The 10k walk along Starnberger See’s shore was wonderfully quiet. With only the mountains and the trees for company, we were as close to nowhere as I have ever been. But it turned out that this nowhere of a place was more of a place than anywhere I’ve ever been.
It was so refreshingly quiet. But when I thought about it, it wasn’t really quiet at all– the sounds of birds and the water and the wind rustling through the leaves in the trees were very loud. I feel like when we think of quiet places we don’t count these natural sounds as being, well, noisy. They’re a good type of noise.
We were away from all distractions. Everyone knows that in this every modern world, this is a rare occurrence. Hardly ever are we just totally alone with our thoughts. The only times I can think of that fall under this category are that point when you’ve lain down and turned off the lights and are trying to fall asleep; or in the shower, once you’ve finished shampooing and whatever else – and you’re totally alone with your thoughts and nothing to distract. Even then I’ll start to read the back of shampoo bottles (that’s when I know it’s time to get out.) I think that with such short attention spans in this fast-paced world we are incapable of not being distracted until we are forced to do so. But anyway, my point is that these moments when we are truly alone with only our ideas and feelings are rare – and precious.
I went to Starnberger See because this is where King Ludwig of Bavaria (the Fairy Tale King/ Märchenkönig) died on the 13th of June 1886. I have followed his life history around Bavaria and visited his castles where he lived and therefore I thought it only right to visit his last place. No one knows for sure how the mad King died – whether it was self-inflicted or otherwise. Wherever I travel in Germany – it is absolutely awash with a thick history.
This place was no exception. Just being here and being immersed in its history is to be reminded all the time that there were people before me. And that there will be people after me. And to them I will be the ‘before’. It fills me with a growing responsibility to try everyday to do things right so that those who come to this world later can enjoy it the same way that we do today.
…However I don’t feel quite up to that responsibility yet as I can’t even remember my student card when I go to Uni. This may not seem too problematic to someone who does not live in Munich BUT your student card acts as your train ticket. For 2 months I have never been ticket checked but the one day I forget my student card, I get ticket checked. In Germany, the ticket controllers are dressed in normal clothes and just whip out a badge as soon as the train doors shut and you have to show them your ticket. So when the nice looking man sat next to me suddenly demanded my ticket – you can imagine my horror. I now have trust issues. It was certainly a scary experience and made for a fitting Halloween anyway.On top of this my wifi has been down this week – a true modern day horror story.
But despite these types of negative things – I feel as if there is no better healing power than sitting and listening to the water. This sound was something I have certainly missed living in a landlocked city and coming from an Island where I’m never more than a few miles from the shore. So now I feel more than ready to let October go, and November.. Let’s see what you got!