Sunday, July 25, 2010

Playing with Google Maps and feeling a pang of longing. / Sehnsucht nach Deutschland

Missy and I love maps. We love playing with them and exploring. And therefore we love, no, adore Google maps. Especially the feature that lets you see satellite images, photos and explore. Would you like to visit Venice? Or maybe Paris. How about a trip through Athens. Or maybe something off the beaten path. Oh, no money, honey? Well, go to the library, grab some travelogues and sit by your computer and pull up the streetviews of these cities. We did just that and more. I visited the town I grew up in. It's called Wahlwies. Well, we moved a lot and that was a town where I lived for almost 8½ years.

Anyway, I found a number of pictures that brought back so many memories but the two I wanted to post and share are these. The first one is the view as I used to see it from my bedroom window. Or Kinderzimmer Fenster. Of course the trees have grown a lot but this was it. It was beautiful no matter what time of the year. The second picture is of an area at the local stream similar to one where my friend Cordula (still lives there) and I spent hours playing. The creek is called 'Die Aach' which isn't saying much because there are countless streams in Germany called 'Aach'.

Of course this all brought back my postcard memories of Germany. I call them the postcard memories because they deal with the beauty and happiness of childhood and carefree living rather than the reality of being an adult with responsibilities. But one thing is for sure, Germany, like much of Europe enjoys a slower life quite unlike the American production and achievement driven lifestyle. So when I see pictures of this town and other surrounding towns I enjoy memories of riding my bicycle with my friends to G├╝ttingen to swim in the ponds. Or to Orsingen to enjoy the chlorinated pleasures of the municipal swimming pool.  It brings back memories of my school (Pestalozzi Waldorf Schule Wahlwies) and the yearly Bazaar which we all so enjoyed and loved. It brings back memories of carefree days hiking with my friends or alone in the woods behind our house.

What brings back your picture postcard memories and to where do they belong?

In response to Eva's question as to the clear images I am posting part of a a screenshot of  google maps.


Eva said...

Oh Marlis, this is a very pretty view. Wouldn't you like to go back and visit once? Would your children like to see it?

I went to google maps to look at the house I lived in when I was young (about 5 until 14), but the view was very blury. How did you find such a clear picture?

Do you ever get "homesick" for Germany?

Marlis said...

Eva I went to Google maps. On the right upper corner choose satellite. Zoom into the area you want. Then, drag the little mannekin over the area of interest and you should see lots of little blue squares. Each square represents a picture someone uploaded on google for the maps. The clear pictures on my post came from such a picture.

I have edited the post to show the little mannekin. Hope this helps.

I do get a bit homesick for Germany every now and then. But I remind myself that my memories are those of a carefree child, not an adult with responsibilities. All that being said, I do confess that my dream is to take my children to Germany some day. I know I will.