Germany pt. 1: What a View

I awoke with a start. How had I fallen asleep, again?! I wanted so desperately to take in every second of the stunning snow-capped mountains jutting up to meet the clear blue sky, the wooden homes cloaked in their sprawling shadow, the occasional huddle of buildings that made up a quaint village town. But my eyes were heavy and I kept being pulled under…under…under. This bus ride was rocking me to sleep like a baby and I was fighting it like a defiant child. In between bouts of surrender to the lull of the engine and the smooth rocking of the coach, I was soaking in all the beauty – face pressed up against the window, breath fogging the cold glass. I was a simple child in awe of the painting outstretched in front of me, and I couldn’t help but marvel at the Creator.

FullandFearless_gloriousmountains
Glorious are you, O Lord, more majestic than the mountains… {Psalm 76:4}

Adrienne said she had a friend who lived in Garmich, Germany that we should visit while on our little European adventure. Frankly, I had no idea where this town was and so I naturally turned to the Googles. Garmich-Partenkirchen is a mountain resort town in Bavaria {or southern Germany} nestled along the Germany-Austrian boarder. The Google Image photos were stunning. Like buy-your-ticket, pack-your-bags, we’re-going-there-right-this-second kind of stunning. Yet when we arrived I saw that they were all lies. Google Images had deceived me.

It was even more breathtaking in person.

While in Garmich we stayed at Edelweiss Lodge, a U.S. military resort where A’s friend Emily worked. I’m all for crashing with your friends. Usually that means a couch, an air mattress if you’re lucky, not a half-priced stay at a resortEmily was the most gracious of hosts, welcoming us with German beer, chocolates and cute trinkets. Of course the resort experience wouldn’t be complete without a tour. She took care of that too, snagging us three spots on the day-long guided tour. We didn’t have much time in Germany, but we utilized every minute.

FullandFearless_clocks

The first stop on the tour was a woodcarving shop. There was an array of handmade gifts packed into every nook and cranny of the modest building. The cuckoo clocks, snow globes and figurines were intricate, old-fashioned masterpieces that were crafted with care. It was as if time stood still and these treasures were from a hundred years ago. Every element was uniquely made, no two piece alike. Expert, time weathered hands had designed these, seeing the beauty in a block of unfinished wood and transforming it into a work of art.

Next was the Wieskirche, a grandiose church located near the town of Steingaden. People travel FullandFearless_mountainviewfrom all over the world to see this church, to sit and pray here. While it was easily one of the most dazzling houses of worship I’ve ever seen, what stood out to me more was the surrounding view of the Bavarian Alps. The sun was gorgeous on their craggy, snow laden tops. The sheer size was intimidating. Majestic is the only word I think accurately describes the scene.

The view from Neuschwanstein Castle was another unbelievable moment. I stood at the base of the palace, dubbed Cinderella’s Castle due to the striking resemblance it bares to the Walt Disney film, and took in the sweeping landscape of the valley below. There was a blanket of white as far as the eye could see, only interrupted by the green and brown specks of trees and rocks, and the sparkling turquoise of a little lake nestled in the middle. As if it wasn’t picturesque enough, a hot air balloon floated into view. Then another, dangling high above the lake.

FullandFearless_valleypano

I overhead a fellow vacationer express frustration over not being able to fully capture the beauty of this place. It struck me that I was thankful for that problem. I found myself grateful that there are certain places in this world so beautiful, so grand, so intricate, so breathtaking that a picture simply will not do it justice. I tried my very best to capture the sweet way the sunlight kissed the mountaintops, the way the valley extended as far as the eye could see, but I just knew it wasn’t the same. The scene I was taking in with my eyes was simply too majestic to capture with a lens. It’s during times like this that I stand, camera heavy in my hands, and pray “Lord let me do the best I can to capture your beauty.”

This is my best attempt at capturing just a glimpse of Germany. Hope you enjoy!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s