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March sunshine - The Lyorn's Den

Sun Mar. 13th, 2011

01:35 am - March sunshine

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Looking at my tags, I haven't gone hiking for ages. No idea why, except for the obvious "there are not enough weekends in Spring."

Anyway, today I had nothing else do to except maybe look for something to wear for choir performances that is not washed-out and shapeless, and spend money on it that I will regret spending, so I got up early and headed for the hills. Of course my hiking jeans were much too big, but that could be fixed with a belt. Those are comfy cargo jeans with big pockets, and I do not plan to give them away. I'll take them to the tailor instead.

I got out later than planned, and the sun is still setting around 6 p.m., so I took the shorter of the two walks I had considered. Starting at a spa, it meant following the road for some time, then up some serious incline to the top of a hill where several art installations in wood, stone and metal were standing around.

Maybe it wasn't such a good idea to forego cardio training completely (because after the strength training I'm currently doing, running is plain impossible). I had to stop once or twice at the steep parts to catch my breath. The weather was perfect, cool and sunny. I had brought a pullover and a second shirt, but the T-shirt was quite enough as long as I was moving. The landscape was still mostly grey and brown and grey-green or yellow-green, but the pines and firs smelled of sun, the birches were ready for new leaves, and snowdrops and early crocuses bloomed in the villages. Some ponds were still covered in ice, and there was old snow under the trees, but the brooks were running clearly and quickly everywhere. I heard birds sing, but cannot tell what birds they were. So pausing once or twice to enjoy the view (while catching my breath) wasn't exactly a chore. I saw deer running in the fields. I think it was deer, the more common roe deer would have been too small at see at that distance.

The hilltop was grassy and windy, with a network of mouse tracks on the ground. The art installations were weird, and fun to touch. The view was spectacular. Some paragliders were hanging around, waiting for the right wind to jump off a cliff. I finished my round, had a small picnic, and walked back.

The way back was longer, not as steep (my knees were grateful for that) and went through the woods, or between fields on gravel roads. Some of the fields had just been fertilised the traditional way and stank to the high heavens. The woods smelled nice, and at the edge of the rows and rows of coniferous trees were large old silver-barked beech trees. I read that they are planning to plant more beech and maple in the area, and less firs, to deal with the expected warmer summers and even less rain.

After about three hours I was back in the village where I had started. I got myself an ice cream and walked back to my car, which was on the parking lot of the spa. Although I felt neither sweaty nor frozen, the idea of some hot and cold water was appealing, so I paid a pretty outrageous fee for three hours of bathing and went in.

I used only one of my three hours, because there was no pool where one could actually swim in, and everything, including the quiet area, was full of screaming children. (The presence of screaming children was not unexpected, but their number was.) So I tried out everything and then made myself comfortable in the hot pool outside, until I got bored, and then left.

Should have stayed for a coffee at least. Back in the car, I became so sleepy that I had trouble staying on the road. That was made worse by my brilliant (not) idea to go home on the autobahn, knowing that it would be further but hoping that it would be faster. Well, it wasn't. And an empty autobahn, other than tiny country roads winding around the hills and through tiny villages, does nothing to keep a person awake.

I didn't even shower when I came home, just fed the cats, took two headache pills, and fell into bed to sleep for two hours. After that, I got the chlorine smell off me, did the washing, and finally had dinner and tea, which made me feel a whole lot better.

I should really look at the music for tomorrow's performance, but I can't be bothered. I'll finish my tea and call it a night. Have to get up at nine tomorrow and sing at ten.

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