At Rottach-Egern

I have been to Rottach-Egern once in my life, and I really don’t know if I will ever go back again. This trip took place in February, several years ago. I had some time to take some pictures, as I arrived one day in advance of our meeting and left a day later.

Needless to say, I had never heard of Rottach-Egern before, and I would never have heard of it, if it were not for this trip.
I flew into Munich from China, and took a taxi to Rottach. It’s about an hour’s drive from Munich, and I believe that you go into Austria from across the mountains. It seems to be a popular destination for those who like to ski, but for the rest, I am not sure why someone would want to live there.

I remember the drive to Rottach quite well. The landscape was sparse, and the road was desolate. Trees lined the streets, and while I could see the trees along the street quite clearly, there was an almost ghostly, unearthly beauty in the trees that were some distance away.

As I drove along into Rottach, I was struck similarly by the sparse, lonely beauty of the place. The lake had practically frozen over, and the town church with its tall steeple dominated the landscape. As I walked along the paths, I passed the local brethren walking along the street, eyes focussed on getting to their destination.

People often talk of the diffult conditions that exist in cold weather, and sometimes forget the difficult conditions that exist when it is hot. Frostbite awaits the careless victim in cold weather. Heatstroke and dehydration similarly await the careless traveller in the hot and hostile summer months of the Middle East and South Asia.

The desolation of the place, and the small population make the people in this region independent and dour. So, when I passed the people in the street, not even my cheerful brown skin attracted even the slightest look of curiosity. People passed me by, as if I was some sort of fleeting brown apparition, visible now, then gone forever.

From an Asian perspective, this is a place we would possibly visit, if we had to. Would we live there? No. It would be too lonely for us.

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