Mount Ararat is a volcano in eastern Anatolia near Armenia and Iran. With its 5,165 meters, it is the highest mountain in Turkey and one of the few free-standing five-thousand-meter peaks in the world. According to the Bible, Noah landed there with his ark.More
First run in: Rehsen (Saxony-Anhalt) - Zwickau
The city of Jerusalem as a destination has had a magical attraction for me for quite some time, without any rational explanation. Now the time was right, I needed some time off, I saved some money and freed up some time, I was ready to go. I didn't keep a diary, but when it became more intense, I occasionally posted in Facebook, so that I have a chronological assignment to the corresponding stages later. Time and money were enough for 4 months, so that I adapted my tour to that. But I had to re-plan it in southern Italy anyway. Most Jerusalem pilgrims go the way over Austria, Hungary, Serbia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Greece, Turkey, Syria and Jordan. Apart from the fact that Syria was currently not traversable, I still wanted to go my own way to Jerusalem. I.e. Rome was a must for me and at least a decent stretch along the sea.
In Germany I walked on the pilgrimage routes Via imperii, Upper Franconian Way of St. James, Way Nuremberg - Ulm - Constance, only that instead of going via Constance to Lindau in the direction of Austria. To 90% it went along forest and field paths, the German pilgrimage routes are very well planned. Besides overnight stays with friends and relatives I had until Lindau mainly pensions, youth hostels, sometimes also inns. Only in Reichenbach, Hof and Lindau there were nice pilgrim hostels.
On 29.3.2014 I started early. It was foggy and the months of anticipation slowly became tension: Now it's really going. For the first time I realized what I had started here, after I had to put down my backpack for the first time after 5 km. Shit, was it heavy, I really wanted to carry this thing to Jerusalem? The physical ordeals came quickly, but that was clear to me since I hadn't run in. The route was scenic, passing Bergwitzsee, it went for the most part through the forest of the Dübener Heide. On the way, an elderly lady asked where I was going want to hike with the large backpack. I did not dare to tell me yet, I guess they would have locked me away 🙂. Meanwhile on the first pilgrimage route, the Via Imperii (Szczecin - Hof) gave up 3 kilometers before Thornau my well-tried Santiago walking shoes - sole broken. Not good, I went first to a snack coffee break. I arrived broken at the pension, I had to prick tens of blisters.
The old shoes I left right there, once replacement I had with. After the loving breakfast I took the long way today to Markleeberg in attack. Initially still beautiful in the forest, the route ran today increasingly on smaller roads and dirt roads. In Bad Düben it went a piece of the Mulde along, it was still foggy in the morning, then through numerous villages. Shortly before Leipzig, however, nothing worked for me. The feet, the back, everything somehow hurt. I tortured me another round, but then I saw that I had put too much in myself today. Too far planned without having trained, overconfidence 🙂. A good friend then brought me to the accommodation in Markleeberg. It should still take 3 stages until the feet were free of pain, so the distance to Frohburg was as enjoyable as it could have been.
Weather and path on the Via imperii were almost continuously optimal for hiking, today the path ran through small towns and past some lakes. The next morning I had to walk back a bit before the route led relaxed through the forest, past Lake Pahna. Later it became more roads. As I paused in the castle park to Altenburg, I already saw strange looks now and then. Apparently come rather less hikers or pilgrims with larger backpacks along the Via Imperii. Further it went again on small roads and field paths, through small villages to Crimmitschau. There I had again a private accommodation. The sole of my spare walking shoes was too soft, I had severe pain on the last kilometers.
But well supplied and after much foot care I tackled the next morning the short distance to Zwickau. Until Mosel mainly on roads, the second part of the way led nicely on bike paths along the Zwickauer Mulde. My father brought me today his hiking boots on the way, they had hard soles. Without these I could not have run, my feet consisted only of blisters. In the private accommodation in Zwickau I wrapped these with plenty of Pyolysin ointment in bandages overnight.