This wall is the current version of the terraces that led to the Orangerie at Schloss Mutzschen. It is one of the many special areas on the property that I can envision people gathering. In the foreground are 3 of the women that are helping me to bring Schloss Mutzschen back to life. There is something about creating a team that is the best part of any endeavor for me. It is always about “The Who”, and not about “The What” at all, and the Who on this project is pretty darn rockin!!
The architect on the MotoSoul Project, Sabine Schneider, is a creative, smart, energetic woman who is the absolute perfect balance for me. She brings reason to my dreaming and a sense of style and passion to everything she does. At some point before this project is complete (if ever!), we will get her riding a motorbike too, I am sure of it! But for now, she travels far and wide under pedal power – so she understands…
My friend and Schloss Expert Advisor, Dorothea von Below makes this project more fun than I could have imagined. Her bouncy gait, (like that of a teenager), and never ending laughter have turned many a presentation and business meeting into pure joy. Her assistance in translating my passionate verbosity into German and ability to carry it with enthusiasm and finesse has made this project move forward despite the language barriers at several junctures along the way. Being able to call on her wisdom and experience is what makes me believe I can do this. Whenever we can, we enjoy riding along discovering new roads in the Muldental on the way to our meetings. With her on the back of my trusty Triumph Marlon we have seen many cool places, some that she has never seen before despite having lived in the area for over 20 years, and I am sure there are many more to come. Soon she will be ready to find her own 2 wheeled ride, but for now, I treasure the girl time we share together, laughing and catching our breath in awe often times simultaneously, as we round that bend or come to the top of that hill along the way.
Cathleen Einenkel-Schwager is the project’s landscape architect, which on a historical property that includes 15 acres of park lands, is a major role. The first time I met Cathleen, we walked the entire property together. We bonded instantly over sustainability, preservation, and taking a reasonable approach to these concepts. I feel like with Cathleen I have a Seattle transplant on the project. She is what we affectionately call a “greenie weenie” in Seattle, which is the perfect person for Schloss Mutzschen and for me.
The former Mayor of Mutzschen, Carsten Graf, who is our Project Liaison with the city, arrived for a meeting with the four of us the day this picture was taken with the biggest grin on his face. I forget his exact words, but the context was what I like to call Girl Power! He recognized the skill and expertise that had been assembled and was a bit in awe, and of course a bit surprised as well. I like to think of it as building The Dream Team – just like the US Men’s basketball team – the greatest sports team ever assembled!
As this project has progressed, there have been many surprises. The original estimates of 2 million Euro’s for the renovation are long behind us, but the original vision of what this project could be is also in the past. Each obstacle has brought more opportunity. It is as if I am being told, “think bigger” at each step along the way.
I remember traveling to a motorbike hotel and restaurant last year in Southern Germany when I first started looking for a home for MotoSoul. My friend Thomas said “you could easily buy a place like this.” My response was “I am not interested in thinking small, go big or go home!” Since that moment, he has been fully supportive of my Dream, and he is another anchor in my Dream Team!
I am certain the hurdles are not behind us but only beginning, and yet, each new challenge makes for another new opportunity. Some of them are still in the “crazy wild idea” phase, but who knows, if I can find a passionate “save the endangered species” person amongst the riding community, even the latest crazy idea may get a chance to see the light of day…
The Dream Team will continue to grow and the best and the brightest will be attracted to what we are doing in Mutzschen. Those that believe in the Power of Community will join us at just the right time, and what we create will be incredible. I know it, everything is possible when people that have passion come together.