A Summer without the Alps

If a holiday falls on a Tuesday or Thursday in Germany, or at least in Bavaria, there is a tendency to use the day between the holiday and the previous or following weekend as a “bridge” day in order to create a four-day weekend with just one vacation day. Normally, such a weekend is spent in the Allgäu, storming summits and chasing contrails. This year seemed wetter and most weekends were busier than normal, so a good number of trips fell over those deceptively-short weekends. On one such weekend, maybe the warmest one this year, I ended up in England instead of the Allgäu.

Warm weather-3

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A Summer without the Alps

Relentless Modernization

I thought that I would be writing this post in June, drafting my first paragraph before I processed photos that chronologically were taken before ones posted two moths ago. But it’s been a hectic summer, and so China — or more precisely the photos I took while there — has had to wait. My first stop on a warm but windy Sunday to start the trip, however, was the airport, a place I’ve become all too familiar with. Ironically, I was there to learn even more about it: MUC offers various tours of its grounds operations, and despite having lived here for two years this was the first chance I could experience one.

Price of Modernization-2

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Relentless Modernization

Flashbacks

Initially I thought that being this close to the mountains would mean that I’d never make it up to Munich, but since December I’ve been there nine times, mostly to its airport. The weekend after bauma was one of these times, though for this trip I was heading back across the ocean to attend a friend’s wedding. The venue was Jekyll Island, which until receiving the RSVP for the wedding I hadn’t heard of before. But with clear blue skies, perfect lawns, and a gentle breeze, what’s not to love?

Beach return-3

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Flashbacks

Capitulating to Choice

I was fortunate to travel most of the weekends that I was in Stuttgart in 2011. In particular, much of my travel then (as even now, in hindsight) was focused on hiking locations, and there ended up being fewer actual visits to cities than what completed lists of suggested locations from friends would have shown. One such location was Barcelona: several friends described it as being their favorite city in their time abroad, but with mountains calling I never made it there. I finally was able to visit some friends who chose it as a temporary reprieve from the Illinois winter. Initially uneasy that I would give up on an already dry and warm winter, in hindsight I’m glad the trip worked out, because the city is a bright, lively destination. No wonder the locals stay out as long as they do!

BCN_neighbors-4

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Capitulating to Choice

Regrounding to reality

After twenty-some weekends away from Stuttgart (out of 26), far more trips to Switzerland (six if I include the route I took to Chamonix) than I initially intended, and a last night in Germany spent not sleeping but rather packing and repacking my suitcases, I was sadly, exhaustedly, and at last headed back to the US for my final rotation.

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Regrounding to reality