While out for a drive…

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A Bahnhof too Far

photo of gasthof

A friendly place!

We were on field maneuvers in southern Germany and this weekday evening I was off duty. I knew that there was a bahnhof a couple of miles away; so I thought that I would hike down there, have a few beers, and relax. I found the railroad tracks just outside our camp and began to walk along them in search of my destination. The area was heavily forested, and darkness was approaching; but it wasn’t long before I found the station. It was warm inside and there was a friendly atmosphere so I stayed for an hour or so.
I needed to get back before bed-check at midnight so I decided that it was time to get going. My spirits were high as I headed back down the railroad tracks in the direction that I had come. It wasn’t long before I came to a spur leading off in another direction. ” Where did that come from? I didn’t see that before!” I had no idea which one that I came in on; I just started off on the right. “But wait,was this the way?” I was somewhat panicked; it was pretty dark, and I was confused,turning back several times before continuing on. Shortly I came to another spur; now I was really lost and it was getting perilously close to midnight!
About to give up hope of ever finding my way; off in the distance I saw a faint light shining through a break in trees. I left the tracks and headed cross country; stumbling through the forest I finally came upon our camp, making it just before the bewitching hour.

German Ant Hills

Years ago when I was in the US army in Germany, I was stationed in the small town of Babenhausen. Behind the rear of the post was a large forest with many interesting trails. On some weekends when I didn’t have a pass to get off post, I would go out back, climb the fence, and explore these various meanderings. There was a wide variety of wildlife to be observed, and occasionally one might see a deer or wild boar.

On several of these excursions I would come upon these giant ant hills. They were upwards of three foot tall or more! They seemed to be mostly composed of pine needles, and they were swarming with activity. Around the perimeter of the hill there was a small trench, lightly filled with leaves, twigs, and more pine needles. It seemed to be constructed so that if some unfortunate small animal came too close it would fall into the trap. At which time the creature would be instantly covered by the ants, and stung into submission. It was kind of shocking how quickly this would take place. In some places there were several of these hills in the same area.

I couldn’t help but imagining the macabre image of someone stumbling on to one of these on a foggy day. One could lose their footing and fall; whereupon the hapless victim would be quickly enveloped, and perhaps paralyzed by this horde of tiny hunters. Fortunately, I never heard of any such occurance. But I always made it a point to do my exploring on a bright and sunny day.

commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Ant_hill by Guido Guerding

Brenner Pass

Road trip to Italy

Road trip to Italy

The other day I was thinking about some of the cars that I have owned, and I came across this old photo.

One winter in Germany when I was in the army, some friends and I decided to take a trip to Italy.
We got this great old vehicle ( I have not a clue what it is ) for almost nothing, I suppose because only the front brakes were operable. But it got us over the Brenner pass in Austria, from Germany to Italy and back, after a fashion.

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