Friday, October 18, 2013

FREEGRACE FRIDAY! A Few Hidden Gems.



I've been working on the latest book.  We've been traveling.  I got sick.  All these things have been tangled up in each other and have made for a time vacuum.

Now that I'm settled back at Freegrace and my lungs are slowly clearing from the muck and mire, I'm able to post a little something and savor a few lovely discoveries on the farm like the new hidey hole Lacey has found in the corn crib to lay her eggs.  The ancient crab apple trees tucked on the back acres of the property that appeared as if by magic as we followed a new path made by our resident deer.  The bulbs of garlic I planted last fall and thought had been dormant but only now decided it was time to start growing, ditto to the fava beans that decided to follow suit.

Stretching our legs after a long flight.  Can't beat the view.

A week ago, on the other side of the Atlantic, I was exploring another place I call home.  So before I lavish you with images from Vermont in its fall glory (I'll save those for next week), let me share a few moments of autumnal discovery from Bavaria and Salzburg.




Just off the plane in Munich, we took a short drive and stretched our legs alongside a small lake.  This kitty was the first to greet us, shimmying out from under a fence and bouncing over to me.  I bent down to snuggle.  She upped the ante and hopped onto my lap.  Well played little kitty.  Well played.


Along the lake's path, I couldn't resist taking a picture of this ancient gem of a church entry.


Hidden away, someone's winter wood.


Oktoberfest.  As it should be.


Salzburg.  It was a magical city in which to live a few tender year.  I love it more each time I visit.



My childhood friend, Volker, took us up an alley a few steps from Mozart's birthplace in Salzburg.  Tucked away in a hole in the wall, LITERALLY, was a stand selling the most outrageously delicious wurst sandwich.  It's called Balkan Grill.  I just drooled on my keyboard thinking about it.


The oldest bakery in Salzburg has been churning out bread and pastry since the 7th century.  I grew up in this town as a kid and this was my first visit.  They still grind their wheat with that grist mill.


Salzburg's oldest restaurant, the St. Peter Stifstkeller, is tucked away inside the city walls.  You'll see the sign "Seit 803" and a tunnel.  Don't be afraid.  Walk through the darkened space with confidence.  There's beer and sausage awaiting you on the other end.  I couldn't resist raising a glass with family and friends to soak in hundreds of years of conviviality.


Keeping with this theme of discovery, I went on a little walkabout in the St. Peter Stiftskeller searching for a bathroom.  I couldn't help myself when I realized that the place contained a network of private dining rooms.  I broke into a few and took pictures.  This one was my favorite.


What me, stop for pastries?  Of course!  You may be familiar with the famous confection, Mozart Kugeln (Mozart Balls, no joke).  Cafe Fürst Konditorei created the first Mozart Kugeln and they still make them by hand.  They also create so many other gorgeous tasties that it's hard to leave.  Heaven.


I have a nose for hidden bakeries and Salzburg has the very best signage for them.


At the end of our journey we made our way up a long, windy path through the alps to find a slice of heaven in the hills.  Zwetschgendatschi!