For a while now, I have harboured a secret desire to eat lunch by a lake. I’m not entirely sure why, I suspect it concerns being an Aquarian with nary a drop of water about to keep full the terracotta pot atop my head. Being knee deep in Bavaria, the ocean is but a fantastical notion. Here they deal in mountains and fir trees, acres of tidy green pasture. Bodies of water are still, dark and trimmed with sky piercing trees.

We packed our lunch today and drove 30km out of Weiden, into Wiesau which was not at all where the map said the lake would be. The tourist information centre/city hall/police station was closed (because, I suppose when a village has about 4 people in it, tourist information centres/city halls/police station need not stay open past midday) but a handy, and somewhat dated map, proved useful.

The village we next entered was even smaller and featured all the hallmarks of untouched living; fat farm cats slinking around, young children playing by the street and otherwise, not a soul in sight. Here we parked and went looking for a lake by which to eat our lunch.

We found this beauty and deemed it highly suitable.

As an Australian, it always astounds me how quiet German forests are. Quiet both in sound and in general activity. There are birds – when it is warm enough – but they are polite and quite reserved in their singing and you can’t really see them. They are mostly dark in colour and awfully nimble. Beyond the black birds and their occasional finch-like brethren, there isn’t much else. I am forever expecting, as is habit, something to be crawling/hopping/slithering across the ground, near my feet, and so find myself checking every so often, as if I’m going to catch out a Blue Tongue Lizard, Goanna or a dopey marsupial who should be sleeping.

But all is quiet. There are no twigs being broken by little furry feet, no shrill call of the Whip Bird and no sudden movement as a Kookaburra finds its lizard lunch. Just us, the trees and the shy blackbirds.