Biographical Log of Michael Furstner - Page 180

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The Martinshof Story - A Philosophy of Happiness - Life Awareness - Maps & other Text series

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Saturday & Sunday, September 11 & 12 2010 (diary)

Bramen in the Black Forest 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 Glottertal.
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) :

on the UhufelsenWhereas 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.
The USA 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 unemployment.
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 (diary)

Tiny street channels in inner city Freiburg 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.

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.
View of St.Märgen 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 history.

The Vogesen Kapelle 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.
This time 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.

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