Michael Holzach

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This post is about a 25km walk from Holzminden to Amelungsborn. I visit Michael Holzach’s grave and give another TV interview.

I remember telling you about the meaning of December 6th a long time ago as I was walking through China. In Germany, it was the day of Saint Nicholas. Kids were supposed to clean their shoes and put them outside so Saint Nick, the patron saint of children, could drop chocolates, fruits, and candies in them.

When I opened my door in the morning I noticed my shoes, the red trail runners I had bought in Fulda. There was a little chocolate Santa in one of them.


Feldmann’s friends

I sat down for breakfast with the family and shared with them why I had made Holzminden a destination on The Longest Way. It was because I wanted to visit the grave of one of my favorite writers: Michael Holzach.

He had done a year-long, penniless walking tour of Germany in 1980 and written a book about it: Deutschland Umsonst (Germany For Free). I loved that book. After his death in an accident a few years later, Holzach had found his final resting place in Internat Solling, the boarding school he had attended as a youth.

That’s where I wanted to go today and pay my respects.

A moment later I had a book written by Holzach in front of me. It was about his dog Feldmann who had accompanied him on his walk through Germany, and it was illustrated by his girlfriend Freda Heyden.

There was even a little Caboose in the book.


TV and the grave

When I arrived at the boarding school I had just gone through a tire change with the Caboose. Luckily I had bought that wrench a while earlier.

Also, there was a TV crew waiting for me. They were from Sat.1, a privately owned German TV channel, and they ended up filming a short segment of me walking around and talking about this and that in front of the wintery backdrop of the boarding school. It was fun, the only caveat being that they somehow made me appear more adventurous than I really was.

I went to Holzach’s grave by myself. It was a simple slab of stone on the ground. Hey Michael, I said, ich bin da. Then I placed a little stone on his grave as I had learned to do a while earlier, and then I said goodbye.

the darkness

After a bit of walking a local paper called Täglicher Anzeiger Holzminden asked me for an interview in their office. They had tea and cookies, and their place was warm.

When I finally got going it was dark outside, and there was that gruelling sleet again. I had about 18km to go until I would get to Amelungsborn Abbey, where they had promised me a room. So I put on my poncho and stepped out into the blackness.


the walk from Holzminden to Amelungsborn:

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