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This post is about an 18km walk from Fulda to Hünfeld. I wonder about shoes, walk next to a busy road, and end up in a monastery.

Shoes had always been an important part of The Longest Way. Back in 2007, I had started out wearing hiking boots made of leather. They were durable but heavy, and they gave me blisters.

from boots to trail runners

Then I had gotten a pair of regular, low-cut hiking shoes. They were still made of leather, but they weren’t as heavy as the boots. I didn’t have an easy time with them, either.

I oscillated between leather boots and leather shoes for years, and then, at some point (I don’t remember when), I said fuck it and started wearing trail runners. And then, in 2021, after my diagnosis, I landed on one specific brand of trail runners called Hoka, a brand that made shoes that were very bouncy and comfortable and also almost comically ugly.

red shoes

So before arriving in Fulda I had called a sporting goods store and ordered a pair of Hoka trailrunners. When they asked me which color I wanted I told them to just get me the most ugly ones.

I was surprised when they gave me a pair that was red, just red. It felt like wearing Ferraris on my feet. Or the fire brigade.

the bad road

I left Fulda in the rain, and the only thing that made it bearable was an adorable traffic light that I saw. It showed the silhouette of a little girl.

After that I was on a bicycle path next to a very busy road for most of the day. It rained heavily sometimes and lightly at other times, but it never stopped raining. The traffic was loud, especially with all the water on the road. So I put in my earphones and listened to a podcast.

the monastery

When I arrived in the town of Hünfeld, I thought it would be a good idea to go to the Boniface Monastery that was right in the center and ask for a place to sleep. Most monasteries, just like most mosques, had been good to me on this journey.

An hour later I was in a small, simple room with a window from which I could see the rain falling onto the world outside.


the walk from Fulda to Hünfeld:

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