Dorothy pushing the borrowed wheelchair that helped her cope with all that walking and a very bad hip, and some of the rest of our party walking in the Black Forest.
Without easy access to wifi in the picturesque hotel that we have stayed in during our sojourn in the Black Forest, I have composed this piece during odd moments and will post it once we get home.
Even a concentrated area of populations like Europe harbours some intriguing cultural varieties. There's the old ogre of religion, of course, that divisive remnant of our primitive past that has been responsible for so much distress over the centuries. But that aside there have evolved differing reactions to such old chestnuts as temperature and climate. So we dress differently according to sun or snow, and over time costume variations have evolved to become facets of culture,
I suppose one of the reasons we mortals take foreign holidays is that they give us an opportunity to see parts of the world we might not otherwise see. Over time our species has evolved contrasting cultures that have become increasingly alien to to each other. Indeed, it can sometimes seem that we're not one species at all.
Even a concentrated arand before we know what's happening we're at war with each other. The sad truth is something inside us makes us resent tribal differences. And all this is my long-winded introduction to some notes about our return from the Black Forest in Germany. For as we all know two of the most horrific recent conflicts of the twentieth century involved Germany at the heart of things.
I suppose Germany and the Germans are different things at different times to different people. What Dorothy and I have seen this week is a beautiful land peopled by helpful and friendly individuals, which finally brings me to a retired schoolmaster who spends some of his spare time taking groups of strangers round his village
A kindly retired schoolmaster preparing us for our stroll around and above his village.
On the Tuesday of our week in Oberharmersbach we followed him to a few of the more interesting buildings in the village and along a delightful path through the surrounding woodland. After all, you'd expect trees in the Black Forest, wouldn't you?
And here are some of the things we saw.
He started by taking us into the huge and dominating church which, he claims, will seat the entire population of the neighbourhood. The structure, being central and built on a scale that dwarfs more human buildings, is certainly eye-catching.
An illustration, drawn in 1987, of the huge village church seen from behind the hotel
Being a retired teacher he fondly pointed out the school down the road from where we were standing and spoke highly of the children that had passed through his hands, and in all honesty the children of the village that we saw did all seem remarkably pleasant.
The small museum showing military costumes and some weapons.
The path through the woods trailed upwards, and although steep in places Dorothy with her borrowed wheelchair and I managed quite well.
This gnome is one who is said to live in the forest. There are loads of gnome images, making the village unbelievably charming.
There's something about the smell of ancient woodlands and the rustle of the first leaves of autumn that feeds the romance in our souls. Well, at least there is for me! We sauntered up the path with a steep and increasingly long drop to our left.
A lovely path, lovely trees, and a lovely atmosphere.
Every so often there we small carved reminders that man has imposed his hopes and imagination in this place. Some of the carved icons have religious significance, but that's the way humanity is, for better or for worse.
Images of peace and harmony in spaces in the woods.
Towards the top of the walk is a wooden gazebo-type construction, a point from which the village can be seen stretched out below, a toytown for us gods to survey! It's quite a large village with the older part to the left as we looked down on it.
Looking down from the viewpoint.
Anyway, some of what we saw is here in pictures. More may well follow as I browse through the contents of my camera.
A Waterwheel which was used to grind flour. The mill was open for our inspection.
Â© Peter Rogerson 16.09.12