When I first arrived in Germany I set a goal of traveling to one new country every month. I planned to live in Europe for 15 months, which meant 15 new countries total. My original plan was to leave Europe in April of this year, and I successfully visited 15 new countries by the time April rolled around.
Then Covid hit, the world shut down, and I was forced to stop moving.
The Corona quarantine months were some of the best months of my life. I had already been feeling burned out by all the travel, but I am living in a culture where this is what we do. We work, we travel, and we repeat. Not much time to rest. Heaven forbid I actually stay in Germany instead.
It has been nearly six months since I have been on a plane, or taken a train or a bus to a different country (I have biked to Austria a few times, and one time took a train, but Austria is literally a pebbles throw away.) Instead I have been throwing myself feet first into Germany – by bike.
I never considered myself a biker, but now I can’t imagine my life without this sport. When I was a runner (many moons ago) I never felt the way I feel when I bike. Exercise is meant to be therapeutic, to celebrate what your body can do, and I feel this whole heartedly when I bike. My bike has been my saving grace, and I have grown quite attached to it.
I regret to say it took me FAR too long to figure out how/get the courage to take my bike on the train. The whole process reminds me of when I first bought my Cannondale (which I cannot wait to ride again next month) and rode it onto the ferry sitting among the other bike commuters of Seattle.
The ticket process is simple enough, there is an all day bike ticket for Bavaria and with this I am able to bring my bike onto the train any time, all day long – for only 6 euros. Knowing where to take the bike is another story. Sometimes cabins are full, and I have to pretend I know what the train workers are telling me when they are trying to guide me through narrow rows to another cabin.
With my newfound knowledge of transporting my bike, I decided to visit my dear friend MaryBeth in her new city of Ulm for a Sunday of biking. I have biked all over Bavaria (and still have so many untouched bike paths), so I wanted to explore another state. Ulm is in the state of Baden-Württemberg, and the landscape is like night and day to the state of Bavaria.
Not only is Ulm a larger city than where I live, there are few mountains around and the bike paths take a bit longer to get to. MaryBeth and I decided to bike to a wetland park that is about 15 miles from where she lives in Ulm. This made for a beautiful and different than what I was used to 30+ mile bike ride.
What I loved most about this midwest looking terrain was all the corn fields and sunflowers. There were no big hills, just open fields of farmland.
Our chosen destination was called Leiphmier Moos, and I wanted to go here because MaryBeth told me this wetland preserve is home to some Highland Cows. Perhaps it’s what they signify, or where they come from, but my love for the Heilan Coo is strong.
Moos is the German word for moss, and I have found the areas that end in “Moos” are typically wetland areas. Moss aside, this preserve not only had Highland cows, but it also had bull frogs, ostriches, and water buffalo. I was only lucky to see the first three.
After my temporary pretended teleport to Scotland, we headed back towards the city. We made a pit stop along the way at an abandoned lake where we had a snack and escaped the sun for a moment. My adventures with MaryBeth are always a good time, no matter what we do I always enjoy spending time with her.
The last six months have been incredibly eye opening for me. I don’t want to say I regret how I spent my first year living in Germany, the travel was wonderful, but I do wish I had prioritized this beautiful country more. I’m thankful I was forced to slow down and thankful I was able to bike my heart out in southern Germany.
I see myself living in Germany again someday, which is wild to say because my heart has always been set on Ireland or Scotland. I have a soul tie to the UK, but I now have a soul tie to Germany after my time here. All this to say, you never know where you will end up. All I know is that I am open to just about anything these days!
Q: Is there somewhere in the world you have an unexplainable draw towards?
35 thoughts on “Leiphmier Moos”
Congratulations on accomplishing that first goal, and more kudos on taking a completely different tack afterward. I’m a big believer in the importance of place, which you obviously share, and have had my own seasons of moving about and discovering new locales.
I was strongly drawn to the Pacific Northwest, and managed to live and work there for four years. I very much love New England, too, and we’re even considering moving up the coast in Maine, seemingly far from anywhere.
I love your drive to keep moving around depending on what feels best. I have not been to Maine, or to New England, but I hope to visit both in my time!
I hope those two bikes parked on the side were not results of the COVID apocalypse 😉 I enjoyed your photos 🙂 thanks for sharing
LOL! Parked bikes to snap photos, no apocalypse…YET.
sorry I was giving ya a hard time hope all is cool
Glad your safe 🙂
Thank you, Brit, for another delightful read!
Thank you for reading!
New Zealand! I want to see it all first hand to learn all about the geography and peoples and traditions and music etc. etc. etc. I’ve read tons and watched documentaries and even watch kiwi tv shows when possible. Back in the 90s when I worked for a church where the pastor had spent several years there leading a church, I learned the entire country gets 3 weeks paid vacation no matter where a person works or what a person does for living. I learned more about the government and how over time it had reconciled with the Maori, making them part of everything in daily life and government. This knowledge made me wish my own country could learn from them. Every body gets healthcare. Actually my interest goes back to 3rd grade when I had to do my first ‘research report’ and I chose the kiwi bird.
I love your travel logs from the last year and half+. Thank you so much for sharing all your adventures and personal journey. ❤
New Zealand is definitely on my list of places to visit, purely for the beauty of the country. The accents aren’t too shabby either. I love the facts you shared, it makes me appreciate their culture even more!
As a 10-year erstwhile New Engand resident, I encourage you to visit. So much to see. Rent a car and live in fe-ah. People talk funny so you may need a translator.
As for places I’d love to live, I think I have found my sweet spot. I could easily see myself living in Denmark though, although the long winter nights would definitely drive me batty. (I have only been there at the summer solstice.)
Bikes are great exploring machines, aren’t they?
When I think of New England, I think of rich fall colors and crisp morning air. It’s a dreamy vision.
Denmark is a place I need to see more of. I only visited briefly, but the culture and people were lovely. The cost of living not so much. $$$$$$
I love how you visited a place with “Moos” in its name to see cows! Maybe that’s just my silly side poking through… But it seems like it was meant to be! 😉 I loved seeing your photos of the sunflowers! They brought me back to my college days. There were a few different random fields of sunflowers located near the edges of town that I discovered on some of my longer running routes, and it was so peaceful to see them with their faces turned up towards the sky, following the sun’s path.
Also… I’m so proud of you for slowing down!! That is NOT easy to do, even when literally forced when the world shuts down, and all of the physical, mental, and emotional progress you’ve been making is so inspiring to witness. ❤️
The only reason I specified what the word Moos means in German, is BECAUSE my first thought was “oh, moos and cows…what a correlations.” Great minds…HA!
Your college running routes sound amazing! And thank you for always being such a support. ❤ ❤
When it came time to retire I had a choice
The Pacific Northwest(reminded me of my travels to Europe) or Switzerland …. Since I wasn’t quite ready to depart the USA, it was Washington👋👋👋 , top four other choices
Switzerland, Scotland , southern coast of England and alas family heritage in Germany
Will spend my remaining years in Washington and travel to my top four in Europe when practical and possible…..❤️❤️❤️✈️
When I feel I could lay down on the ground and feel myself sink into its core I know I’m home😊
I cannot wait to explore more of Europe with you, I hope to see some of your favorite places. I am selfishly glad you chose Washington, I cannot imagine my life without you!
I can definitely understand the desire to visit lots of different countries when living in such a central location like Germany…so easy/so accessible. Like you, COVID-19 has in some ways been a gift—making me slow down and stay local. I’m glad you’ve found so much joy during your time in Germany. It’s a beautiful country and I look forward to exploring more of it too.
It was a gift in this way, I thought the same thing! I adore Germany, and I am thankful for all I have seen while here!
I don’t think about Italy a lot from when I visited. Instead of the hustle and bustle of life, Italy was very calm and relaxing, when I stayed outside of Rome. The villa we stayed at was heaven, and had a nice pool. It was out in the country. It was right up your alley. It was total peace. Never thought of myself living there but now I would.
Though in reality I’ll never leave the country it seems but there’s a lot of local places I would go to. Leavenworth of course, somewhere along the Oregon coast, not Portland, that city is messed up. Somewhere in CO would be awesome too but I enjoy being close to water to feel not trapped in the middle of the country. Dunno why.
Where ever you move. Take me with you. 🤞🏼🙂
I look forward to exploring a bit more of my home country. I love Europe, but I know America has many hidden gems too!! The countryside of Italy is a dream, and I can’t wait to spend more time there.
I live in the UK now, but grew up desperate to live in Ukraine. 3 happy years in Kiev in my late 20s and it was wonderful. But for some years now I have been drawn to Iceland. It is amere short flight from where I live, but I have not -yet- gone there. Maybe 2021. 🙂
I think 2021 is your year for Iceland!! I cannot WAIT to visit. Iceland has been on my list for years, but I want to do it right. With a camper van and more than just a quick few days.
I’m jealous you live in the UK though. 😉
The UK is lovely. I live on the Isle of Wight which is its own particular brand of lovely. I can highly recommend a vist. (Drop me a line if you do and I can show you the hidden Isle of Wight). It is a wonderful place. 🙂
Maybe South Korea. I lived there for a year and is 75% mountainous. Enjoy those great rides.
I have never been to South Korea, but it sounds like my kind of place!
Yes, the place is beautiful and so are the people.
Your last paragraph—-so true! Never thought I’d be living in Italy ten years ago, let alone two! You never know where life will take you!
Looking at it this way makes like so much more fun!!
Hi Brittney, I loved reading your travels through Europe. I hope you continue your blog and travel. I just really loved your writing style and descriptions, it made me feel like I was watching and wanted to travel and see it too. I find a lot of travel blogs, shows and writings are very touristy or if you wanted to have their experience it would take 💰. I like the minimalist style of your travel. Walking or biking and stopping at a little local place sounded so relaxing and slow paced. Though it wasn’t slow paced for you because you did it so much! I look forward to what you do next, good luck and safe travels!
Your comment is so kind, and has made my day! Thank you. I will surely continue to blog my adventures after I move back to the states. Besides, this won’t be the last of me in Europe! 🙂
Hey Brittany! Many, many, many thanks for all your blogs and honesty. It brings me back to earth at times and makes me reflect on my own life and how I’m doing with slowing down and mindfulness. I can’t believe you’re leaving again so soon and I’ve never actually come to see you so close by – I will certainly miss the feeling of your closer-by presence and knowing a good number of the places you described in your travel blogs. You inspired me to visit some places in Europe quite close by that have never been on my list.
My “soul-countries” have always been New Zealand and Scotland. New Zealand because I was captured as a kid by my aunts travel tales and when I went to visit I felt home immediately. Only to realize that it is very much like Switzerland just with added beaches and a couple of weird animals and plants. And Scotland for the obvious reasons: The rich history, accents and bagpipes 🙂
But in the end my heart belongs to Switzerland and I feel very privileged for having grown up here.
Anyways, I’m wishing you safe travels home, enjoy the reunion with your family and good luck with and enjoy whatever is next!
Oh friend!! I wish we could have met, but I will be back to Europe soon enough, and I would love to meet you/visit. There are SO many areas in Switzerland I wanted to see, but none of them on a quick rushed visit. It’s top of my list to visit when the world calms down.
Scotland, and all of the UK really have always had a tie on my heart. They are just all so magical.
Thank you for the kind words. I hope you continue to explore your amazing continent!
You’re very welcome to visit, just give me a holler!