Sunday, February 26, 2012

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)

1 comment:

Laurie Kolp said...

Linda- These are gorgeous. I lobe the waterfalls and the crossing of the trees. Just lovely.