There is magic in Misery

Running in Foggy and misty mornings is one of my favourites.

Two days ago I had a long run and today I did my 45 mins progression run.It´s one of those days that I just run and pound the pavement.I made a few detours because my preferred path was blocked due to some tree cutting and repairs.It is the kind of run that I did not stop until I feel like I am done.I did not give in to excuse and did a 10 km stretch.Going for steady and easy runs of 6-8km on weekdays and 1 long run on weekend is the new challenges that I am keeping on track.

I want to challenge myself and plan to join a virtual Half Marathon this year so I am doing myself a favor to start training.

As I am writing about this, I asked myself if I am crazy?!

Indeed I am.

But then at least I am enjoying my morning views and magical misty mornings.

Views like these are the kind of things that I won´t trade off .

This goal for me is quite scary, I am afraid that I cannot do it or maybe I wouldn´t even finish it.I think I am still too weak and not that strong. Questions myself many times, is my body ready and prepared for it or it´s just a shoot in the star.

But then…..as I keep on running, I spotted something from the ground.Snowdrops!!!!

Spring is finally here!

Finally, they are here, Snowdrops is what they are called here and they are absolutely beautiful blooms that reminds me that Spring is here.

I have been continously running now for a year exactly. I remember challenging myself to run just when the world started to be turned upside down by Corona virus.Everybody stayed home in Quarantine and lockdown and I think I am not the only one who got hooked into sports.I still have so many other Hobbies but this one is far by my favourite next to painting.

Aside from running, I walked and walked a lot.I don´t know why, but walking makes my day always. Although I preffered running, It´s hard to find time for it.

This goal scares me.But I will try my best and let us see what happens in the end.Looking back from last year, I couldn´t even run 1 kilometer continously without breaking a sweat .I´m breathing deeply and I couldn´t go on anymore.That is how weak I was.I feel frustrated because I couldn´t hit a goal that I´ve set.

I am about to give up, many times.

After a long run and my whole body aches and my muscles are sore, I wanna give up. As I ride my bike, I feel like my joints are breaking apart.I feel miserable.

But this is the kind of misery that I love.

After a run, I feel like something is happening to my body that I cannot explain.

A quick pit stop to breathe in an early moring breeze from the lake.
The path of running into the magical mist

I couldn´t imagine myself if I totally give up and stopped running.What could have happen to me.

I wouldn´t even know that I am capable of doing what I am doing now.I don´t think I could ever run like I do now. Before, I thought runners are just sport freak .Why do they always run????

I remember in my early years here in Germany , I see people consistently running whatever the weather and I just shake my head. But then…..

This year was total turning point in my health life. I wanted to change my lifestyle and myself so I want to make changes in my routines. I have tried running and sweating hard in warm summer days, on foggy misty mornings of Fall, while its snowing and drizzling, and this year I had the chance to experience running on snowy pavements.There had been many simple moments in my running days,like the time I ´ve got my first running shoes and first 5K run. They were all happy moments.

Enjoying these quiet nature moments in the Lake while practicing breathing exercises.

They say that when there´s no mud, then there´s no Lotus, and as the days goes by, even if I am tired and depleted, I still believe that there is definitely a magic in misery.I know I am not yet there and I still need to do a lot of running and training.

But then, I am not giving up and I am keeping track of my progress.

No Mud, No Lotus

Lastly, I realized that if we do things consistently, our bodies are really capable of doing amazing things.

I´ll write more on my next milestone!

Happy Weekend, until then, Tschüss!

There´s a kind of Autumn Hush

A walk in my neighborhood

I took a walk with my daughter last weekend through our neighborhood.The weather was great, I mean, for us here, it´s bearable than rainy and grey-cloudy days. Golden October finally said goodbye and we are finally approaching Winter. We are not really looking forward to the cold but Mr. Frost finally came,few days ago , he had a short visit, leaving us with a notice that he´ll stay longer next time.

