Sunday, August 12, 2012

A Little Eden

A few days ago, Lori and I visited the small village of Bebenhausen (population 347) located in the middle of the Schönbuch forest--no more than 15 minutes from our house.  It was founded in 1183 and served as the home for William II of Württemberg, who died in 1927. 

Lori and I couldn't believe people actually live there.  It's essentially a  large residential garden-paradise surrounded by beautiful, tall, mature trees (Schönbuch forest).  The prominent feature of the village is the former Bebenhausen Abbey, a Cistercian monastery built the same year the village was founded.  It appears to be a museum now (we didn't pay to go in).

View of the village, with the  Bebenhausen Abbey and Castle rising above the trees

Inside a courtyard of the castle/abbey

An apple tree and castle tower

As we walked around the village we were dumbfounded by the beautiful quaintness of the mini-gardens, stone streets, and the calm, quiet atmosphere.

Perfectly manicured yards surrounded by pastoral fields and forest

They're growing GRAPES on their house...amazing!

An Eden within an Eden

That archway is almost certainly older than the United States

We took a path away from the village and crossed into a "wildlife zone" whereby they have fenced significant acreage within the forest to serve as a protected area for animals.  Here's the gate:

Finally, we decided to drive to one of the lakes within the Schönbuch.  After passing through another beautiful town, we parked and walked on a makeshift path along the Neckar River until we got to the lake.  People were out fishing and swimming--it was a perfect weather.

Gizmo leads the way on the path to the lake

The Neckar River.  Do you see the two swans?

An old man, wearing nice clothes, fishing in an alcove that we stumbled upon.

While walking back through the tree lined path along the lake, we had a very strong reminder that we indeed are not in the USA.  The path was very narrow and somewhat muddy, thus if someone on a bike came, you had to step aside to let them pass.  Well, a bicyclist was approaching so I told Lori "head's up," and I'm sorry I did, because the guy was completely nude.  The smiling, naked man said, "Danke!" as he rode by Lori, Gizmo and I; our jaws dropped.  We got a good laugh out of that...  But we also learned to never borrow a German's bicycle.

1 comment:

  1. Great pictures, and thank you for the advice - Never borrow a German's bicycle! Haha.