I am staying in the village of Frankenhausen in the munipality of Mühltal in the kreis or county of Darmstadt, which is also the principal city of the region.
My first day here was spent walking… a lot. First Juan took me on a stroll around his village to get the lay of the land. All is green. All is tranquil. This too, looks like a fairy tale setting. It is hard to imagine this is a bedroom community of Frankfurt, which is about an hour’s drive away by car. Windmills in the distance; a source of producing energy here. Germany has a goal of ?? percentage of renewable energy and Juan says they are serious about it.
A quick stop at the kitchen table for a lunch of ham, cucumbers, tomatoes, and cheese and the ever present sweet that Petra seems to include with everything and we were off again.
Juan first suggested hiking to the Roman quarry from his home. The quarry is named, Felsenmeer, which means sea of stones. He described it as a two hour hike each way – which for me would have translated probably to about 2.5 or even 3 hours at my pace. So too much for me. So we drove to the parking lot at Felsenmeer and hiked up from there.
Which ended up being just perfect. A hike up—through the woods before arriving at the stone sea, a roman quarry, dating back to about 250 A.D. It was undoubtedly slave labor – hard slave labor working and moving the stones. And left behind a column that never got moved which gives you a sense of just how hard, draining and deadly the work would have been. In a way it was like visiting ana graveyard, but in a way that sobers you and makes you think of those who came before you. It did not feel negative, but rather awestruck.
Then we hiked out to the bottom of the hill and found a restaurant, biergarten, where naturally we stopped. At Krualpe, I had a beer, a lager known as Pfungstädter Edel pils, which means nobel pilsener. And it was. My dinner was weiner schnitzel, not dissimilar to biftec empanizada or breaded steak. Yummy.
One thing I have noticed in my two experiences at German restaurants or in this ase biergartens, is that no one is in a hurry, including the waitresses and waiters. In other words, no hurry to move you along. The waitress said you looked so Gemütlich, I left you alone. which in this context meant you looked so happy and comfortable, I didn’t want to bother you. So she didn’t, and we sat for another hour until we thought it was time to go home. And this is where my story ends today.