Black Forest

In a room in an old hotel, with snow falling gently down, in a little mountain town in southern Germany, with a nice dinner topped off with some schnapps made from Cox Orange Pippin apples on the banks of the Rhine.  A trip by train and car from Zürich through beautiful countryside; not wild but not entirely cultivated; towns built to live in and buildings built to last.  I got the sense that this was what New England would look like if we had never discovered Ohio, Iowa, California – a landscape fully and permanently inhabited by people who meant to stick around.  Agriculture, industry, and residence tightly integrated into the countryside, seemingly by people who realized that the good lord wasn’t making any more space, and so they had best use it wisely.


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