauting with our car full of things that are too big to pack conveniently and not so heavy that we can't carry them ourselves. The rest we will pack and it will be ready when the movers come. Each little drive out to Gauting gets us a bit more acquainted with our new surroundings. The weather has been perfect and the last time we drove out we took a short walk, just one and a half kilometers down the road. Quite a contrast to our present surroundings.
Isn't it lovely? I am sure we will be missing things from our life in Munich, but we will be compensated.
For the time being the move has priority, and if I'm not busy sorting and culling and packing and discarding, I feel I should be - and that is where my thoughts are. I hope it won't be too long before we are settled in and I have posts from our new home.