This is not a gallery of breathtaking photos. I’ve been riding a train for about six hours now, from Munich to Berlin. The rails cut Germany down the middle and give you a great cross section of the country. It’s late autumn now and every tree you see is exploding in gold and red, littering the ground with a see of leaves. The weather in the last week has been nothing short of amazing. My memories of Munich will be clear blue skies and crisp, frosted mornings; riding a bike to school as the sun rises over misted canals and icy trees in the gardens of Schloss Nymphenburg. Munich is at the base of the mountains. I spent a day there, wandering through caves and over snow ridden peaks. Going north, the city ends abruptly and the train dives into orange woods, emerging every once and a while to pass by farms or small towns nestled into hills and around rivers. Eventually the land flattens out and you know you’re in North Germany.
The Intercity Express shoots over the flatland north of Leipzig, dust kicked up from the fields makes for a spectacularly red sunset. There are no hills here; the horizon is a mash of distant church steeples, cranes, houses, chimneys, trees and the occasional group of windmills that sit spinning away against the sky. It gets darker and the land takes on a deeper, greener, subtler tone adding an extra dimension to the forests and houses - the pinks are still there, but it’s as if the colour is rising off the grasses and into the air itself. Haze has been catching the sunlight the entire day, giving even more unprecedented depth and tone to the landscape. Its as if the air is shining. I’ve never seen Germany this way before, which is sad given how long I’ve looked. I would have thought that after all the time I’ve spent travelling or all the time I’ve had to myself to wander and explore every place, nook and cranny I could find; I would have thought that I’d have found this already, but no. Turns out its when you stop looking that the true wonder of nature can reveal itself. That or I’ve just gotten lucky. Winter is coming and I think this is one of the last great explosions of colour before everything turns to that flat shade of grey. The sun is now gigantic globe of deep red hanging half under the tree line. I didn’t have a camera handy today and even if I did, I don’t think I would have been able to capture a fragment of everything I’ve seen. This is one of those moments you have to wait a year to see, where words and pictures can’t do justice. I’ve never experienced a European autumn before but its something worth remembering and treasuring.