Maps certainly are not what they used to be! We are now back from Oberstdorf in southern Germany. Have a look at this different sort of map which is provided by Google Maps. Click here. Try zooming in and out - amazing! (For a diagram of the valleys with the trails and ski lifts click here .)
We are a very international group enjoying luncheon at Birgsau located further up the Trettachtal valley from Oberstdorf. Dietrich and Reingard were our hosts and we - Christine and Neil from Scotland, Inga from Sweden, Francois and Alain from France and Iain and I - were their guests for a week. Being 'locals' meant we were taken to places where we met their friends and local contacts.
Over lunch we enjoyed hirschgoulasch or vension stew cooked by Dietrich's friend Manny (who appears in later photos).
The sun shone - nothing but blue skies all day! Half the group took advantage of the hiking trails up and down the Trettachtal valley; half took public transport.
If one was to drive due south from nothern Germany, Oberstdorf is the end-of-the-road. Keep going and one gets (as the crow flies) to the Austrian border. If it was possible to continue south over the mountain range one would end up in the Arlberg region east of Innsbruck.
Walking in the surrounding valleys - long and fertile with cattle grazing- one feels its remoteness. It is now the end of summer and this is the week farmers are preparing to bring the animals down the valley to the lower pastures for the winter. The festival to mark this is on the Saturday of the second week of September. See photos coming later.