Today, I got to do an unexpected 10 mile look through the south of Germany into Austria!
The whole reason I wound up in the Alps is a combination of loving to hike, and also the fact that they inspired a great many Romantic Era writer. From Lord Byron to Charles Dickens to Mark Twain, the Alps appear in a TON of writing from that time period. The English major (and avid hiker!) in me simply couldn’t leave Germany without climbing those mountains.
All big fans of the Alps!
The trails themselves were nice and big and everything was well labelled, which made it easy to wander. The views were incredible, and you could easily see how they inspired everything from Johanna Spyri’s “Heidi” to Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein.”
It was a long walk though!
Luckily, near the top of the first summit, there was a hiking stop with food! I was absolutely starving, but everything was in German and my Google Translate app wasn’t really working, so I asked (in incredibly poor German. Actually, I’m pretty sure they only understood me because I pointed to it…) to have the first thing on the menu.
Turns out “Kaiserschamentv mit aplelmus” is a sort of funnel cake with applesauce. It was actually pretty good! I also drank a TON of water, because that’s hiking rule #1.
Being in a country with only a basic understanding of the language is giving me a whole new perspective on how the world works. For example, I rely SO MUCH on symbols and pictures to understand everything. From what I can tell, Germany does a really great job of standardizing a lot of its common signs. For example, every bathroom here is labelled with "WC." Without a lot of these signs, I'd be completely, totally lost. It was a good reminder that providing images and common symbols to students, especially those who are pre-reading, alleviates a lot of confusion and anxiety.
Then it was time to high-tail it down off the mountain, because we were about to get some crazy storms in Fussen! The town is in what’s called an Alpine Region, which basically means that the weather is affected by the surrounding mountains. Just like in the White Mountains in New Hampshire, storms sometimes come in suddenly, and often form in the afternoon. I definitely DID NOT want to be on a mountain in the middle of a storm.
Made it back just in time.
The nice thing about the weather is that it gave me an excuse to get some decent writing done. I have the hardest time writing if the weather is nice out- it always feels like I should be DOING something, rather than just writing about it. But, when the weather is nasty outside, it’s nice to curl up inside with a laptop, and put my thoughts to screen.
Plus, I got a great supply of snacks from Aldi’s Germany!
Hopefully, the storms will pass us soon, and then I’ll get a chance to experience the town of Fussen! Until then, I’m going to take some time to put my feet up (cause they’re kind of sore after walking for 10 miles…) and try my hand at writing some of my own Alps- inspired tales.