Saturday, August 18, 2007


I remember in primary school having to recite a poem to the rest of the class. Never had trouble learning the words of poems (still remember many after 60 odd years) but as for recitation – not really my thing! But I suppose it really wasn't so bad as there were only five in my class.
“Trees” by Joyce Kilmer
“I think that I shall never see
a poem lovely as a tree. Etc. etc. “
Funny way to begin. A damning indictment of her own effort. And her poem has'n really made the all-time greats list.
But she's right, trees are lovely, and thinking about her poem reminded me of Weinhein – a smallish town near Heidelberg in Germany. Gert worked in the town at that time and wanted me to visit it. Sounds a good idea I thought, knowing that “Weinheim” meant “home of wine”. “No,” he disappointed me “the town was originally called Winenheim after a local chieftain named Wino. But that was back in 500AD and by 1000 the name had changed to Weinheim.”

But it does have the largest cedar tree in all of Germany. Wow! Now that is a draw-card! But in spite of that I did visit Weinheim and was not disappointed. I saw the 250 year old giant cedar (my photo is looking up into its branches). More interesting however was the 50ha. “exotic forest” which bordered the castle park in which the cedar grew. This is a forest of hundreds of different trees from all parts of the world. A local chap, Baron Christian von Berckheim, had the idea back in 1860 and planted this forest collection for future generations (he died in 1876). Today one can admire this collection of mature trees, like the Ginkgo (photo) which was just shedding its leaves when I was there.
A walk in a world forest. What a wonderful idea the Baron had!

And there were lots of other things in Weinheim – old castle, new castle, churches, cute old streets, old houses (renovated), old houses (not renovated) and ample places to sit and enjoy a glass or two of wine.

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