Friday, April 27, 2012

over the river and through the woods…

Last Sunday, I met up with another friend who happens to be in Freiburg--she's studying abroad in Germany for the semester--and attended Mass at the cathedral. I didn't understand a single thing, but it was still nice to be in that place with God. [Although I haven't spent this trip with my nose in a Bible, or been to church every Sunday, it has nonetheless been somewhat of a spiritual journey, what with the constant humility lessons and all...I've had to trust that everything will work out...And not a day passes that I don't thank God for my amazing family (stateside or otherwise) and the immense beauty that seems to blanket this continent.]

After Mass, we headed into an area with a bunch of hiking trails on the edge of the Black Forest, and spent an hour or two trekking around.

So this [loosely] translates to, "By chance one nears, one feels, one tarries!"  I didn't know this when I saw the bench, I just thought I'd snap a pic and translate it later. Turns out it's from the play, Faust, by Goethe, which is considered by some the author of the wikipedia article to be one of the greatest works of German literature. I'm going to go on a tangent here and quote more of the play:
>>So let us also such a drama give!
Just seize upon the full life people live!
Each lives it though it's known to few,
And grasp it where you will, there's interest for you.
In motley pictures with a little clarity,
Much error and a spark of verity,
Thus can the best of drinks be brewed
To cheer and edify the multitude.<<

I'm just going to leave it out of context so that it seems fitting-- you know, "motley pictures with little clarity," "seiz[ing] upon the full life people live," etc. Sounds about right, right?

Okay, whatever. Let's just go back to the Black Forest:

We wandered for a while through the woods, at one point emerging to see a large wooden cross that stands tall on one of the hillsides, protected by poles painted like the German flag:

In proximity to the cross, the sun was shining, but a different overlook gave us insight into what was coming. We decided to head back to town.
[note, that's rain moving across the valley, not fog...]

On the way to lunch, we passed through a lovely park. Based on the temp, Germany still seems to be perched on the edge of winter, but the flowers were starting to make Spring's presence known:


For lunch, we went to a local restaurant for Southern German fare, and while the picture might look gross, the maultaschen (in the foreground) and the various samples of Black Forest ham [not the Boar's Head variety] were fantastic.

Then it was home for a nap (through an intense hailstorm), and off to dinner with a group of friends. One of the guys, Florian, made an incredible meal of spinach cannelloni and vegetarian lasagna, and ((however blasphemous it might be)) I have to say, it was the best Italian food I've had on this trip.

Naturally, I forgot my camera and my phone, so the only images of this tasty, hilarious, and truly enjoyable meal will have to remain solely in my memory.

It was a perfect way to wrap up my stay in what I found to be a lovely southern German town, and I miss it already.

Thanks, Freiburg, for being good to me;

Thanks, Stefan, for being such a great host and tourguide;

And thanks, Zack [and all of you], for coming along for the ride!

After leaving Freiburg, I made my way to Tuscany, where I'm currently situated (and will be for ~3 more days). More on that...soon-ish.

Till then,

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