This week’s Fresh Breeze was a truly fresh breeze. I went hiking and photographing.
This is where I started out. I took the bus to the countryside and had mapped my route carefully so I would end up at some other bus stop to get home.
By the time I arrived here, I had already realized I had forgotten a close-up lens at home, so taking pictures wouldn’t turn out quite as well as I had hoped, but I quickly decided it was a valid excuse to go back to this beautiful place.
At this point I had learned that hiking 5 miles and crouching at every other plant is major thigh workout.
My fitness level isn’t quite up to par, if I can’t climb that hill without wheezing and give the photo so little thought I don’t find a shady place to get the colours straight. I also wonder if a polarizing filter would have been helpful here, but that too was still on my desk.
Next I entered the forest. I am a little scared of forests. I got lost there too many times, no, not on my own, always in the company of someone who was sure were on the right path even though he had no map and was unfamiliar with the territory. Things have drastically improved since I plan my own routes. I still get lost, but I have a map and no male pride, so I don’t circle the ground until I’m exhausted. (Disclaimer: I know men who don’t get lost all the time, I just haven’t been hiking with representatives of that group a lot.) I haven’t hiked alone too often yet and have only taken very few photos in a forest. That’s probably why they are pretty bad.
I originally walked up that hill to take a look at a fortress ruin, but I didn’t find the ruin. I even saw a big sign explaining the history of the ruin. I searched the forest carefully around the sign. Just trees, birds, butterflies and a big black beetle. No ruin.
I felt like a fool. How can you miss a fortress ruin? Well, easy. Walk the wrong path, look for the wrong kind of ruin, because you confuse the photo that went the explanation, and mistakenly believe people put up signs where they might make sense. The ruin is in fact completely invisible from the location of the sign. And no, the sign does not feature an arrow to point you into the right direction.
Maybe the locals feel, if you don’t do your research carefully enough, you are not worth finding the overgrown site. Merely curious, but not sincerely interested, careful people mustn’t trample all over the place. They better stay on paths where they won’t do any harm. If that were true, I’d not even blame them. Some of the tourists are annoyingly disrespectful. The other day I found signs in a church requesting visitors to behave themselves, reminding them this was a place for prayer. I like visiting churches to look at all the artwork, I also take pictures in churches. But if I’m not alone in a church, I pay careful attention to others present and will put away my camera and sit down somewhere quietly or leave, if there is a chance, I disturb prayer. These churches weren’t built to entertain or impress me, after all.
Finally I ended up here. The river is just to the left, I wonder what this place looks like on a foggy November morning. Probably even more like Hogwarts.
I learned a lot during that trip, had a lot of fun – and will be back soon.