Autumn in Bavaria

We have a beautiful Autumn feel in our neighborhood. I´ve seen far better views in other regions but during this Pandemic, the new norm is simply keeping distance, only-must-do travel and almost in isolation. I am still grateful.I am still in positive mind state so I am not complaining. Nature have graciously reminded me that everything will be alright soon.

Nature walks are far by the best…

My daughter goes to school now. She is an active first 1st Grade pupil .Here they normally refer to them as ” Shulkind“. A week ago, we received a letter from the school principal that one girl from other class have tested Positive from Covid-19. The next day, a teacher from the after-class day care is also Positive and then the following day, another pupil from another class tested Positive.

Do you get my message? It´s like a domino-effect and I just can´t stay still.

Children in school are separated in groups so the affected groups went to Quarantine.I think any parent would feel the alarm, a heartache, a tiresome worry that this Pandemic had brought to all of us. I was talking to my husband that you will never feel the weight of the stressfull times that Corona brings not until you are in that situation where you feel the threat for the life of your loveones.My daughter wears her masks from 7.30 am to 3.30 in the afternoon until she walks out from the school when I picked her up. they learn, they study, play and do everything with a masks!

Imagine that….

There is indeed a kind of Hush feeling all over the world.

But the loud silence we are hearing when we are out in nature is quite different..It is calming and somewhat juvenating.Of course we needed that, lots of it!

I diverted my thoughts and focus on the beautiful scenery in front of us.The small river in front of us is like a life size mirror with all the reflections of the trees, foliages and blue skies…It was magical! I imagined that it would be a total winter wonderland if this area would freeze and we can skate over here.There are ducks all over the place and they keep on doing their sounds.We forgot to bring old bread to feed the ducks so we just call them.

Quaacckkk Quaacckkk shouted my little girl!

I think it did the trick because the ducks and swans swam freely to us and made their stunts.They are beautiful…some things can be quite so simple and yet so meaningful!

Battling the cold battle…

While we were walking, she told me that she is waiting for her friends to go to the nearby playground. I explained to her that maybe they come or maybe they don´t. She said she hopes that everything returns to normal soon. I heard her…I wished that too.

As expected, a walk with nature always change our mood.We were busy looking for autumn leaves and looking at water reflections. The crystal clear waters of the Danube river and the area near the Glacisbrücke is really awesome. I walked further near to the bank and snap this photo.

Some trees are already bald, stiff and looked dreary, but some trees hold their leaves tightly, refusing to let go.Against the sunshine they remind me of my Autumn paintings.There is a lot of golden ochre yellows and rusty oranges colors that I see.I am telling you, as a self taught artist, I still find it so difficult to replicate the beauty of nature in landscape paintings.

I spotted these beautiful fragile beauties. I don´t know its name but hey reminded me of Cotton candy. It´s not yet covered in Frost but anyway they looked lovely.

My head can fit in this hollow hole of the Tree!

Have you taken a walk lately? How was it?

Please wear your masks and I wish you all a great start of the week!

Tschüss!

Pöllat Gorge ,the waterfalls that won King Ludwig II´s heart

Pöllat Gorge, the Waterfalls that won the heart of the Fairytale King of Bavaria, Ludwig II

Now I know why seeing Neuschwanstein Castle is so special. If you are planning to see it in the future, this might help you. And this post will show you why.

Nope, we didn´t see Knights in shining Armor or let alone Princess or golden carriages there.Instead, we saw and followed the Pöllatschlucht, the waterfalls that King Ludwig II loved.

Actually, I did not expect that during our hiking adventure to see Neuschwanstein Castle that we would be able to see a waterfall ( or a Gorge) let alone the ” eccentric” Field od Stacked stones.This is one of the reasons why this trip was really unforgettable since along the way, we have seen so many nature spectacles!

Look at that pristine waters gushing…

This trail to Neuschwanstein Castle was approx. 4,7km, and it says that its doable within 15 minutes. No, don´t believe that because it didn´t happen to us.We took our time to hike since we have a child with us .At first , the trail started smooth and easy because its flat ground and we are surrounded by shade. Its still summer so I already anticipate the big crowds of tourists. Very important though that because its Pandemic, I would like to isolate ourselves as much as possible from the big swarm of human traffic.

