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This post is about a 13km walk from Fürstenhagen to Heilbad Heiligenstadt. I start walking late, and I learn the word “sleet”.

I left the guesthouse after resting for a day, having an enormous amount of fried potatoes, drinking tea and talking to the owner, Sylvia. She made the place feel very comfortable, like a home away from home, and on the day of my leaving I sat and talked with her until it was almost noon.

not snow, yet

Then I reluctantly stepped out into the snow. Or rather: I stepped out into something that was like a mix of snow and rain. I had to look up the proper word for it – it was called sleet, and it was the kind of weather that I hated the most. I remember telling you about it in a post called The Worst Kind Of Rain from a few years ago in Kazakhstan.

Luckily the first bit of the way led through a forest, so the trees sheltered me a bit from the stupid water that hadn’t made up its mind if it wanted to be rain or snow. Still, I got wet and cold very quickly, even though I was wearing my poncho and my gaiters.

I didn’t feel angry about it. Just slightly tired of it.


There are no pictures of the last bit of the way to Heilbad Heiligenstadt. It was dark, and there was snow, rain, and sleet everywhere. I felt miserable. Sadly, the monastery the friars from Hülfensberg had told me about didn’t accept any guests at the time, but I made it to the Catholic community center right before closing time.

The Marcel Callo Haus was dedicated to the memory of Marcel Callo, a young French Catholic who had perished in the infamously brutal concentration camp Gusen in 1945.

“Are you a pilgrim?” asked the lady at the reception when I inquired about a room.

Not really, I said, worrying if this would ruin my chances.

“Well,” said the lady, looking at me in my poncho: “I think you are.”

Then she gave me a room.


the walk from Fürstenhagen to Heilbad Heiligenstadt:

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