The trails here, unlike in America, wind through private rather than public land. Apparently the landowners, mostly farmers, don’t mind. Turnstiles, stiles, and various ingenious gates conveniently allow access across the pastures.

The farm animals appear to enjoy an idyllic life, as the pig in the picture surely shows. We also came across these chummy cows on our walk today:

P1020894.JPGGood Buddies?

This really is a different world here. Little accents like watering troughs fashioned out of hollowed logs, arched bridges made of stone, cobblestoned roads, and window boxes full of flowers give the farms a storybook ambiance. And it’s not schmaltz for tourists. It’s real.

If the sunny weather holds through tomorrow we plan to head for the high Alps near Obertsdorf where a cable car lifts you through the first ten thousand feet of the climb. We did a two-thousand-foot climb today and these Germans don’t mess around when it comes to going up. A steady 20% grade had us huffing and puffing and sweating. I don’t think they know what a switchback is in Germany!

Can’t find my sunglasses. I think I left them at the Frasches. The boutiques in Immenstadt want $100 and more for a pair so I was overjoyed to find a pair for $3.50 at a kiosk near our apartment. So overjoyed that I didn’t bother to look through them on the cloudy day when I bought them. When I finally tried them on, I learned that they would probably be suitable for glacier walking or perhaps gazing at a solar eclipse but rather dangerous for everyday wear. They’re so dark as to render me nearly blind: