“Walking along the narrow cobblestone street I paused before an old wooden brown door decorated with cast iron adornments. “I wonder what lay beyond?”. I had heard tales of merchants long ago who used hidden passages to transport their expensive silken wares through the heart of the city. Unperturbed and filled with the excitement of the unknown I pushed the door which groaned heavily and proceeded up the dimly lit passageway. The sound of people walking in the street dwindled as I wound my way up a narrow ancient corridor; the walls on either side had faded, cracks had wound a tapestry on either side. Light began to suffuse the corridor which opened up into a picturesque courtyard. The combination of rich colours, green plants crawling along walls, beautiful archaic facades and doors plunged one back into an era long ago. Turning around in wonder I suddenly paused. A magnificent red tower, elegantly framed with arched windows and a spiral stone staircase rose up into the sky. The passage of time had merely added to its beauty.
Alone perched upon a ragged red boulder I looked out towards the ocean, oblivious to the waves which menacingly splashed around me. It was if a sea of white foam coursed all around, engulfing everything in its path and then retreating albeit hesitantly into the depths of the Ocean. The winds danced wildly amidst the boulders rising occasionally into a crescendo at once in harmony with the sound of waves splashing around me. I was all alone yet an inner peace gripped my soul, awesome to behold. There are moments of sheer beauty when one must pause and be silent, for only in silence can one even dare to contemplate true beauty. A silence which commands our every sense and manifests the magnificence of Creation in all its splendour. I sat in silence for long moments; deep from within my mind, heart and soul resonated the psalmist “Be still, and know that I am God”
Walking along the isolated beach, I couldn’t help but admire the simple creative beauty of nature. As I cast my eyes along the sand lining the seashore, occasionally lapped by the rhythmic movement of gentle water, I admired the beautifully coloured rocks everywhere to be seen. A myriad of earthen coloured weaving a natural rich and vibrant tapestry made me pause on occasion, reminiscing childhood moments where excitement was to be found in the most simple of things. I fleetingly yearned for those moments of innocence and wonder at what the world had to offer. Eventually walking along the seashore, I climbed an apparently barren gigantic rock formation keen to once again ignite that childlike reckless spirit of adventure. As I bounded up the last few steps leading to the summit I looked out yonder, mesmerised in pure joy at what lay before me.
My footprints stood out starkly against the fine grains of yellow sand that lined the shore. Walking in silence, I paused by a group of red earthen coloured rocks spread out across the water, and looked out towards the horizon. The sound of a lone seagull drifting upon the gentle wind caressing my face, mingled with the waves surging and breaking against the rocks, were my lone companions. Climbing a boulder I steadied myself and looked afar in awe. A mosaic of pure beauty, both serene and mysterious was everywhere to behold. The brilliance of the sun’s rays burst from Heaven, casting its rays upon the Earth, illuminating it with a gentle radiance. For long moments I stood upon that boulder, a lone figure still and silent. It was as if I wanted to capture the experience of this moment for all time and engrave it within the depths of my heart.
Looking up from my reverie at the edge of the pier on a pebble strewn shoreline, I looked upon a ring of mountains, embracing a most beautiful tranquil lake. The brilliant snow capped and forested Bavarian Alps provided a wonderful backdrop, yielding to the expanse of the clear blue heaven and narrow sand shores below at the edge of the lake. Clear, blue water, occasionally punctuated by gentle ripples sending out waves across the otherwise calm surface and sound of waves lapping the shore reminded me of the Mediterranean Sea. The numerous piers, moored with brilliant coloured green fishing boats contrasted brilliantly against the blue water and snow covered shores during this warm and sunny day in autumn. I paused for long moments in silence, a moment of quite exaltation; words are inadequate to describe the serenity that filled my mind, heart and soul.
The scent of fresh air following rainfall was still lingering in the cold winter wind, as I ascended the winding cobblestone road leading into the heart of the city. Having crossed an archaic bridge I could still hear the churning of the river as it meandered around this beautiful Alpine town, gateway to the European Alps. As I walked amidst the rows of magnificent coloured houses, the silence manifested a powerful impression as vivid as the array of beautiful coloured houses. Walking along the main road, I was greeted by Gothic cathedrals, half-timbered fachwerk houses, castles and towers manifesting the true beauty and charm of traditional German culture. Winding cobblestone streets opened up into splendid squares, surrounded by elegantly designed German buildings decorated with a lovely array of complementary vibrant Mediterranean colours, a hallmark of the cultural splendour of Germany’s culture and medieval heritage.
It is a rare experience indeed when one walks about a medieval town, resplendent with archaic cathedrals and ramparts, winding alleyways and water filled canals or Bächle, yet coupled with hippie looking locals, smiling street vendors and mad cyclists, all in the one place. Wondering how to capture the essence of what was unfolding before me, I stopped by a narrow street with an archaic cobblestone pathway, in front of Bächle, and a row of old traditional Germanic buildings. Perfect setting; all I had to do was wait for an opportune moment. Moments later, I heard someone shouting “Juhu” a German expression of exhilaration and joy, as a crazy cyclist turned facing towards me with outstretched arms while balancing on his bike and continuing to ride along the street. I smiled and laughed as I clicked the shutter; this cyclist with so much character instantly entered into the gallery of my most beautiful experiences and fondest memories within my heart.