Sorry, but we prefer to meet trees rather than people at this time…

This is the view that surprised us after we took the middle-rough stage.

I´ve heard that this path was closed from the public, maybe because of maintenance and for safety reasons.Fortunately, during our visit, it was open. It´s kinda scary just looking at the big boulders of rocks besides us ( probably because of erosion..) but then the metal steps going up on the side of a rocky part of the mountain looks safe enough. I just felt eerie whenever I looked down.

This hiking trail is definitely the best for families and kids. It requires a bit of strength but then its doable.Besides you can take your time as long as you want to avoid crowds.It´s perfect if you go early in the morning so you have enough time to waste to admire the scenery. It is very well maintained, and enough signages will never get you lost.

Once you meet “Charlie, the Tree” ( or Charlies Baum) then you know you are in the right track…

Whoever Charlie is I am sure he has seen the Fairytale Castle as well and followed the Gorge.

Some of the sightings that you will see along the hiking path.

I have seen this bush all over our hiking trail, both through the Pöllatschlucht and from another hike we´ve took on our way down all over the vicinity of Höhenschwangau.I don´t know exactly its name, but I find the flowers beautiful so I took a picture. It´s late summer blooms and it really makes the whole place picturesque!

Just look at this tree that grows actually on a rock! Those roots…!

And again, the higher up we go, the waterfalls is just beside us.It´s really rejuvenating to see the waters cascading through the rocks, and hearing only the birds chirping…and of course, my camera clicking!

This hike took us about half an hour and at the end we met the surge of Tourists. Be warned that Neuschwanstein is a very touristy place.Right on the entrance of the Marienbrücke, there is a control monitor signalling the number of people already in the bridge.The bridge is divided into 2 lanes, one for entry and the other is for exit.People should mask and practice distance. The tail of the line is really loooooonnngggg so be prepared to entaertain your kids.With Corona virus restrictions, you need to prepare yourself for this hike.

Waiting is worth it, because the views here are amazing!

On top of the Marienbrücke, I was able to snap this photo to capture a part of the Waterfalls as seen from below, but I felt giddy and afraid that my phone would fall, so it was just a quick look. The views are magnificent above the waterfalls. I don´t even know where to look anymore.

The panoramic views of the whole valley, the lakes, the quaint town of Füssen and Höhenschwangau, and of course, the proud Bavarian Alps, the Fairytale Castle in front of me, and below the bridge is the Pöllatgorge —-all in one perfect view.

It´s really worth all the sweat we´ve got from this hike!

It is my intention to rebuild the old castle ruin of Hohenschwangau near the Pöllat Gorge in the authentic style of the old German knights’ castles, and I must confess to you that I am looking forward very much to living there one day […]; you know the revered guest I would like to accommodate there; the location is one of the most beautiful to be found, holy and unapproachable, a worthy temple for the divine friend who has brought salvation and true blessing to the world.” –King Ludwig II ,from his letter to Richard Wagner

King Ludwig II is defintely a landscape Artist. He had a whole vision where he wants his Castle and the surrounding elements is very important.This place really wins his heart….and as expected, we were also won by this waterfalls! It is one of the prettiest waterfalls I have ever seen.

Do you love hiking with a view?

What about hiking through the Krimml Wasserfälle next time?

Or hike though the Hochgebirge Stauseen , the world renowned Alpine Reservoirs that has been built through Nazi era and see Glaciers and Turquoise waters, plus your kid can play in the playground above 2,000 m high! The trip going through an open inclined elevator is never to be missed!

Or just be amazed of the thunderous waters in Partnachklamm?

If you still have time to kill, then why not just follow the river in Lechbach in Füssen?

