You might want to begin your tour today by reading this introduction.
And to fully appreciate this particular adventure, go to www.mapcrunch.com and at the bottom of the home page picture, click to find the “view of the day” for the following date:
December 2nd, and we are in France!
With the first 360 degree turn around I now know the truth: These “random” photo placements can not be completely random. At least for the “view of the day”, somebody does some editing. Otherwise in this incident, chance would have us facing the trees behind us, or the trees lining the road on both sides, for many kilometers to the South of this particularly scenic location.
In fact, if you look at the map just below and to the right of today’s picture, and then zoom in a whole bunch of clicks (to be technical) you will eventually see that our little red pointer pin is just on the outside edge of a giant wood (the shaded area). What are the odds?
But am I complaining? No. Just observing. I am glad that mapcrunch does not just drop us off without a thought to our viewing pleasure. And if we had to hike for miles (or kilometers, since we are in France,) to find a view besides any old scene we have at home (like a tree lined road), my feet would be sore and I’d get grumpy and you don’t want that do you didn’t think so!
The first question that probably came to your mind when you saw the subtitle of this article was “Gumbrechtshoffen…France??” Yes, the Alsace region is very close to Germany, and considering the long history of this region, it probably was Germany a dozen times over the years!
But on with the touring of this region famous for its wine!
I like to start off looking north. Then I can say “Straight ahead is Luxembourg and then Belgium. There to my right, and not too far from here, is Germany. My Mom’s family came from Baden Baden, right across the border! Switzerland is behind me and Paris is maybe an hour’s drive west of here.” When I look at a scene I like to take in what is behind and around it, even over the horizon, as well as whatever is before me. It helps me keep a larger worldview perspective, and it helps me not get lost. If I can find the Atlantic Ocean (past Paris to the west, of course) then I know that I can just walk around the edge till I come to New York, and then from there, take a cab back to Wisconsin (way over there beyond Paris). I have a wonderful common sense approach to these things, and you will be safe with me!
So here we are still looking north. It must be around noon, for the sun is straight behind us in the south(see the shadows?). A very pretty country scene is at hand, but I can not tell if it is Spring or Fall. Remember, we are looking at the picture on December 2nd, but can only guess at when the picture was taken by the GoogleEarth mobile. My guess would be Fall, because a close-up look at the trees reveals more dead and dying leaves than new buds. And that nice farm off to the northwest has very fallish smoke coming from its chimney, wouldn’t you say?
Can’t see the smoke? You must take D234 down a ways westward and turn right on D26 heading toward Zinswiller Then you can come right up on the farm and sadly discover that it has traded in its distant charm for a real life view of undone chores, big projects still being saved for (the roof!), and day-to-day dirt and discouragement. Now you’re too close to see the smoke, but trust me, I saw it from somewhere up the road, and it was definitely fallish.
Anyway, stop between the old orange van and the little green two door and turn to the southeast. At the top of the hill you can see where we first came out of the woods… and wish you were taking in the quaint scene from there again.
If you go just past the farm buildings you will see that the folks here keep chickens! I wonder why they need to keep a roof of chicken wire over the pen? Will they fly out? Or will predators get in? In any case, I just see a lot of work that needs to be done.
Times are tough all over I guess. When economies are weak the end result is that regular upkeep just can’t be done. People either have to work more at earning a basic needs income, and don’t have the time they had before, or they can’t afford to hire the tradesmen qualified and equipped to perform needed tasks. One of my areas of expertise, which qualifies me to be an excellent tour guide, by the way, is the ability to read a whole lot into nothing. You will come to appreciate that about me as we travel the world together, and I hope you remember that benefit at tip time.
Did you notice that it started to rain down there by the farm? And a close look at some of the bushes by the chicken coral shows a lot of little green leaves; maybe it is Springtime after all! Have you ever traveled so before; not even knowing what time of year you were going? Perhaps I should develop a new format for the travel industry to follow. MillerMysteryTours, I’ll call it, and our motto will be “We’ll pick you up whenever we want to, and take you wherever we want to go!” Better go pack now (pack light, but be prepared for anything!).