Sunday, February 26, 2012

Local Crossings - Welzheim to Rudersberg (continued)

My blog wouldn't let me include all the photos on one post. If you haven't read part one please click here before continuing.

After one walks through the arch of branches and through the field with large stones, there is a path on the right-hand side with steps that takes one up through the wooded area. Here is a photo of it with two trees crossing over the path.

I assume this takes you alongside the road and back to Eins + Alles because this new area full of woven branch towers belongs to them. What is it used for? I am not sure yet. Maybe when the weather is better I will find out and can post about it here.

Continuing on the road past Laufenmühle and Klaffenbach, then Oberndorf and finally Rudersberg, we drove to the Rathaus (city hall). In front of the building is the bronze Arche Noah statue. After all, with a theme like "crossings" how could we exclude Noah? With his pairs of animals, he crossed stormy seas.

 Here are some close-up shots.

statue by Wolfgang Knorr

I like how the animals are enlarged, making them the main focus. I especially like the giraffe.

What I don't like too much are the figures of the men. I find them a bit creepy. What do you think?

And if you want to cross over from biblical to nostalgic, all you need to do while standing in front of the statue is turn to your left and look at this building which now houses the local post office. 

This photo of mine was once used on the blog of  online literary magazine YB.

All these things can be seen within a 15 minute ride (20 minutes tops if you drive slow or if the roads are icy) from Welzheim to Rudersberg. I hope you enjoyed taking the trip with me.  That is the glory of the internet, isn't it? With just a click you can be crossing borders and time zones without ever leaving your home.

Be sure to come back to visit me again...  

I do love visitors.

Local Crossings - Welzheim to Rudersberg

In my last post (Crossing) I defined different meanings of crossings through the use of various photos from Germany. The idea for that post came from the theme for the upcoming Aotearoa. In order to meet the deadline, I did something which I rarely do on this blog-- use images (with permission) from other photographers. After speaking with one of the editors, I decided to do a new post using my own photos. We thought it might be interesting to use photos of Rems-Murr-Kreis (the area where I live in Germany), but at first I wasn't sure what I could photograph nearby that would fit the idea of crossings. There is no equivalent of the Magdeburg Bridge here in this small rural setting. A few days went by without any progress. Finally, I decided I would simply lug my camera with me everywhere I go.

One day while travelling from Welzheim to Rudersburg, so many "crossing" caught my eye. Here they are.

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pond right outside downtown Welzheim
Here is my starting point--the town of Welzheim. I took this photo while crossing the street.

This sign caught my eye as I was crossing the intersection. It reminds me of those silly signs people would buy as a joke, the ones that list several well-known cities (Paris, Madrid, London, etc.) and the distance to each of the locations. However, this sign is not meant to be funny. It is very common for towns and cities in Germany to have a "Partnerstadt" (a sister city). The Partnerstadt is often listed beneathr the town name on the entrance sign to the city, but I like the way Welzheim has done this much better. The first town listed, Auerbach,  is a town in the district Erzgebirgskreis, in the state of Saxony, Germany. The partnership took place in 1990. In  2008 Milanówek in Polen also became a sister city. It is situated approximately 30 kilometer from Warsaw. After the local Gymnasium (college preparatory track of high school) had maintained a successful student exchange program with a school in Milanówek for over 15 years, it seemed only natural to add them as a sister city.

The drive from Welzheim to Rudersberg takes me on a long, winding road downward. On the way I pass the railroad crossing which for many years had not been in service. However, a group was formed to restored service of these old tracks on a limited basis. Now, with the exception of winter months, several times a year the historical steam train takes passengers on a scenic trip from Schorndorf to Welzheim and vice versa. One area which looks very nice in the autumn months is the passing over the viaduct.

 Not only is there a large wooded area and a stream which flows underneath but also two waterfalls. In wintertime, the falls are often frozen and look like this.