Field of Figures in Hessental

Rock Sculptures as memorial for war and violence victims in Figurenfeld in Hessental ~ Eichstätt

May 21 is a special day for Germans because it is Father´s Day (or Vatertag) and also a public holiday commemorating Ascention Day or Christi Himmelfahrt. We have long weekend ahead and the perfect weather gave us again the chance to explore nature and do our routinary Wanderung and spaziergänge. During Corona times, we got used to go to the “greens” instead of wandering in the city. The control measures are more relaxed now here in Germany and since schools and playground were opened,it´s human nature that more and more people go outside, but still with restrictions. That is why we always choose secluded places like this.This time we decided to drive over the hilly landscapes of Hessental in the direction of Eichstätt. We get on early as usual to avoid the crowds and make most of the beautiful weather.


I have never been to Eichstätt so I don´t have any idea what this town offers.Throughout the trip I noticed once again the ample amount of bikers. There are so many motorcycle riders in these area same as in Riedenburg. Probably because of the nice winding road through this vicinity. I have heard that its a Universitätstadt, meaning a home to one prestigious Catholic University here in Bayern. The drive going to Hessental is actually quite smooth, no traffic and the hilly fields amuse us along the way. The Hessental lies in a gentle hollow on the slopes between Eichstätt and Landershofen in Bayern. Finally, we reached the Figurenfeld in time and great thing to know that there is an ample place to park. We saw a small pathwalk that leads us to a vast hilly field, and without any orientation, we just follow the sign of the first Sculpture that we saw and thats it. Just like what my daughter says ; just go with the flow and start an adventure! And so we did..

The first Sculpture in the Figurenfeld in Hessental

The place is really spacious, with every shades of green that you can imagine. It´s ideal to have picnics, and just a quiet walk during these times. If you love hiking, this path between Eichstätt and Landershofen is a great start to explore the beautiful nature in the surrounding areas of Altmühltal. The artist and sculpturer Alois Wünsche-Mitterecker, is a native from Eichstätt, created a captivating memorial against war and violence. I found these solid sculptures really worthwhile to visit and see because it depics the ugly truth of war.For many, it is the ugly version of Art and yet can be emotionally moving. I have watched so many movies about Holocaust and for a moment I´ve perceived one of the figures as a scary visualization of a Holocaust prisoners. There is so much tragedy, sadness and grief, and yet, it is also a depiction of the extent of evil of humanity can do.

I am fond of sculptures and I love researching about them. When I visit any new place, I always look for extraordinary sculptures or any piece of art that represent that place . I have learned that every great art or a statue tells a story. From the unforgettable Holocaust memorial in Berlin to the Trains to death, Trains to Life , the Figurenfeld is no exception.

In this large field, there are 78 larger-than-life sculptures that are unrecognizable from a far. I thought for a minute that they are dinosaur bones, or fossils since this place is the barren Jura landscape. Most of them looks like they crouch, rear up and crawl and on struggling state. Individual figures first point the way into the hollow, where the figures come together to form a bizarrely frozen battlefield. This makes me wonder how this place looks like in Winter. I have read that the Artist, Alois Wunsch-Mitterecker worked on these figures made of Portland cement, granite and basalt grains for over 20 years. He himself never saw the completion of the work, he died before it was finished.The figures were erected according to his plans only after his death (December 1975) in the years 1976-1979. Come to think that the field is still unfinished.

Figurenfeld in Hessental

I guess the artist wanted to create a “Monumentum perpetuum”, a memorial to eternity, a warning of war, in which there are no winners and vanquished and he succesfully achieved that through this. The erection of the figures lasted from 1958 until the artist’s death in 1975.

I saw some children climbing and playing along the figures and it made me wonder how do parents explains to their children the meanings of the figures. I have read in the signs that it is prohibited to climb on it because there has been many damages already on some of the statues.My daughter loved dinosaurs so she thinks that they are dinosaurs, or rather looked like them. But them if you play a closer look, every figure is never the same. Every single one is really different and unique in its own shape.

Walking through the field is quite manageable but I think for elderly people, there are paths that are quite steep and would be challenging. The whole place is green, wild nature and full of overgrown heather grass, hedges and juniper bushes, which is full of hollows and hills, which contributes to the impression of a battlefield. I think that it can be scary at night because of lack of lighting but i think it is actually safe.But anyway, how would you appreciate the figures in the dark?

