Saint Ottilien - One of the villages Steve and I rode our bikes through on Monday, Ap. 13th, 2009.
Here is a birds'-eye-view of Saint Ottilien that Steve and I bicycled through on Monday, April 13th. We pretty much stuck to the bike trail on the outside of the village (the bottom road on the photo) heading South to the Ammersee (lake). Between villages you could bike on the trail in and amongst the fields and orchards through the countryside. It was a beautiful, gentle 76 degrees and the breeze from pedaling the bike was a pleasant respite.
I have to preclude this with the fact that I haven't biked in years and going over ten miles was a milestone for me. I've committed to a bike ride each day for 30 to 45 mins. to keep my heart pumping and to start-kick my metabolism. So far, to this date, I've dropped 5 lbs. That would be in four weeks. Not a staggering amount, but it's a start.
It is easier here, in Germany, to have a healthier lifestyle. You only have to look out of your window to see joggers, bicyclists, and people walking in droves throughout the day. A constant reminder of what "I should be doing." Since we haven't purchased a car yet, I really have no choice but to walk or bike if I need anything. Yet, we really do need a car if we care to bring back large items, travel outside of the train/bus/subway line, or have friends and relatives go on expeditions with us. So, Uncle Fred and Jaci (my mother-in-law from Australia), we won't be walking you "everywhere." We have some excursions planned and you can rest assured, we will have a car by the time you arrive!
This is as far as we have come with the inside. All of the boxes are unpacked, but not everything is yet in its' right place. To add to our consternation is the light fixture situation. We've purchased them all (17 in total), but we still have to commission an electrician to install all of them. Since it was a four-day holiday this past week, we couldn't reach a soul. Steve is in Nuremburg today, all day, so perhaps tomorrow we can work on finding one willing to spend a day here installing light fixtures.
Our art has not been hung yet either and that will be a days' work in itself. We have some overlarge pieces that need to be hung and some of the art is in sections. This I leave to Steve, the engineer. His mathematical skills are far more advanced than mine. Being as "right-brained" as I am, I can "eyeball it" and come somewhat close, but I guess we shouldn't fiddle with experimenting with lots of holes; something I'm an expert at!
So, it's good to be somewhat settled and at the very least, be able to locate a toothbrush without digging through boxes. Now our concern is what to do with all of the paper from the boxes! At the moment we've found a corner in our storage and when we have our car we'll deliver it to the many locations throughout the city for recycling.
My final duties are to locate a doctor, begin classes in German, and to have a TV installed. Then, I think life will be fairly normal, for an American overseas. The sooner I can speak German, the better I will understand what is happening. For example, there is a sign posted near the mailbox and, of course, being in German, we can't comprehend it. However the word, "Achtung!" stands out and I have watched Colonel Klink on "Hogan's Heroes" when I was little and I seem to recall it means, "Attention," or possibly "Danger." I also recall seeing it on a golf course in Australia near a pond. I guess they wrote it in many languages, because the gist was this:
Be careful when retrieving balls from the water. Crocodiles!
I doubt if there are crocodiles in or near my mailbox, but there is a pond across the street. Nevertheless, I'm going to have to jot the message down and type it into Babelfish to find out exactly what it is that we should practice caution with. See, learning German is not a luxury here, it's a necessity!!
So, I'm off to do my daily ride with my camera at my side. I'll shoot anything that attracts my eye and let you be the judge! Photography is my passion and I have a whole new environment to discover!