It was Saturday night, July 14th – the night after my Red Sofa Artist Talk. My friend Jamie was leaving the next day. She had been awarded another Artist residency in upstate New York, and she accepted before she came to Germany. The thing is….she LOVES it in Germany! She said if she had known how great it was here she NEVER would have applied to that other Residency in New York. Her plan is to come back someday, and maybe move to Berlin!
So Jamie was leaving, and we all wanted to celebrate with one last night together. We left Kunstort ELEVEN ArtSpace #kunstortELEVENartspace and walked to The Lamm Pub here in the village, but it was closed. Frank went and got his car and came back and picked us up. We were off to Bierlingen!
Bierlingen is another village, and it’s not far – it’s only about three miles away.
Where I am in Germany, I’m in the German state of Baden-Württemberg, which is Germany’s third largest state, and it forms the border with France. Starzach is a municipality, or a community, within Baden-Württemberg, and it’s made up of five small but very beautiful villages: Bierlingen, Börstingen, Felldorf, Sulzau and Wachendorf. Börstingen is my village. Bierlingen is the main village – the place where you would find the Mayor, or as they say in German, Der Bürgermeister.
When we got to Bierlingen, we went to Kluy’s Landgasthof Rössle, which is both a restaurant and a Bed & Breakfast.
“Nehmen Sie Platz!”, which means “Have a seat!”. The food was delicious, and yes, there was beer! We dined outdoors, or as they say here “Essen im Freien”.
From left to right: Frank, Ki Dong, Jamie, Me, Hiroko, and Monika!
This was not my first visit to Bierlingen, but it is the first time that I spent any “quality time” in this lovely village! I can’t help but look at everything here as a work of art – colors, lines, forms, textures….the stonework, the pitch of the roofs, the chronology of the construction….gorgeous!
This picture….I could look at this picture all day!
Walking out of the village and into the countryside. This picture is a bit blurry, but I’m including it because the opening in the trees looks like a big “Thumbs Up”! I couldn’t agree more!
As we walked further into the countryside, there was a stillness, or a quietness to the landscape. It was as though nature was holding it’s breath in anticipation of the sunset. Soon the sun slipped below the horizon and filled the sky with rose and fingertips of violet.
In the distance the Swabian Alps blanketed the countryside, and their faded blue color reminded me of the ocean at sunset.
Glorious sunflowers seemed to greet us at every turn!
We wandered through beautiful fields of gold…
And we ended up at a community barbecue pit, or fire pit, or playground-type park. Each village has one set aside for the people in their community. What a wonderful idea!
Monika taught us that Life Is Balance, and if you can keep everything in correct proportion, you will remain upright and steady.
I was so inspired by her life lesson that I got on next, and I taught everyone that seesaws are dangerous after drinking beer.
As night settled in, the lights of the Church came on, soon followed by the lights inside the homes in the village.
We took one last picture of the sunset before heading back. It was so beautiful here…..I knew that I must come back and see these fields during the day. This is an amazing place!
Arriving back in the village, we stopped in the courtyard of the Rathaus, or Town Hall. There is a large sculpture in the center.
Monika and Hiroko and the Rathaus sculpture, and the illuminated steeple!
I was so moved by our visit to Bierlingen, that I had to go back – I had to see it during the day! On Thursday, July 19th, I took a bus to Bierlingen by myself. I saw the Church with the steeple covered in green patina; I also got a better look at the sculpture in the courtyard of the Rathaus. NICE!
I walked by Kluy’s Landgasthof Rössle, the place where we had dinner. My new favorite word: Fremdenzimmer!
This is just a typical house in Bierlingen. Look at how CLEAN everything is here! There’s no dirt or debris; nothing is out of place; everything is freshly painted; the yards are manicured; the homes are adorned with flowers; everything here is just…..perfect!
As I walked into the countryside, I quickly realized that it was even more beautiful than I remembered!
The sunflowers were happy to see me!
The steeple of the Church rests atop a sea of gold.
To the south the fields draw your eye to the Swabian Alps:
Hay bales dot the countryside!
It’s hard to take a bad picture in Bierlingen! There is a harmony to the landscape; the colors and the composition are all perfectly balanced!
Gorgeous gold, green, and blue!
I finally made it back to the community park/playground/firepit:
It’s just a simple firepit, but it’s symbolic of the sense of community here.
It was warm out, so I took a quick break inside the gazebo before heading back to the village.
The golden fields of Bierlingen remind me a lot of the French countryside where Vincent Van Gogh painted so many beautiful works of art. Arles, France is just 500 miles southwest of here. Maybe I’ll go…..I’m already wearing Van Gogh’s hat – now all I need is a pipe and a bottle of absinthe!
The road to the Swabian Alps!
The sunflowers were sad to see me go!
Arriving back in the village, I ended up in front of Kluy’s Landgasthof Rössle. I again marveled at how clean everything is here!
And one last look at Bierlingen as I head back to Börstingen.
I have many more adventures to tell you about!
I’ll keep you posted!