I was reading a book and came across the word peripatetic. I hadn’t heard it before so I looked it up. It can mean “someone who travels from place to place, especially for work.”
On a glacier in Iceland
My husband and I do travel from place to place. Just in the last month I have been to Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Iceland and Saskatoon.
My grade one class in Arizona
I have also traveled for work in the past as the definition suggests. We taught on the Hopi Indian Reservation in Arizona for a year and in Hong Kong for six years.
Going for a walk in southern Ontario.
A second meaning of a peripatetic is someone who “travels on foot from place to place.” That could be me because I rarely have access to a car so I walk almost everywhere I go. I love to walk and even when I’m traveling I like to fit a walk into my day.
Speaking at school graduation ceremony in Hong Kong
A third meaning of a peripatetic is someone who is a follower of Aristotle. They get this name because the great philospher liked to walk around while he lectured. I know some pastors who walk around the front of the church when they preach. That’s not me. When I am giving a talk or presentation I stand firmly behind my lecturn looking at my notes.
Am I a peripatetic? I do fit two of the word’s three different definitions. So maybe I am.
At Sixes and Sevens
Is Binge Watch A Word?
I drank a beer in Austria. That may not seem like a big deal but I don’t like the taste of beer and I NEVER DRINK BEER. It all started when we got a little bit off the prescribed biking route today. We were seeing some amazing Austrian scenery on our detour but we wondered if maybe we had added an extra twenty or more kilometers to our day. Then we saw this couple having a beer on an outdoor patio beside the bike path. We asked them if we were on the right road to Rorschach where our hotel for the night was located. “We live in Rorschach,” the man said. “And this path will take you right there. It is the best path. The most scenic one.” He also told us we had only gone about 5 kilometers out of our way. We were so happy to hear this we decided to celebrate by having a beer too. I never drink beer but Dave said he would order me a Raedler which is a grapefruity kind of beer and to make him happy I should try to drink it. I did and thought it was surprisingly good.
The sun came out in the early afternoon but it had rained all morning and in my mind I was thanking the young saleswoman at Source for Sports who had encouraged me to spend a little more to get a waterproof jacket rather than just a water resistant one. It kept me completely dry. We passed a gurgling brook and it made me think of my friend Gabe who always reminds me to add sensory details to my writing when I share pieces of mine with our writing group. I decided that I would try to keep track of all the sounds I heard during the day. Here are the ones I remember. I heard church bells ringing, cows bellowing, birds tweeting, warbling, chirping and cawing, dogs barking, corn stalks rustling, raindrops pinging on my bike helmet, my bike tires rumpity bumping over the cobblestones, waves washing up on the shore of the lake, people saying Guten Morgen or Guten Tag, the wind rushing in my ears as my bike swooped down a hill, trains whizzing by, cars honking, a lady briskly shaking a rug out her window, my bike bell binging to warn pedestrians I was coming, goats bleating and a small tractor chugging through an apple orchard. We passed these school children building rafts in the rain. They were going to take them sailing on Lake Constance. The Alps were in view for a time on our journey. Since we were in Austria Dave thought my sister should sing a couple songs from The Sound of Music because she had the starring role of Maria in that musical when she was in high school. This very tall corn reminded me of a song from Oklahoma, the musical in which I had the lead role in high school. The song was O What A Beautiful Morning and the line was ‘the corn is as high as an elephant’s eye.’
We biked 56 kilometers again yesterday and spent the night at the quaint Mozart Hotel in Switzerland, crossing the border from Austria near the end of our biking day.
A Manitoba Boy Learns to Brew Beer in Korea
Biking in Bali
56 Kilometers Under Our Tires
We spent most of our morning cycling in Switzerland. I saw this elderly couple walking hand in hand along a country lane when Dave and I had stopped to wait for our biking partners. At another morning stop Dave and I listened to a cow bell symphony. There were about twenty cows in this field and they were all wearing different sounding cow bells. Apparently Swiss farmers give each of their cows distinct sounding bells so it is easy to find them when they wander off.
Flower lined house in Switzerland.
We passed lots of orchards in Switzerland. Dave stopped to pick some fruit and eat it. I told him it was stealing. He disagreed. He said as a kid when his family would be picking tomatoes on their farm in Leamington tourists passing by would often stop and come into their field and pick tomatoes and eat them. This was the same thing.
My sister by a beautiful field of carrots in Switzerland.
We crossed the border back into Germany and stopped for lunch on the lake. Delicious borscht and bread for some bratwurst for others.
This lovely couple stopped to help us out when we got lost. While the woman showed my brother-in-law where to go on the map Dave started chatting with her husband in his broken German. Dave told the man as a child he had spoken German fluently and to prove it Dave launched into one of the speeches he made when he played the role of ‘Der Hund’ (the dog) in his German school’s production of Die Bremer Stadtmusikanten ( The Bremen Town Musicians.) Dave memorized his lines so well as a child he has never forgotten them. The man smiled and listened ever so politely to Dave’s performance.
