street sign with a name

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This post is about a 25km walk from Hameln to Springe. I walk along a busy road and see a sign with the name Bad Nenndorf on it.

I had stayed in a guesthouse on the riverbanks. It belonged to a local fishing club, and the room was cold, but it was good enough.

no pied pipers?

Hameln was where the story of the Pied Pieper had taken place. I decided to take a detour through the center of the city, not because I was hoping to get to see anything about the Pied Piper, but because I wanted to have a warm meal.

There was a thai restaurant. I ordered a serving of pad thai, and it turned out to be unexpectedly awesome.

And then, as I was sitting there, I thought of something that surely nobody had ever thought of before: Hitler was the Pied Piper. Whenever he had come to the Bückeberg near Hameln, he had led the people away with his rhetorics, his promises, and the propaganda surrounding his persona.

the way

I knew it was going to be one of my last walking days on The Longest Way. There was only the city of Springe up ahead, and then there was the Deister. And then, after that, after that familiar forest, I would be home.

I didn’t feel it, though. The sky was grey, and there was a cold wind in the air. I walked most of the way on a bike lane next to a busy road, so it wasn’t exactly meditative. I saw the same things that I had seen so many times before: drivers tailgating each other, pedestrians walking their dogs, some traditional houses, some prefab buildings, a bunch of trash that someone had carelessly dumped into a forest, a nice sunset where the clouds ripped open for a moment, revealing a day that could have been.

One time I sat down and ate some bread with lentil spread and a bell pepper. I drank tea from my thermos, and I had some cocoa-flavored oat milk.

It was a typical walking day.


And then I saw the sign. It hung from a traffic light at an intersection, and it stated something obvious in a matter-of-fact way: BAD NENNDORF it said. BAD NENNDORF 24KM.

I could not believe it. This was the first time on The Longest Way, the first time ever since I had left my place in Beijing on November 9th 2007, that I had seen a street sign with the name of my home town on it.

I stood there, staring at the sign. I took a photo of it and stared at it some more. BAD NENNDORF 24KM. Then I continued walking.

It was only after a while that I realized that I had forgotten to take a self portrait with the sign that meant so much to me.


the walk from Hameln to Springe:

  • Doris

    Als langjährige Mitleserin bin ich ganz aufgeregt, so kurz vor dem Ziel. Und gleichzeitig frag ich mich dieselbe Frage, die dein Gehirn wahrscheinlich gequält hat: wie füllt man die zwangsläufig entstehende Lücke, wenn das Ziel erreicht wurde? Ich wünsch dir eine erfüllende Zeit DANACH! Freu mich auf alles, was man DANACH von dir hören und lesen kann!


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