Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Climb EVERY Mountain!

The iron cross at the top of the Kirchenstein.

Phew...it's been a while, hasn't it?  It has turned out to be harder than I thought to set aside time every week to write even a short blog post.  Not that there is a lack of anything to write about here.  It is simply that there are so many things to do!  (And also that when I get back from traveling on the weekends all I want to do is sleep).  

So thank you for patiently waiting for this post.  I hope you enjoy it.  This event originally happened about 2 or 3 weeks ago....

Well folks, this past Sunday I climbed my first mountain.  It was glorious!  I don’t think I can accurately describe the beauty or the thrill of climbing a mountain.  And pictures definitely don’t do it justice either.  But here goes nothing.

My friend and I left the Kartause around 1pm and walked across town to where the path starts.  It begins as a sidewalk between two houses and then there is a staircase leading up to the beginning of the trail.  This part of the hike was really easy.  The trail goes very slowly upwards and there is a lot of zigzagging back and forth across the mountain.  Seriously, if you just went straight up it would be a lot faster (but probably more difficult).  We took our time walking up, stopping to look at the view a few times…and we thought it was beautiful!  But we didn’t know that there was more breathtaking beauty to come. 

After about a half an hour we reached a “peak” called the Kirchenstein.  It is a huge rock with an iron cross on top.  You can look out and see all of the town and the valley spread out before you.  That was the breathtaking view.  We were very blessed because it was a beautiful and clear day with a little bit of sunshine!  (The sun doesn’t shine as much here as it does at home, probably because it is snowing most of the time).   My friend and I enjoyed the beauty of the view and soaked up the sunshine.  But we hadn’t reached our goal (the book), so we kept moving – onwards and upwards.

A view of Gaming from the mountain.  

Now the going got tough.  We started going more steeply uphill and in a few places we were crawling on our hands and knees.  There were spots along the trail where there were almost no trees and we could see everything on both sides of the mountain, including more beautiful mountains in the distance.  After about another thirty-minute hike we finally reached the book!  There is a metal box hanging on a tree, which holds the book.  After signing it (and looking through it to find the names of students who signed it before us) I said a little prayer at the shrine there.  Then my friend and I looked for our household name, which was carved in one of the trees in the little grove there.  We finally found it and took a picture. 

A view from the ridge of the mountain, before we actually reached the book.

After this we began our long descent to the bottom of the mountain.  But it actually didn’t take that long because… after we were about halfway down we decided to just slide down the mountain on our bottoms!  It was fun because the snow was so deep! 

At the end of the day we were exhausted, but content. 

Me with the iron cross.  Isn't the sunlight over the mountains beautiful?

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