The train whistle blew as I was settling into my cabin on the morning Munich-Kempten service. The sun lit part of the German landscape, as the other held on to cold dark clouds. It had been a wonderful time in the Bavarian capital, but I was ready and eager to begin the new adventure.
I am heading to a little town not far from Kempten. It’s barely mid-October and they already had snow. I guess the Alps have their own temperamental schedule. But I don’t mind… I haven’t seen real snow since venturing into the mountains of Japan’s Nagano, and am craving a bit of cold crisp air!
My Bavarian adventure will mainly be focussed on learning new skills, enjoying a beautiful natural setting and having the time to indulge in art projects and writing.
As I am passing the changing colours of the German countryside, I cannot help but think about how wounded this landscape once was. In Munich, I passed the majestic Angel of Peace monument erected in 1899 to celebrate 25 years of peace between the French and the German powers. It is much too rare to see a commemoration of peace and not of the fallen of a famous war.
I must say that it stood in contrast with my general perception of this country’s history as I know it best – steeped in a very recent and very raw wound that is perpetually picked at. I’m glad that I am here, that I have the opportunity to get to know the Germany that presents herself to me more personally, and not the one that I was introduced to on stale school benches and from the family memory books. So far, I really think we could get along just fine.
Here is a little taste of Munich. More to come on my current adventure where a wheelbarrow, rake, paintbrush and chisel are my tools, a beautiful natural setting is my office and a furry friendly cat is my inquisitive work colleague.