Living in mountainous areas vs hills vs flat areas

37 posts in this topic

Hello,

from people who had the experience of both living in

- Mountainous areas (like the Alpine regions of Switzerland, or Norway, or the Scottish Highlands)

- Hills areas (like central Germany or many parts of Ireland)

- Flat areas (like Denmark or the coastal areas of Germany)

 

How did you find life different between the three? I'm not talking about the climate, but more on a "philosophical" level: How does being unable to see some/much of the horizon, having a wall of rock in front of you, influence you and the people around you?

The stereotype that people living in mountains are closed-minded is true, and if yes, why?

The other stereotype that cities with an harbor are open-minded, but unsafe, is true?

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My 2 cents:

 

I have noticed that living in a ditch tends to make me more susceptible to outside influences, like litterers.

 

And I wouldn't blame the closed-mindedness of mountain dwellers on the inhabitants themselves. They just aren't likely to hear you from that far up.

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I have noticed that, philosophically, in flat places, things tend to run sideways rather than downwards.

 

And while life in a ditch definitely has its downside, living closed-mindedly in front of a rock wall is potentially as hazardous as living open-mindedly by the sea.

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This too:

 

The last time I had a wall of rock in front of me I almost went deaf

 

post-132669-13121573802276.jpg

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Unsure. I'm at an open harbor, yet it's blocked by mountain buildings. Or are they hill buildings? Philosophically, minds are uncertain and relatively safe. Maybe.

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Is this a multiple choice question? I'd pick D, all of the above.

post-33917-13121575283196.jpg

post-33917-13121575473006.jpg

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The OP would like to know how life is different in those various terrains, not how awesome-looking everything is.

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Of course it's different, that's why I'd pick all 3. :P

 

I like a flat ocean. I like the Sierra Nevada mountains. I like rolling hills. Care to guess where those 2 shots were taken?

 

I lived near Hamburg. Flat as a pancake. I was going mad.

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NO! Thanks for playing. Big Sur, CA and Cinque Terre (Manarola), Italy. Heaven on earth.

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Philosophically speaking, I prefer to remain open-minded, however, with my back turned to the world, staring out into the openness of a non-flat ocean.

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Living down in a valley is depressing since you get a lot less sunlight. The light is blocked by the surrounding hills and mountains so that dawn is delayed and twilight settles in faster. Every way out is uphill, and psychologically you begin to feel closed in. That is what leads to closed minds.

 

Living up in the mountains gives the impression of vast spaces with breathtaking views. Out on the prairies, the lack of any real geographical landmarks for miles around and seeing just a straight horizon going on forever can be a bit monotonous, but at least you don't feel hemmed in like when down in a valley.

 

After trying out all three, we've now got the best of both worlds. We're living up on a large plateau on top of a big hill/small mountain. All that's missing is ml's ocean view.

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Hello,

from people who had the experience of both living in

- Mountainous areas (like the Alpine regions of Switzerland, or Norway, or the Scottish Highlands)

- Hills areas (like central Germany or many parts of Ireland)

- Flat areas (like Denmark or the coastal areas of Germany)

 

How did you find life different between the three? I'm not talking about the climate, but more on a "philosophical" level: How does being unable to see some/much of the horizon, having a wall of rock in front of you, influence you and the people around you?

The stereotype that people living in mountains are closed-minded is true, and if yes, why?

The other stereotype that cities with an harbor are open-minded, but unsafe, is true?

 

Strange as it may sound, I can't say I remember hearing about these stereotypes before although as someone else suggested the fact that mountain folk traditionally had little contact with strangers might've made them a bit contact shy and given grounds for such a reputation.

 

I have lived for months at a time, both in winter and in summer, in the Grampian Mountains of Aberdeenshire and for years in the flat area of North Humberside. Now,and for over a decade, I live in a village amongst the hilly wine producing area of Rhein-Hessen in RLP. People here are friendly to strangers, but would not accept anyone in to routine of their social circle who had not already established themselves locally for at least 7 generations. I suspect they think there's not much point in getting too involved with tourists passing through.

 

 

How does being unable to see some/much of the horizon, having a wall of rock in front of you, influence you and the people around you?

Whilst true that the number of hours of sunshine, in winter particularly, could be quite a lot less the dramatic changes of light playing on the wonderfully mixed natural landscape was inspiring. The mica in bare patches of granite rock glistened like diamonds in sunlight and, although a little greyish in shadow, in rain they would shine out too. Except when the landscape was snow covered for weeks, in all seasons the variety of shades of greens and browns were artistic and, from spring to autumn, the purples of the heather and thistles added superb highlighting. I personally found the folk to be quite sociable, but that may have been be a reflection of my approach to them.

