Germany is beautiful. Graffiti is everywhere, but I barely notice it in comparison to the unique buildings and cobblestone roads. The people here are generally quiet and seem to be good at enjoying present life. They seem present. Aware. Almost always soaking in whatever scenery is before them. The part of Germany we have been in this week (southern) has a lot of little villages hidden in nooks of forestry, with rivers or creeks running through them. Water is my favorite.
There are castles in many of the towns.
God and I have been having honest conversations. He is shifting things around in me, changing chunks of my soul, rearranging my thinking. My priorities are slowly and slightly shifting and it's scary, because change is not comfortable, but it feels right in my heart.
Aside from a certain continual ache within my being that I will not pretend doesn't exist, this birthday was by far the most memorable. Loren took me to Cafe L for fruit and cappuccino, then on a dreamy paddle boat ride down the river in Tubingen. We sat and we peddled and we laughed and we smiled and we chatted and we enjoyed the peaceful calm.
Loren got us another Air B & B in for the night in a little village named Buhl. The 25 minute bus ride was beautiful; we drove through country fields of horses and green grass and yellow flowers and farm homes. Pulling into the village center we asked the first man we saw if he knew where a street was; he quickly pointed his finger and we were on our way. It wasn't long before the majestic castle shouted, "here, here, your host home is here!" Our eyes locked with sheet joy and we took a few more steps forward before Jurgen stepped around a tall square bush and exclaimed, "You must be Loren!" (Except it sounded like Loraine, which was wonderful). His English was nearly perfect, lacking a heavy German accent. Jurgen was jolly.
The front yard was pure bliss and I wondered what the inside of this gigantic German home looked like. I wanted to adopt these friendly people as my aunt and uncle. And this village as my own. So the room and everything about it was perfect:
Jurgen encouraged us to try the German restaurant down the cobblestone walk, around the corner, and through the gate. So we did and we ate the best pommes. Among other yummies things.
In the morning, the birds and sun greeted us equally as wonderfully. Monika made us breakfast which we devoured happily.
Saturday we sprinted to our bus which was wonderful because I haven't ran in way too long. (So about that marathon training..) Grabbed some cappuccinos and boarded trains to the very northwest part of the Austrian alps.
We first stopped in a small island village on Lake Constinence, Lindau. This town was cuter than cute. When walking out on this ledge to the lookout, one view was of the snowy alps and the other of a gorgeous town.
Next we entered Bregenz where the gandala awaited to take us up to the alps. From the top of the mountain you can see Switzerland and Germany (and Austria) and the curvature of the earth.
This morning we worshiped with a bunch of Germans. This church is over 800 years old.
We said tschuss tschuss to Tubingen today, which means we also had to say goodbye to our dear friend Tony.
After a four hour train ride, our Air B&B host picked us up at the station and dropped us off down in the village center. We were now in the village that I have been most looking forward to - Rothenburg. This town was the little place my good old cousin Walt Disney based Pinocchio off of. It ALSO was where parts of the Deathly Hallows was created. HARRY POTTER, PEOPLE!
I thought Buhl captured my heart...but this town, this town has stolen my heart forevermore.
It's 12:30 am and I am exhausted. Thanks for checking in and following along on our great adventure! Be praying for us, for our hearts to be close to Him and one another - that as we travel, we would continue to be selfless and caring for one another.
If you have any questions, fire away in the comments! I will do my best to answer them within a reasonable amount of time.