Especially in the autumn

Hohenschwangau Castle as seen from Neuschwanstein, Bavaria

The Bavarian Alps as seen from Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany, August 2005

“He found himself wondering at times, especially in the autumn, about the wild lands, and strange visions of mountains that he had never seen came into his dreams.”       ― J.R.R. Tolkien

One year ago today:

Pleasure in the pathless woods


  1. raynard

    Julia my time in Germany was September 1981-March 1983 @ Sweinfurt. Went back in Jan 1985- March 1986 Stationed in Baumholder and had the experience of living off base in leased housing in a town called Neubruke. Loved going in town on the weekend and buying ice cream.( still remember some of my german and spent a year over in Turkey and a word or 2 is”still in the recesses of my mind.( for a minute I almost”belted out a John Denver song followed by’Glen Campbell”Southern Nights” lol. Be encouraged and blessed and have a great day

    • Our friends who were based near Kaiserslautern chose to live in a Rhineland village called Winnweiler, and some other friends who were stationed at Lakenheath (England) chose to live off base also, in a village called Exning, in Suffolk. Both towns were absolutely charming and their homes were spacious and unique. I feel so lucky to have been able to visit and stay at these places, where tourists seldom venture. Another military family we know was so amazingly lucky as to be able to live in a little cottage on one of those huge “castle” estates in Bury St. Edmonds, England – I had a great time sending aerial postcards of the estate to friends in the USA, saying “just visiting friends who live here at this estate.” 🙂 One thing I noticed is how even the very tiny towns in Europe have large, impressive church buildings, probably sparsely attended now, I would guess. But it says a lot about how people’s priorities have changed over the past few centuries.

  2. What a beautiful photo and lovely view!! You can see his childhood home. How great. Thank you for sharing. Have a great day. I love you.

    • Amy, YOU WERE THERE when I took that photo, so I’m glad you like it! 🙂

  3. Sheila

    That is such a beautiful view. What a magnificent dwelling! Bill and I renewed our passports just last week. We don’t have any trips planned but we’ll be ready. 🙂

    • Definitely a great idea to keep that passport ready! It’s a lot less hassle than trying to rush one through, plus it makes for more realistic daydreams! 🙂

  4. The photograph is just wonderful–thanks! Also liked to read Tolkien along with it. Nice post!

    • I’m glad you like it. Tolkien just sort of came to mind when I saw it. Not quite Middle Earth, but pretty breathtaking anyway.

  5. What a great view you’ve captured that day Julia. Can’t imagine living there and taking that in every morning, WOW I guess it’d be rather fantastic just to live in a Castle, ha. It’s important to have dreams, no matter how big or fantastic. Without dreams or hopes for the future, life would be pretty dismal.

    • That castle is even more amazing from the outside. Sadly, the supposedly “mad king” who built that fabulous place, on which Disney based his Sleeping beauty castle at Disney, never had much time to enjoy it. His life was interesting and tragic. He bankrupted the treasury of Bavaria constructing all these palaces than ironically later made the region rich from tourism. Someday on this blog I must write about our 1972 trip to Germany where we had a totally enchanted and somewhat eerie tour of Herrenchiemsee in the winter time. We were literally the only tourists on the entire island, and apparently the only people, except for the caretaker and his wife. Walking through that massive, deserted palace was incredible and spooky. It was one of the most otherworldly experiences I’ve ever had. The caretaker told us thousands of people toured it everyday in the summers, but we had the place all to ourselves. That experience was one of many that convinced me that traveling in the “off season” is the way to go!

      • How fantastic to have the place all to yourself. When we were in Munich in 2008, we did a river cruise down the Reine and the castle was pointed out, but we weren’t able to visit it as we were on a guided tour. So much to see and we must try and go back. Poor King Ludwig, he really had little support. What a sad life to have to live a lie. Don’t you just adore formal gardens. We visit a few while in Europe and I fell in love with all the gorgeous fountains and statues. Thanks for all the links, they were all so interesting. Your tour would make for a fab post. 😀

        • Yes, I love formal gardens! and if I had the nerve, I’d put one into our back yard at York. But it just wouldn’t go too well with the woodland atmosphere, I guess. We were talking awhile back about the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris – I’ll have to dig out a photo from there to post soon. If/when we get back to Paris, I want to go to Versailles (I’ve never been) and to Giverny as well. Many years ago I tried to write (just for myself) about that trip to Herrenchiemsee, but it was impossible to put into words. Our walk through the snowy woods to the castle was like stepping into a Currier & Ives postcard.

          • Sounds just gorgeous really. I would love to go back to Paris too. We didn’t have enough time. I fantasize of having a darling little apartment for a month and just wondering around Paris for days on end and hitting their famous flee markets 😀

            • Wow, that’s my fantasy too. I imagine that makes about a million of us!! If I ever get a little place in Paris (preferably in April, in the 5th or 6th arrondisement 🙂 – hey, since I’m just dreaming, why not?) — I’ll let you know!

              • I will take you up on that and bring a friend, Alys and I have been teasing ourselves with this idea for a while now. One day, we’ll just give in to the beauty of that dream. See you there 😀

                • Save some cafe au lait and croissants for me! 🙂

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