 

I spent 7 years in the seaport of Hull which like the area of Lincolnshire, known as New Holland, across the Humber is as flat as a billiard table for about 20 km in any direction.

 

The main significant effect of the flat terrain was the popularity of cycles and mopeds as one of the major means of commuting. The fact that many major roads in Hull were, at the time, crossed by railway lines from the docks added to the advantages for 2 wheelers. Every time a crossing gate closed they would amass at the head of the lines of cars, busses and lorries which would then, after the gates reopened, have to crawl behind the cyclists until they were all back in single file again. A somewhat disconcerting situation for incoming drivers, but a boon to the fitness of the workers and schoolkids.

 

We certainly enjoyed more hours of light, but I do remember how powerfully and unrelentingly the winds blew. Going or coming to school whilst bending forward at near impossible angles, fighting not to get blown into the road by a particularly vicious gust, getting hit by a hailstorm of conkers (chestnuts) was a part of every autumn season. In the north east of Scotland we also got strong winds, but the direction and constancy varied much more due to the mountains.

 

living for 9 years in Cardiff, at a time when it was still also an international seaport I did notice some likenesses in attitudes, and in the mixed backgrounds, of a lot of the citizens of Cardiff and Hull which I do think was connected with their maritime history. Generally, but not universally, more open-minded to strangers and a willingness to take on, or try out, different cultural fashions, dance or music styles and culinary offerings.

 

Contrasting with that was a certain xenophobic group mindset of those who resented the strangers, envied their successes and blamed them for their own inability to progress socially or financially. I had thought, by the early 1980s, that education and social awareness had left these negative people as a shrinking, soon to be extinct, minor footnote in modern history. Sadly, they seem to have gained oxygen by their ability to find resonance via the internet throughout the world.

 

Safety? For incoming foreign sailors it had to have been a significant issue in these cities, just as in any international port. They were coming ashore with their wages in hand aiming for a harbour bar and hoping that a tryst with a "lady of the night"lay in the near future. Many were naive young men and were as likely as not to be targetted by con-artists, pickpockets, and thieves. When at risk of getting caught some of these villains could prove to be murderously violent in their resistance.

 

For the locals, as for me, there was much less risk as most knew either where not to go or who was important to know. Even though I worked for 3 years as an AM in a large nightclub/disco on the edge of what used to be called Tiger Bay (Cardiff's Docks district) I never worried about my own safety. There again that may be due to own my personal attitude. I've heard from locals in Cairo and Casablanca that they would not have gone where I had been late at night in their home city as they had too much fear of the risks.

 

I suspect you are trying to plan for your next stop on your global tour and wish to avoid cultural adjustment problems. If so may I respectfully suggest you do some serious preparatory work on the outlook from the inside too as, without some attitude adjustment, I fear your efforts may be doomed to disappoinment.

 

Good luck and have fun finding out where you feel most at home in the world.

 

2B

 

PS: Oh, and keep in touch after you do leave Germany. We will all miss you terribly if you don't.

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NO! Thanks for playing. Big Sur, CA and Cinque Terre (Manarola), Italy. Heaven on earth.

 

 

Agree with Cinque Terra. I recognized it immediately mlovett!

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Visited Berchtesgaden, Twice. Hills both times, did I say hills,??? MOUNTAINS.... The locals laughed whilst I coughed my lungs out,... They giggled as I experienced my first heart attack,... They are SO FIT. Not like us puny Canadians that only live in igloos and eat raw Walrus and make love to polar bears... ps. I had a great time there !!! wanna go again !!!

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Having moved from the med coast to the Pyrenees 12 months ago (and work a bit in Munich but thats another story!) here are a couple of observations for you.

 

'Mountains' vary hugely - each valley has its own micro-climate giving v different temperatures, snowfall and sunshine. Decide what you like and checkout climate patterns before moving.

 

Views - We looked at Andorra, nice tax regime but no horizon at all as its all in steep V shape valley. They reckon that this can make you go stir crazy. So we stayed on the French side for the vistas.

 

Culture - From my experience there is a distinct mountain culture. Technically we are in France on the Border with Spain, though its also called Catalonia. But really it does not follow a national culture - its about outdoor living, slower pace of life, being chilled, independent but also supporting your neighbour plus a bit of self sufficiency. Townies often struggle with this. Folks who like nature and can do without a few creature comforts thrive in it like we do!

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