This post is about a 19km walk from Mainz to Raunheim. We cross the Rhine and camp in a cold spot near the airport.
Mainz has parakeets. They’re everywhere in the trees in the Volkspark, cawing and flying around.
Why are they there? Maybe they escaped from private homes and found hot air vents to shelter during winter. Or maybe it has to do with the bird enclosures that are in the Volkspark.
We watched a drama unfold where a squirrel was apparently in some sort of trouble with two parakeets. They were all very angry, though it was unclear why. A large parrot was looking on from within the bird enclosure.
And then we crossed the Rhine. There was an old railway bridge with a sidewalk that led over it. Having walked along both the Danube and the Rhine for a while, I did not quite understand the German obsession with the latter. We called it “Vater Rhein” – Father Rhine, and there used to be a thing called Rhine Romanticism in the 19th century.
Maybe I hadn’t been to the right areas. But I preferred the Danube.
the coldest night
We walked along the smaller river Main all day, passed the Opel plant in Rüsselsheim, then we had dinner in a Chinese restaurant. The airport was near, and so was the question where to sleep. There were a bunch of airport hotels, but we had just spent two nights in a hostel in Mainz, and we were looking for adventure.
What the hell have we done? I asked the weirdo a while later, as we were huddled in our tent in the northwestern approach path of the airport. It was colder than any night before, I didn’t have my winter sleeping bag with me, a road bridge and a railway bridge were close by, and we could hardly get any sleep from the noise and the freezing cold.
“What do you mean what have WE done?” replied the weirdo, and even though it was dark in the tent I could still see the white in her eyes.
the walk from Mainz to Raunheim: