To say it was foggy was an understatement. The gray was profound, it was all encompassing. There was no way to distinguish morning from evening or even noon. Things were often this gray in this forest. Whether spring or autumn. Yet it was my favorite place to walk, out here there wasn’t much that would bother you, you could walk and let your mind wander.
Like this building here, it’s clearly used on some regular basis, but I’ve never seen a single soul in it. I imagine though that given the fog, the constant moisture, the inside smells as here outside. Thick and moist. While the brickwork on the outside, tiles on the roof, they all look like it’s been built in the early 90’s. The inside looks like a wooden cottage. Shades of orange of the lacquered wood everywhere. Although I’ve only peeked inside. I wonder what people do here, here in the constant fog.
There’s piled of wood, a fireplace, one could live here, but the moisture is just everywhere, I couldn’t imagine they could get a kindling going here. Yet here it is, recently used. Which every time I visit, it leads me to wonder, this life in parallel, this unseen experience of others here. Does it exist and do I? How can this forest be so lush and green when all I see is fog.
I continue under the canopy of the trees and slowly ascend the hill. Condensation forming on the trees, it’s leaves and pines. Droplets growing together and ultimately falling on my head. A minor inconvenience in this beautiful forest. As I rise, the trees give way and the terrain slowly transforms to a mountain. Big limestone rocks reveal the mountainside. The road becoming slippy.
Through the thick fog outlines of the buildings show, although it’s mostly rust that shows. Revealing the industry that used to be here. Clearly older than the cottage before, another sign of life here. A railroad track appears from the mist and levels with the path. It must be noon by now, but the light hasn’t changed, the sky is still profoundly gray. The path and railroad level out into a sort of plain. The fog is just slightly thinner to show the buildings in the distance.
Modern fences prohibit entering, the tracks bend, pass under the fences and enter the large buildings. It’s clear though that there have been plenty of people that still entered since this place was closed. Partially repaired and subsequently re-enforced fences near the road coming in. Further away more recent “damage”, from fences that were apparently moved. The caretakers of this former facility clearly had slowly forsaken the care after it had closed. Meanwhile I still had not run into a soul. This whole trip through the fog might simply be a construct in my mind, a daydream. I could wake up any moment in my living-room, none of this even happened.
Though it all felt real, I felt like I was going towards the top, that in a few hours I would find my place to stay the night. I stopped to eat and as my feet were no longer crushing the rocks beneath. Stopping, my breathing slowed and for a moment I took in the silence. For as profound as the gray was, the silence was too. There was nothing, not a single sound. Away from the canopy of the trees there were no drops of water, there was only this profound silence. Maybe there were sounds but everything was muffled by the fog, to me, there was nothing. No sign of life or further existence.
I moved on, leaving this old facility behind me, further up the mountain. The path quickly shrunk and started to hug the mountain more closely. While the inclination was constant, the path simply got rougher. My feet struggled more and more to find solid footing and my breathing quickly turned heavier. Progress was slow but constant.
Then finally the fog thinned and I could see the green on the mountainside. I was nearing the top, nearing my stop. I got to the higher plain and the fog all but disappeared. There was my destination still some distance away, a hotel on the mountain. The path still slowly rising, there was no doubt this place was absolutely beautiful. I wasn’t until I neared very close that I saw someone, the first person on this trip. The first acknowledgement that this was not a dream. I was greeted: “grussgott, can I help you, a table or a room, or perhaps a refreshment to begin, you look like you’ve been traveling for a bit.”
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