I’ve decided that while in Bavaria, my husband’s definition of hiking does not apply. He says you need to be at least a mile from the parking lot and doing a little bushwhacking in order to really be hiking. It seems that people here are hikers, there are hikers everywhere with hiking sticks, clothes and gear. His definition of hiking here should be modified to, if you’re not within a couple miles of a “Hutte” then you are really hiking. As I have mentioned before, I love this Hutte way of hiking. I love to know that I am hiking for refreshment and around here that means really good Bier. From Kobelsattel the sign indicated 1.5 hours to Pürschling and rest and refreshment.
It was a beautiful hike. The first half of it was on a path through a forest with no elevation gain. The temperature was perfect and the sunlight filtered down through the trees. There were some interesting things to see along the path like a giant anthill and rabid cattle (just kidding, my husband is still traumatized from Laber Mountain). The last half of the hike was on a gravel road and it went up and up and up for a long time. The kids were skipping and laughing and running circles around each other like puppies up the mountain while my husband and I doggedly hiked up the mountain. He turned to me and said, “At least it’s not as bad as the hike up Hoher.” “Yeah,” I replied, “at least you can see the top.” Ah, epiphany! Hiking is mentally and therefore physically easier when you can see the top of the mountain or at least ending point. Is that the same for everything? Could one live a fuller life if one knew where it ended? If it ends at 99, you wouldn’t be afraid to try things. If I knew I would live to be 99, I would never be afraid to get on an airplane again. Even if I knew it would end in a year, I probably would live a fuller life because I would try everything. I thought it ironic that my husband and daughter were singing the song “Live Like You were Dying” by Tim McGraw on the way down later that day.
I was contemplating this exciting information and entertaining myself by greeting people as I passed them or they passed me to keep my mind off of the hiking. I was working on my new word, “Servus”! I had learned it in the bar the night before (if I drink enough German Beer I think my German might improve). I also learned that I should not say “Tschuβ” in this area, “Grüβ Gott” and “Servus” are the greetings of choice. We had been using “Grüβ Gott” on the trail or “Hallo” but then I decided to say “Servus” to everyone on the trail that I met and work on my pronunciation. So up the trail I went greeting people and adjusting my pronunciation as I went. I don’t remember how the conversation started, but I greeted one gentleman and then as I huffed and puffed past he told me I was doing a good job. He was friendly and friendly Germans get to practice German with me! So, I told him in German that I was slow and my family was much faster and he told me. “Wer geht, sieht viel. Wer langsam geht, sieht mehr.” It took me a while and his help and looking it up later with the help of Google to get the full meaning of the statement but when I got it, Wow! I got enough of it on the trail to know that it meant one who goes slowly see more. Yes! This is proof that the way I adventure is good. I may go slowly, but obviously I am seeing more. Google taught me that Johann Gottfried Seume (1763-1810) was a teacher and poet who decided to take a trip to Syracuse on the island of Sicily. Italy was a common destination for noblemen in the 1800’s who took the Grand Tour, but Seume’s trip was special because he made parts of it on foot. He kept a journal of his adventure, as was customary to do and wrote the book, “Spaziergang nach Syrakus im Jarhe 1802” or “Walk to Syracuse in Year 1802.”
I walked the rest of the way to the Hutte with my new friend. He was someone I wished I could spend more time with. He was intelligent and patient and kind as he talked with me in English and German and Good Humor. He liked people and he laughed a lot and quoted literature. I told him in German that I need to practice German and that it is a hard language to learn. He told me, in German, that Hungarian was hard and he knew three Hungarian words. As we walked through the last gate before the Hutte, he stopped to admire the beautiful flowers on the hillside. He said, “schöne Blumen.” Yes, beautiful flowers indeed.