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Hey! As many of you will have seen, we recently took a trip (well, back in March) to Ireland. We had a great time, but also took some time to capture some film footage. We’ve put it together here in this short piece. We hope you all enjoy!

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Have a great week!

The trip between Dublin and Dingle starts out flying down the motorway toward Limerick, and slowly down-paces from there on out. Dingle, an Daingean in Irish, was a recommendation of several locals before leaving the capital, and caught our attention when described as a quaint fishing town on one of the furthest southwestern points of the island. We were sold.

We hit the road – driving on the left side of the road for the first time soon became second nature – and were met with picturesque rural lanscapes and fresh perspective.

At each pitstop, we encountered the same utterances of financial instability and hardship, yet never came across a dimmed sense of hospitality or unfriendliness. When we mentioned living in Vienna, there were expressions of awe, which sparked reflection over and appreciation of the standard of living that we enjoy from day to day in the city we call home.

The closer we grew to the peninsula, the narrower our path became. Hills started to become small mountains and the lines dividing traffic all but disappeared. We rolled into town as the sun set, found a friendly innkeeper with reasonable prices, and went out for the freshest fish and chips either of us had tasted.

As dawn broke, we rose to the little town we’d been promised. It was sunny. Being March – clearly the off season – the town’s folk were hibernating, but we welcomed the silence as a cue to take it easy.

After our third full Irish breakfast, we went out to discover the beauty of the Slea Head, the rest of the Dingle Peninsula, and eventually head north toward Galway.

Leaving for a road trip at 4AM has its benefits, believe it or not. This is especially true when you’re expecting to be a-drivin’ for eight hours. When we headed out of Vienna last weekend, we squinted at each lonely car we passed until the sun crept over the Alps to the South. We were on our way west toward the Ecke of Germany, France and Switzerland, to get away from the buzz of the city and breath nature’s fresh air.

Along the way we passed Upper Austria’s smooth, rolling hills, and numerous lakes. The Alps drew closer as we neared the German border — right up until we passed Salzburg — then they swooped back south as we headed toward Munich.

Like most road trips, a few more hours passed — as did a few pit-stops and constructions zones — and just as the backseat riders’ murmurs of “are we there yet?” began bouncing around, we found ourselves on the final stretch into the Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald district of Baden-Württenberg, Germany’s southwestern-most state, and home to the Schwarzwald.

A view over Oberried, from our Bauernhof

Sometime in the mid-afternoon, and as if in a dream, we arrived at our destination: the small town of Oberried, tucked away in one of the highest parts of the Black Forest. The history of the small town, with about 3,000 inhabitants, dates back to the 12th Century. The eerie tilt of ancient farmhouses, the narrow streets and nearly illegible Germanic typeface on buildings told the stories of the centuries past.

We had come — the four of us — to get a feel for a new place, a people, and to hike the surrounding forest. Just how that would turn out was yet to be discovered.

Oberried panorama

We weren’t much interested in the monastery church in the center of town — even if it was Easter, or named Maria Krönung for that matter; nor were we even in the slightest way interested in the amusement park that lay on a hillside nearby.

We looked toward the darkness, and the less often traveled paths. Up in the mountains it was still winter, and snow covered the highest slopes, but the hills, treetops, and rooftops of the Black Forest farmsteads were covered in spring sunlight. From Oberried, the trek to Feldberg (the highest mountain in Southwest Germany) and Schauinsland was but a few hours from where we stood.

to be continued…