humid continental

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This post is about a 17km walk from Ifta to Heldra. After a cold morning, I buy a wrench, and then I go to a warm place.

A cold night. Or rather: a warm night in my thick winter sleeping bag, but an utterly cold morning. Putting on my clothes, brushing my teeth, having a banana, doing my exercises, packing up the tent – all of this felt awful. For some reason I remembered the snow days in Turkey and in Bulgaria two years earlier to be more bearable than this. Maybe it was simply nostalgia.

Or maybe it had to do with the different levels of humidity. The cold in Germany had a way of creeping into your bones.


It took me a while to get back into walking mode. I watched the goat farmers try to herd in some of their goats for a while, then I turned around and walked north out of the little town of Ifta. My fingers were very cold, but at least it wasn’t raining.

There was a path through the hills that was supposed to take me to a town called Treffurt. I wanted to do three things there: have lunch, buy some provisions, and go to a hardware store. The new spare wheel that I had bought didn’t have a quick release skewer, so I needed a wrench.

road or path

One time I took a wrong turn and ended up in a place where the path led onto a road that was bad. It looked very busy, and it didn’t have a bike lane or a sidewalk or even just a shoulder. I stared at the the cars and the trucks for a while, and I even fastened one of my head torches onto my forehead, but then I decided to turn back and try to find another way through the forest.

A wise decision.

Another wise decision was lunch. I went to a Turkish restaurant and got a large plate of falafel, fries, and salad. The chef was Syrian, and he seemed proud of his falafel.

Then I went grocery shopping, and then I finally got my wrench. Just in case.


There was a choice to be made at this point. Should I stay on this side of the former inner German border and wing it? Or should I cross over to the former West and go to a little guesthouse I had found on the map?

I looked at my fingers and at the clouds of breath that were forming in front of my face. Then I walked towards the west.


the walk from Ifta to Heldra:

  • frauschmitt

    It’s the far lower solar radiation in the more northern latitudes that makes us feel colder. The nights are much longer and at day less shortwave solar energy is available that can be converted at the earth’s surface into longwave radiation which we feel as ‘warm’.


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