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Hello friends! So sorry for the lack of posts. I have been traveling non-stop and am right now sitting in Monterey, California visiting friends and family for Thanksgiving. Since my last post I have spent time in the Dolomites (northern Italy), a weekend in Munich, Dachau, Washington D.C, Napa Valley, and now Monterey. Its been busy! However, I am excited to finally have some down time and catch you up on all the amazing places I have visited.

Lets begin with my little trip to Oberammergau (pictured above), a beautiful town nestled in the mountains in Bavaria, Germany. Once a year the entire village holds a parade and festival in order to celebrate and hold a blessing for their horses. Everyone particpates and are dressed in beautiful traditional Bavarian clothes.

The procession begins at the entrance of the town. The village bands lead the horse drawn carts and villagers on horseback-both in full regalia proudly smiling. The procession marches through town and then up a long road to the church on top of a hill.

Procession to the church

There, a mass is held and the priest blesses all the horses with holy water and prayers. This is in hopes that the coming year brings prosperity to the tiny farming village. A few hundred people attended the festival.

I really enjoyed experiencing something that was obviously very important to this Bavarian village and their culture. Tiny details such as the intricately braided manes of the horses to the regalia worn by the men, all reflected the villages pride in their culture and history. Everywhere I travel I notice that deep rooted traditions are important and vital to the continuity of a culture and of a people. Everything is passed on from generation to generation with pride and a sense of sacredness.

I will forever remember that crisp fall morning in Bavaria. The sky was an incredible blue against the backdrop of picturesque mountains and green rolling hills. Cowbells were softly ringing in the background as the large procession of people followed the bands up to the church. Children were laughing and friends were chatting as we all made our way up the hill. All were quiet once the mass began except for occasional whinnies from the horses. It truly was a magical experience and one I was so thankful to have experienced.

Until next time, travel well and travel often!

Maia

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