If you drive a little way south west of Austin, you come to a sign that says Gateway to the Hill Country and indeed, the ground does start to undulate, to rise and fall in a very pleasant manner. There are some marvellous names such as Dripping Springs [a town], Old Bees Caves [a street], then there's the Drifting Wind run and the Rim Rock trail. We were heading for Fredericksburg, where German immigrants settled from the mid-19th century on. Apparently they resisted speaking English until the turn of the 20th century and were not incorporated into the Union until 1928.
Fredericksburg [named after Prince Frederick of Prussia] still shows many signs of its German origins, and attracts lots of tourists because of this. Varieties of German Wurst is served in the Ausländer Restaurant and we sampled local wines which were apparently grown from German grapes brought over from the Rhineland.
They also seem to have continued with the art of brewing......
Late afternoon, the hottest part of the day, we headed for the Enchanted Rock. After sampling Wurst, wine and beer, I was beyond finding out anything about its history. But it is a truly magnificent place, a round and bare pink mountain rising up out of the green and largely flat terrain around it. It revived my fantasies of camping out in the wild, under the stars – what unimaginable rock spirits must inhabit this place, what dreams might come to you here.