Day trips – page 2 q gas station cleveland ohio


My dearest place for a day out is Höglwörth ("Isle among the Hills"), ca. 125 km away from Munich, 25 km away from my husband’s home, and 25 km from Salzburg on the other side. As the name says, it’s a small village and lake, situated among a group of hills, with the Chiemgau Alps as a backdrop in southwest. The lake, today shaped like a horse-shoe, takes twenty-five leisurely minutes to walk around, in practice at least an hour, because you’ll want to sit on several of the many benches, and enjoy the serene views, the perfect compositions created by nature and man.

What is now a peninsula, was originally an isle, in the 19th century still. The lake has slowly been silting up in a natural process. The isle held a monastery of the Augustinian Canons, which was secularized in 1817, the edifice and land bought by the local (filthy rich) brewery family Wieninger. They have their house on the now-peninsula to this day, and seem to enjoy it there, which may be one of the reasons why the area has largely survived "undeveloped", in the cruel modern sense.

The Rococo interior of the monastery church is always worth a visit, but particularly every three years at Easter, when they revive the tradition of the "Holy Grave". The church is darkened and the altar covered with a very theatrical staging of the mystical grave, lit though glass balls filled with colored water, and lots of mysterious "special effects" overall. Very Baroque.

But don’t think they are all backwards. One of the first Bavarian water-power stations was built at the foot of one of the feeding streams, complete with a small bridge over the lake, carrying cables which supplied the area with electricity – Today, only the foundations of the station bear witness of that effort.

In summer, you’ll definitely want to take a swim in the quickly-warm and soft water. You can choose between the communal bath and its 1970s charms, or use the lawn on the opposite side, where the farmer may modestly collect 50 cents for his trouble.

You can eat and drink at the local inn, and maybe extend your walk to the nearby village of Anger, situated on and around a rock that seems like accidentally dropped in the valley. Its center is a village green ("Anger" is actually the German word for such a green).

It’s a place that seems eternal, although it won’t be – the lake will be silting up within a couple of generations. But with any luck, the magic will remain when it’s a bog, covered with a texture of reeds, moss and flowers. We will no longer be there to enjoy it, but hopefully, some other folk will, and they’ll be happy too.

I take motorcycle or automobile road trips weekly from about April to October. Since the cost of gasoline has doubled in the last decade (stuck at around $1,20/litre and spiking to $1.30), I have been forced to mostly keep the trips within the 150 km range one-way, although there are countless beautiful places suitable for day trips that require more fuel.

I prefer to get out into nature, so I usually head west to the Rocky Mountains (Kananaskis 80 km; Banff 110 km). Then again, I occasionally like to revel in the scorching heat of the Badlands around Drumheller (about 120 km ENE). I also enjoy a slightly longer trip, south along the Cowboy Trail in the foothills of the Rockies, to Crowsnest (about 200 km), an old coal-mining area in a very scenic pass not far from Waterton Lakes. Less frequently, I head north through the peaceful farmlands to Sylvan Lake (about 150 km), a bustling resort town with a popular beach.

Sometimes I hike; sometimes I sit to watch the landscape and the wildlife (luckily, I have only seen bears and cougars while motoring past); sometimes I meander aimlessly in the car with classical music playing or on the motorbike while relishing the sound of my engine, the taste of the wind and the scents of the grasses, wild-flowers and forests.

Tag & I are just back from a short day trip, really an extended lunch break. We didn’t go far – Ranworth Broad is only about fifteen miles by road. For non-Brits, the Broads are a series of lakes connected by rivers in the English county of Norfolk – originally formed from peat excavation. The area has a distinctive history involving eeling, cutting reeds for thatch, bittern shooting & malaria – the two last activities definitely in the past, thank goodness.

We got to the village carpark at noon, parked under the trees, and wasted a lot of time on the waterfront trying to photograph waterfowl. One coot kept wiggling to and fro – most inconsiderate, imho. But eventually Taggart captured this duck:

We did a very short circular walk, along the boarded walkways at the side of the Broad & past picturesque houses to the medieval church of St Helen’s at the top of the hill, which is known for its illuminated vellum psalter (kept in a glass case under wraps to prevent sunlight-fading).

After this, lunch in the car under the trees – it was too crowded to picnic & anyway, I hate insects. Flies always make a beeline for me, so to speak. (Reminds me of the old joke, ‘I attract men like flies – but then, who wants men like flies!’) Then, after a stimulating domestic discussion, we drove on to the next village, Woodbastwick, which is a pretty collection of Art Nouveau thatched cottages round a green. Here we looked round the church of St Sebastian & St Fabian – a very unusual dedication – but it was protected from our snapping efforts by a phalanx of burly yew trees.

And the highlight of our trip – sitting outside ‘The Fur & Feather’, the pub that goes with the delicious Woodforde Brewery (Taggart has bought a bottle of real ale called ‘Kett’s Rebellion’ for tonight). We had a table with a parasol & a grand view of a scenic pond with dragon flies – just beyond screaming distance.