fallen trees and forgotten men

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This post is about a 14km walk from Unkeroda to Eisenach. I struggle with some fallen trees in a forest, and I visit the Wartburg.

It felt good to put on my pants, fleece, jacket, wool hat, gloves, and shoes. All of them had been on the radiators all night, and they were nicely dry and warm.

wrong turn

The road out of Unkeroda led right into a forest. It wasn’t raining, so that was nice, but the ground was still wet and muddy, and walking was difficult, especially since all of it was uphill.

One time I took a wrong turn and ended up in a section of the way where a bunch of fallen trees were blocking the path. I went and inspected them: the first two or three looked as if I could maybe go around them somehow. But there were more after that. So I said fuck it and turned around.

Maybe this was one of the core lessons of The Longest Way: to be able to say fuck it and turn around sometimes.

the rainbow

It took a while to get to a point from where I could finally see the Wartburg. This medieval castle was arguably one of Germany’s most important places. Martin Luther had lived here in hiding after having been declared a heretic in Worms in the year 1521. Elizabeth of Thuringia had presumably stayed here as well. And on the map of present-day Germany, the Wartburg was pretty much exactly at the center.

I didn’t notice the rainbow right away. It sat right on top of the castle, sometimes more visible and sometimes less, depending on the color of the clouds behind it.

the way up

Some people appeared and told me to better not attempt to climb up to the castle with the Caboose. Too steep, they said, and too narrow. Also, there were apparently a few sets of stairs.

So I took a path that led down and then up again. One time, it led me to another fallen tree that was blocking the path, and so I sighed and did the shitty thing I didn’t feel like doing: I offloaded the Caboose, lifted her over the tree, and then I loaded her again.

Maybe this was another lesson of The Longest Way: sometimes there were some shitty things that just needed to be done without much fanfare.

Angstloch

There was a parking lot at the foot of the Wartburg. The attendant strongly advised me against taking the Caboose up to the castle (“too steep”), so I parked her there. I had arrived too late to take a proper tour anyway, so it was just going to be a short stroll on the premises.

The castle was interesting, especially the tower. There was a hole in the middle of the tower called the Angstloch (fear hole). Apparently, many German medieval castles had one, and people often associated them with solitary confinement as a form of punishment, when in most cases they had been apparently used for storage.

Not this one, though: in 1540, a local farmer calledย Fritz Erbe had been lowered into the hole as punishment for being an anabaptist.

It took him seven years to die.

pictures

the walk from Unkeroda to Eisenach:



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