Having grown up in the mountains of West Virginia, "the great outdoors" has a completely different meaning from what one finds in Northern Germany. We live just North of Hamburg, a beautiful city with historical buildings, a large shipping harbor, and multiple rivers wandering through the area.
My husband calls the town where we live the "horse capital" of Hamburg because many of the city folks keep their horses in the fields around here to ride on the weekends and days off. We have a great wooded path that is directly behind our house and it is great to be so close to the city, but still have the opportunity to experience nature with just one turn.
This past fall and winter we were visited quite frequently by a family of pheasants. This was pretty unusual considering how close we are to the city limits.
My husband loves the flat fields of grains and crops that one finds in Northern Germany. He was so inspired by the Midwest prairies when he did a cross country tour of the U.S., and while he loves my family and our home, he still insists that his heart remains with land that goes on as far as the eye can see rather than the soaring mountains.
There are several wooded areas (although they are all still relatively flat) around my in-laws farm. It is great to venture out into the green canopy and just soak in the sounds. In the fall hunters fill the woods with their hunting dogs to take home wild boars, deer, hares, and foxes as trophies. But I find that hunting in Germany is very traditional and full of rituals that still honor and respect the life that was given.
But my heart often longs for the mountains that are so vast and tall, and are bursting with brilliant reds, oranges, and yellows in the fall and then come to life again in the spring with colors of green that sing new life. "Take me home, country road, to the place I belong, West Virginia, mountain mama, take me home country road"...
...in fact, we are flying from my beloved mountains today and I will be joining all you other "great outdoors" adventurers only on Thursday, which explains my "absence" these last several days. For more outdoor explorations, visit Jane at Spain Daily... enjoy the hike.