Turning the other direction, directly under the bridge and the viaduct, the second falls can be found. This area (Laufenmühle) is a wonderful place to go hiking year-round. 

Directly across the street from the falls is a place that both children and adults can enjoy. From the road you can see a red building and several llamas, but further back in the Welzheimer Wald (wooded area belonging to Welzheim) is an activity-rich center called Eins + Alles (for one and all). Not only is there the small animal farm but many stations set-up in indoor and outdoor environments that allow one to focus on different senses. Included is the Erlebnispfad, an series of climbing areas, playgrounds, and trails offering different adventures. Children can also work with wood, make homemade bread on a stick, or just cozy by the campfire in the Feuerzelt program, take part in experiments in the Rote Achse, or go in the dark house and experience what it is like to be blind. They even offer wheelchair days where one can rest their legs and take part in activities in a wheelchair. I haven't done it but realize it must be a challenge in a nature setting.

I like how the shadow of a tree crosses right over the alpaca's nose.

Shortly after leaving the parking lot, my husband noticed a bunch of tree branches crossing each other behind the ones than border the right side of the road. I had never noticed them before so we quickly turned around and went to see what they were.

We found a whole new area with towers of woven branches

a design of stones in between them and

an arch of branches leading to a field with giant stones.

(click here for the continuation)

Monday, February 6, 2012


In anticipation of the Frankfurt Book Fair in October where New Zealand is the guest of honor, a blog has been started. An Aotearoa Affair will be highlighting the work of Kiwi and German writers and artists. There will be features as well as weekly highlights and a monthly blog carnival. The first theme for the carnival is Crossings. I thought I would list some of the definitions I've found for "crossing" with some photographs from Germany. I hope you like them.


1. the place where one thing crosses another

the crossing of tree branches

When most peope think of Germany, they think of evergreens. However, we have our share of deciduous trees and sometimes the branches cross one another as in this photo. There are other crossing as well--cows crossing the road, roads crossing other roads, paths crossing in the woods. Of course, there is also the crossing of legs, arms, fingers.

2. a place, often shown by markings, lights, or poles, where a street, railway, etc. may be crossed

train crossing

One of the things I love about Europe (and specifically Germany) is the abundance of public transportation. Travelling by train, whether it be for vacations or the daily commute to work, is not uncommon. In fact, my teenage daughter takes the train to school every morning. Even better are the walking/bicycle paths that connect to just about everywhere. I love the fact that I don't need to share the road with cars and trucks and during warmer months I can save gas money by running errands, shopping or visiting friends by bicycle. It is not unheard of  for my family to pedal 17 km in summer just to eat gelati and then ride back home again. An excellent Italian gelateria with flavors like lemon-basil, lavender-blueberry, cinnamon, and chocolate-chili makes it worth the trip.  

3. the intersection of the nave and transept in a church

church, Munich

Whenever I visit large cities (or even small towns for that matter) I like to visit one of the local churches. Besides being beautiful, they are rich in history. The one above (St. Michael's Church), is the largest Renaissance church north of the Alps and was built by William V, the Duke of Bavaria. Ignoring the protests of citizens, he had 87 houses torn down in order to build it and the adjoining college. This was done in 2 stages over a period of  14 years. I'd go into more of the history, but I know that when it comes to Munich most of my American friends are more interested in hearing about Octoberfest.   

4. the act or instance of travelling across something, especially the sea

boat, Lübeck

The scene above shows just one aspect of Lübeck. It is the largest German port on the Baltic Sea, but Lübeck has so much more to offer visitors. Much of the town has kept a medievel look with old buildings and narrow roads. Because of  the Brick Gothic architechtural heritage, Lübeck is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. And quaint it is, with several old churches and an old part of town which is an island enclosed by the Trave river. And believe it or not, Lübeck is also known for its marzipan industry.
5. the act or process of cross-breeding

Uhhh...I think we'll just skip that one.

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To  see some crossings from my local area, CLICK HERE.