Notes and Memories from Denver, Colorado 
Monday, 13 .February, 2006, 13:28 - English Entries, Travel, Photographs

On Saturday afternoon I arrived at Denver, Colorado, where I attend a meeting this week. On Sunday, we took for several hours a trip by car into the Rocky Mountains.

Denver – 16th Street Denver – in front of the Hotel Denver – walking down 16th street
Denver - minus degrees and sunshine.

I was in this region already in September 2001, when the 9/11 attacks took place. Johannes and I at that time drove for over a week through the Great Plains and the Rockies. I remember how I woke up on 9/11 and knocked on Johannes' door, to go for breakfast. He opend and dragged me to the TV. There the first plane had just flewn into the World Trade Center. We did not know what to make out of this situation. Few minutes later we were sitting down at the breakfast room, together with other guests - I think all of them were Americans and we stared at the screen of the TV there. When the towers were still standing I remember one man asking "I wonder when the WTC can re-open again". I know, it's a stupid memory, but on the other hand it also describes how clueluess everybody was at that moment.

Later that day, we were driving into the Great Plains, listening to the radio. I will never forget that. The tremendous land, stretching further out than anything I had ever seen, buildings appearing somewhere in the far distance and growing very slowly out of the flat land, and the reports and interviews on the radio. Obviously nobody had an idea what would happen next. Nobody had a clue what this all means for the future. During the afternoon the name Osama Bin Laden could be heared more and more often. A general said "We must pulverize their cities" and meant a not-yet defined enemy. Othere pleged to not run into a war, without knowing for sure who should be fought.

During the following week we drove through the mountains. It was autumn and the leaves of the birch trees were all showing a warm yellow color. The whole land seemed just to glow in this color - at least that is how I remember it. Whilst the political situation became clearer and first actions were taken, speeches were held, we drove through moutain towns where the roads were lined with US-flags.

Hoosier Pass View from Hoosier Pass on Mount Lincoln
Hoosier Pass
The usual tourist photos

These things came back to my mind, since we landed here. When driving through the moutains again the landscape had not lost any of its magic. It is winter now, the birch leaves and most of the flags have gone but the impression of greatness is everywhere. And the view on the flat land, when going back from the Rockies to Denver, just opens eyes and heart. I grew up next to the moutains and never was too fond of them. Maybe I felt they block the view to something more interesting. Anyhow - you'll never satisfied with what you have. Here, in Colorado, it is also the sharp natural line that is drawn between plains and the mountains, the contrast between a land that looks endless to a human eye and the roads that guides you between high mountains to their top and down again.

No, it was not <em>that</em> cold.
No, it was not that cold. (Seen in a restaurant on the way)

It's four o'clock in the morning now. The time difference is still playing its games with me. But that's ok. The meeting starts in five hours. As long as there is a good breakfast before that, even that might be ok.

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