Duck by the lake
There are political signs everywhere in Germany because this Sunday they elect a new leader. Current chancellor Angela Merkel is being challenged by Martin Schultz. As I sat on a park bench waiting for a ferry to take us across Lake Constance a German gentleman struck up a conversation with me. He spoke great English. I asked him who he thought would win the election. “Oh Angela Merkel” he said. “I don’t like some of her policies and ideas but I am going to vote for her and so will lots of other people. She is tough and smart and since the Americans have put that idiot into the White House who knows what will happen in the world. We need someone strong and experienced like Angela Merkel leading us. “
Sea gull on a boat at one of the many marinas we passed today.
Our 50 kilometer route today was much hillier than yesterday and then our hotel for the night in Uberlingen was at the top of a very high kilometer long hill. I admit I had to get off my bike and walk it up that hill.
The Pink Jeep
Supporting Each Other
Dave Driedger Bird Detective
Is a swan more beautiful from the front or back? I didn’t know till I took these two photos of a swan on Lake Constance. I think the swan is actually more lovely from the rear. We are biking around Lake Constance or as it is known in Germany The Bodensee. Today we drove the north and west shoreline of the upper part of the lake. 56 kilometres in all. My husband Dave and brother-in-law Ken acted as our navigators. We had a little trouble getting out of Konstanz, the German city where we had spent the night. This friendly elderly gentleman stopped to give us directions and ended up driving part of the way with us and setting us on the right road. The weather was quite cool when we started out but that was great for biking.
My sister Kaaren was easy to spot on the road in her bright red vest.
Our navigators led us astray once but it meant that we had the chance to bike this lovely avenue of poplars.And see fields full of luscious cauliflower, lettuce, turnips and other vegetables. We stopped to take photos of this field of 300 origami cellophane cranes. They formed an interesting art installation by Hadmut Bittiger called Beating of Wings. Cranes are standing ready to begin their worldwide migration. On each one’s wings is inscribed a message in a different language to help people around the globe build bridges between one another.
We took a break for refreshments around noon. It was still chilly but about an hour later the sun burst out and we ended up taking off our jackets and enjoying the warm afternoon. I stopped to take a picture of this wildflower fence and in the process I lost the rest of the group. Thankfully my sister had waited for me up ahead and it didn’t take long for the guys to realize we were missing and my brother-in-law headed back to find us. Dave reminded me that if I got lost all I had to was keep the lake on my left and I’d arrive at our destination for the night……the Chlosterhof Hotel in Stein am Rhein. It is a city in Switzerland. Our bike route around Lake Constance is going to take us through three countries, Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
After checking into our hotel we strolled the streets of Stein am Rhein a well-preserved town with medieval buildings. We looked at the beautiful murals painted on all the shops. The town is called Stein Am Rhein because it is at a point where Lake Constance becomes the Rhine River.
Written on the wall beside our bed in our hotel in Stein Am Rhein is this reminder.
The laughter you send out comes right back to you.
A good thing to keep in mind on a bike trip or on our journey through life.
The World is Full Of Interesting People
Beer and Pretzels
“This is the last boarding call for Iceland Air’s flight to Rejivak. All passengers should now be on board. ” Yesterday we were flying to Zurich via Toronto and Rejivak. Our plane was late leaving Winnipeg and as we stepped into the Pearson Airport in Toronto we heard the boarding call for our flight to Rejivak. Our flight was already at the ‘last call’ stage and we still had more than a kilometre of the airport to traverse in order to get our gate. So we ran! My husband and my brother-in-law raced ahead hoping to get to the gate on time so they could ask the attendents to wait for their wives. My sister and I saw the escalators were jammed with passengers. Taking them would slow us down too much, so instead we climbed up stairs and down stairs, through tunnels, up more stairs, down more stairs, weaving in and out of crowds of people, moving just as fast as we could. I could hear my phone dinging. I was getting text messages from the airline that we needed to board. Finally my sister and I heard our names over the airport speakers warning us that the doors to our plane were closing. We pulled up to our gate just on time, panting and exhausted. Our husbands were there waiting for us. The attendants had held the doors open for us. We had made our flight!!! We wondered with such a short turn around time in Toronto whether our luggage would have made it! When we got to Zurich we discovered it had!!!
From Zurich we took a train to Konstanz, Germany where our week long bike trip begins today. We checked into the elegant Hotel Halm built in 1874 and had a drink and a snack on a patio in the shadow of the beautiful Konstanz train station. Then we were off to pick up our bicycles.I had worried about getting a bike that would be right for me but the rental shop we went to had thousands of bikes to choose from. This friendly guy explained how everything on the bike worked and made all the adjustments we required. We cycled back to the hotel on the city of Konstanz’ beautiful bike paths and over supper looked at the maps we had been given to figure out our route for the next morning. After a rather exciting start to our trip we are ready to hit the road!
The Driedgers Bike Boblo Island
A Bike Ride in Toronto
Biking the Beach in Costa Rica