"Schlaraffenland", the German Arcadia.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

7 Snapshots of Europe, Spring 2014: 4. Bavarian Green

When you think of Bavaria you might think of the Alps, or of gigantic mugs of beer, or of ornate castles, or of, I don't know, lederhosen? You should think of green. I have been many green places from Prince Edward Island to England to Belize to New Zealand (to be fair, the latter just for a day), but now when I think of the colour green I only think of the view outside the window of our farm-stay in the foothills of southern Bavaria.
After some confusion involving the fact that the tiny village of Niedersonthofen sported two farm-stays run by families named Schoell we settled in and began to stare at the green. Or at least I did. Lorraine spent time with the farm's beautiful Arab horses and the kids loved feeding the goats and watching the gentle brown cows being milked, but I would sit on the balcony and stare at the meadow or, even better, wander out into it and stand there. A Bavarian meadow is not just grass, but an array of plants, all diligently cropped to a uniform height by the cows. It is claimed that many of these plants impart subtle flavours and even health benefits to the milk. I cannot vouch for that, although the fresh milk certainly was tasty, but I can vouch for the colour: yes, green. Not just regular Canadian suburban lawn green, but an intense pure green. Acid trip green. Mad science radioactive green. Alien planet green. Photoshop green. I don't know why this is. Perhaps the cows produce not only special milk, but special manure too. Regardless the effect is mesmerizing and I could not get enough of it. This was a wandering through and standing on and staring at meadow though, not a laying on meadow like in Provence. "Special manure".

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