We explored the whole field in approximately an hour and then we decided to explore the rest of the inner city of Eichstätt.If you happened to be in the nearby vicinity, I highly recommend to check out this place. More information of other fascinating things to see and explore can be found here.

Have you done any walk lately?

See you next time in our next Spaziergang! Stay safe everyone.

One fine view and forgotten History

Power of the Dam
Admiring the stunning views of Kaprun’s Mooserboden Hochgebirgesstauseen.

In between high peaks and lush greens, my eyes feasted on this view. I felt so small and weak compared to the powerful force of nature. It’s so primitive and yet so striking. This is the view of the mountains surrounding the Hochgebirgsstauseen in Kaprun, the high water reservoir dams which took my breath away but then also had a sad forgotten history. As I was reading more about how these amazing Dams were built, I got more hooked knowing that it has a sad history worth telling…and should not really forgotten…Ever.

Let me tell you more why and what’s so special about this place.

The Glacier above in between the mountains is one special thing about this place.No question why this place is called the birthplace of a Legend.

The Mooserboden reservoirs sit at an altitude of 2040 meters and have a sad and dark history. First building plans were drafted in the 1920’s but it was only during World War II that they were realised. The Nazi regime forced around 4000 prisoners of war and 6300 forced foreign labourers to construct the dams. The commemorative plaque on the Pagan Church tells you that over 120 prisoners died here between 1940 and 1945. German speakers can find detailed information about the Nazi past of the reservoirs here. After the war, the dams were finished and became a symbol of post-war reconstruction, and until today many people are not aware of the dams’ Nazi past .Some just appreciate the beauty that they see and doesn’t care about the past anymore. But come to think of it, it is so great that the process of building this giant reservoirs has a sad story and that makes it even more important to know and remember history!

Climbers trying to climb up in the Dam

The Tauern power plants were originally regarded as one of the most important projects of the East-German electricity industry and were declared “preferred hydraulic engineering“. Forced labourers and prisoners of war were used to build the power station and work on the dam above it in the valley. These workers came from twenty-four (24) different nations, including Polish, French and Soviet POWs, Italians, people from the territories of the Soviet Union (‘Ostarbeiter’) and Jews. An unknown number died due to the harsh conditions, particularly in the mountain camp where the dam was being built. At one point a British air raid triggered a flash flood in which 1,200 people, half of them Soviet forced labourers, were killed.

Living here in Germany have opened my eyes for so many things. Before, I never knew in details about the victims of war and Nazi regime. Our knowledge about Germany is so limited. When I studied German, I have read so many books about it and watched many films about the dark past of Germany and sad stories about war, let alone forced labor and concentration camps.

It is no joke working hard ( deadly working conditions) up in the altitudes of the mountains. Imagine these people forced to work in winter times.

Looking at the beautiful in front of me made me feel grateful, grateful for nature, for the powerful force of the mountains, and high respect for those people who have worked hard, in worst conditions, probably even through ice cold temperatures just to build this dam. I saw lots of people around the world visiting this place and wondering about the beauty of the dam, but I wondered who appreciate the history behind it.Most of all, the story is past behind us now.No more wars.

 About 120 forced labourers were killed between 1940 and 1945 on this construction site. The suffering and trauma of these people is often forgotten when telling the success story of Kaprun. These people, who were abducted by the Nazi regime to work on this building site, should be given special consideration now. The memory of the terror of the Nazi regime remains awake even at this place.”

It’s the blend of human engineering with natural creations that makes the dams above Kaprun such a special part of Austria.If I will show Austria to a friend, then I would definitely bring them to Kaprun! My daughter enjoyed playing in the playground in the Mooserboden. She doens’t know yet the story about this place.Maybe when she grows old and revisits this place then I hope she would appreciate this place as much as I did.

Can’t get enough of Kaprun? see the gallery online Here and another Post about Hochgebirgsstauseen Here.

Happy weekend everyone. Tchüss!