Biographical Log of Michael Furstner - Page 180
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The Martinshof Story -
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Saturday & Sunday, September 11 & 12 2010
Saturday is a beautiful sunny day, but I am rather tired from yesterday's walk
along the Schluchsee (Walk 1), and stay at home working on photos
and maps, and sunning on my balcony. In the evening dinner with Wivica at the
Waldcafé, which is good as always.
Sunday the weather is still nice and I do another walk down the 8km long Glotterbach trail, with of course lunch at Wirtshaus Zur Sonne in
On my way I found quite a few what we in Dutch call "bramen" (blackberries in English). They grow wild in the countryside all over Europe. As kids
we would pluck and eat them in the woods around Martinshof every summer. One month ago they were
starting to ripe in Holland. Here up in the Black Forest (at an altitude of 700m+) they
are a month behind.
When I was in Baden Baden I found the International
Herald Tribune newspaper (a Global edition of the New York Times) readily available
at all News stands. Some of their wide ranging articles are very good and informative.
Germany certainly gets a great plus in it for their handling of the GFC (Global
Financial Crisis) :
Whereas many countries, like the USA,
UK and Australia, spent huge amounts of money (much in Australia in panic) through
their "rescue packages", Germany in contrast was much restrained.
spent 6% of their GDP (Gross Domestic Product) while Germany spent only 1.5% of their
GDP. The USA continually pressured and repeatedly requested that Angela Merkel spend
more, but she firmly refused.
And what is the result? The USA is still spending to
prop up an economy going nowhere with high unemployment, while Germany's economy has
recovered and is expanding with booming exports and drastically reduced
Interestingly two thirds of Germany's exports (in cars and
heavy machinery) are going to other European countries, while only one third goes
elsewhere, notably Asia and the USA.
I have this curious thought : the very objective which Hitler (fortunately)
could not accomplish through war, has been achieved by the Germany of today in
peace through its mighty economic power : a united Europe of which Germany is
largely in control.
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Monday - Wednesday, September 13 - 15 2010
I must say that the daily weather forecasts on TV here are pretty spot on, and I am
learning to plan my days in accordance with it. So Monday is overcast with rain and
Wivica takes me down to Freiburg for some shopping. Tuesday is dry with the sun weakly
shining through a high light grey hazy sky, so I walk. Wednesday rain again, so I work
on my photos.
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Freiburg is truly a beautiful city, and the city council maintains the many exquisitely decorated old buildings very
conscientiously. The inner city has also a unique feature which I have not seen in any
other city before. Throughout the inner city there are cute narrow channels (30cm, 1ft wide) with clear
running water, located in the center or near one side of every street. This gives a
wonderfully fresh and most enjoyable feel to the city wherever you walk.
Tuesday morning looks good (as predicted), so I take the bus to St.Märgen to walk the 8km long walking trail to my home, the Steingrubenhof near St.Peter. It is a truly
memorable walk, with beautiful views alternating with stretches through dark, dense forests containing tiny springs of the clearest
water. There are also two small bush chapels, the Kapfen Kapelle and the Vogesen Kapelle, the latter with an interesting
The 8km walk takes me 2 hours to complete, arriving back at the Steingrubenhof just
after midday. I still feel fit and in the mood, so walk straight down to the village
again to catch the bus to Kirchzarten, then onto the train to Aha to do a second walk (Walk 2)
around the Schluchsee.
I walk eastwards along the Northern shore of the lake. In just one hour I cover the 4km
to the lovely Schluchsee Railway station, where they have the small "Seecafé, an
excellent spot to have my rather very late lunch : a Rothaus beer. At a quarter
to 4 the train arrives and I travel back home, where I arrive, tired but very
satisfied, at 5.30PM.
In total I covered a good 15km today, which pleases me no end, and also encourages me
towards a vague future plan I have. For a few years now I have been contemplating to
walk a short segment of the historic Jacobsweg, the Medieval pilgrims trail
which leads (from England ?) right through France, then after reaching Spain, turns
West through Asturias and Galicia to end up at its final destination Santiago de Compostela.
I have noticed
that even after these few walks my condition and strength have improved quite
significantly. So I will give serious thought and planning to do a segment of perhaps
50 or 100km in Northern Spain along this Jacobsweg, all being well, in two years time
to celebrate my 75th year alive.
Copyright © 2010 Michael Furstner