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Search 69,459 Camino Questions

From my doorstep in Germany - a (very!) long term project

Time of past OR future Camino
Inglès April 2023
Primitivo July 2023
I have been following the excellent thread from @sunflowerfunk, and it got me thinking. As others have pointed out I am one of the fortunate ones - I live in Europe. Specifically, Germany. Which, theoretically at least, is in walking distance from Santiago. And Germany has a 49 euro monthly transport card, usable on all regional transport. Plus, due to my current personal situation I often have rather a lot of free time on my hands on the weekend's.

What do all these things have to do with each other?
Well it turns out that the Jacobsweg (Camino) runs near me. (Technically speaking two of them do). I came across it out walking with a friend recently - a beautiful Camino shell, on a route map in the middle of nowhere.
Now Google Maps says that it's only 22,5 days ( walking 24 hours a day ! ) or 2359 kilometers to Santiago. (68 days at just under 8 hours a day). That of course is on the road which isn't much use to me. Plus the fact that it's taking me through Belgium and the whole of France..... A tad expensive.

So I came up with a slightly different plan. Whenever I have the time, I'll walk a section, then get public transport home again. Of course, the further I get away the longer it'll take me to get there and back. And some sections won't finish anywhere near public transport, so I'll have to do a double, perhaps 3 or 4 sections. And at times, make my own Path between one Camino and the next. But as I live not far from Berlin, there's pretty good connections from the major cities and towns. It will make the camino longer but hey what's an extra 800 or so kilometers between friends? It will only add a few days to the walk.
For logistical reasons I'm starting in Potsdam. I've trained around the Potsdam area prior to my two caminos this year - I really like the City. And as it happens I've already walked from my door to the Potsdam central station, more than once.

So today I started. I took the train to Potsdam Central Station and started walking. It was either a short stage or a very long stage and as it hit 28 degrees today I decided on the former. There's also the fact that I'm not at peak camino fitness!
As it happens I've also already walked most of this way, just not always exactly on the official camino - not that it's marked. So today I did. Unfortunately the short stage is only 12 kilometers long which didn't really satisfy me so I did an extra five k's. Found a bus stop with 10 minutes to spare - the bus only runs every two hours. Had I known exactly when the bus was coming I wouldn't have rushed quite as much on the last stretch. Including falling flat on my face for the first time ever whilst walking, I covered the last two kilometres in 19 minutes flat! A significant increase on my previous 4.3 kilometers an hour.... .
Oh, and in case you're wondering, with fortunately no injuries other than a couple of tiny scratches and a bit of bruising.
My mind has yet to learn what my body already knows- I'm 59 not still in my 20s.. sigh.
I'm now safely home, I've had a great dinner and I'm really looking forward to the next opportunity to walk. Of course now that I want to get out, it looks like I'm fully booked next weekend. Oh well, there's always the weekend after....
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
What a great project!

May I ask which route you intend to take? I've walked from Postdam to Leipzig (and then Naumburg) once, and hope to continue on the via regia one day.

Funny thing, the first few sections I also did on the weekends and then went back home!
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
May I ask which route you intend to take? I've walked from Postdam to Leipzig (and then Naumburg) once, and hope to continue on the via regia one day.
Do it! I've walked Naumburg-Erfurt.
A very nice stretch, many local winemakers near the Saale ;) and a bunch of real historical important sites.
And it is somehow a lookalike of the italian Toskana.
 
You have a credential, I hope. Walking all that way deserves acknowledgement.
Guten Weg, Bonnie Chemin, and Buen Camino, pilger!
Funnily enough, I do, but as it’s not a requirement for accommodation I’m not going to use it. The only acknowledgment I need is the knowledge that I’ve done it. Although, if that was 100% true, would I have posted about it? 🤔
@good_old_shoes , that’s an excellent question. I actually haven’t planned anything concrete yet, I hope to pick up a half decent map soon. Definitely open to suggestions!
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
Funnily enough, I do, but as it’s not a requirement for accommodation I’m not going to use it. The only acknowledgment I need is the knowledge that I’ve done it. Although, if that was 100% true, would I have posted about it? 🤔
@good_old_shoes , that’s an excellent question. I actually haven’t planned anything concrete yet, I hope to pick up a half decent map soon. Definitely open to suggestions!

Should you decide to walk south on the via imperii, I actually might still have the map - If I find it I could send it to you.

On the via imperii accommodation wasn't very expensive. I camped ~half of the time, but when I stayed indoors I usually payed 20-30€/night (2020). There was a list online, but I can't find it anymore.

From Leipzig the via imperii connects to the via regia westwards. The via regia is probably the only Jakobsweg in Germany with a very tight network of low-price pilgrim accommodation.

Maybe not the shortest route to Santiago from your starting point, but certainly one with pilgrim feeling, and affordable.
 
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Thank you, I appreciate that. At this point I actually don't know the names of all of the different paths. I've only looked at it from the point of view of Mapycz, and all that shows is 'Jacobweg'. But what your suggesting sounds very much like what I had anticipated doing. Great to know about the accommodation, I'm going to have to seek that info out. Bearing in mind that I'm still only learning German it might be a bit hard to find, but I'll get there! Anything with a worthwhile goal is seldom easy...
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
There are many travel guides in German that not only list the relevant stages, but also pilgrim accommodation, including many private ones, which are often cheaper than guesthouses or hotels.

The best-known publisher is probably Conrad Stein, which describes many routes and updates them regularly. There you will find official accommodation along the various routes. However, there are also many guides to the Camino de Santiago routes published by committed pilgrims in small publishing houses that are not so well known or easy to find. There are also cheap holiday rooms or private, simple pilgrim's quarters listed - either with telephone number or e-mail address.

You therefore have to register individually and beforehand, you cannot simply book. But - that's what I find so nice about it - you come into direct contact with other pilgrims living in Germany, which makes it an interesting experience. Because on the paths themselves, it is rather rare to meet other peregrinos.

If you know more precisely which route you would like to walk, you are welcome to write to me, if you need help finding those not well known oder advertized publishers.


Here is an overview of all the Jakobswege in Germany - with names ;-).

If you scroll down further on that website, you can also download a pilgrims' magazine. The pilgrims' magazine describes all the important Jakobswege on 80 pages, including maps.
 
I have been following the excellent thread from @sunflowerfunk, and it got me thinking. As others have pointed out I am one of the fortunate ones - I live in Europe. Specifically, Germany. Which, theoretically at least, is in walking distance from Santiago. And Germany has a 49 euro monthly transport card, usable on all regional transport. Plus, due to my current personal situation I often have rather a lot of free time on my hands on the weekend's.

What do all these things have to do with each other?
Well it turns out that the Jacobsweg (Camino) runs near me. (Technically speaking two of them do). I came across it out walking with a friend recently - a beautiful Camino shell, on a route map in the middle of nowhere.
Now Google Maps says that it's only 22,5 days ( walking 24 hours a day ! ) or 2359 kilometers to Santiago. (68 days at just under 8 hours a day). That of course is on the road which isn't much use to me. Plus the fact that it's taking me through Belgium and the whole of France..... A tad expensive.

So I came up with a slightly different plan. Whenever I have the time, I'll walk a section, then get public transport home again. Of course, the further I get away the longer it'll take me to get there and back. And some sections won't finish anywhere near public transport, so I'll have to do a double, perhaps 3 or 4 sections. And at times, make my own Path between one Camino and the next. But as I live not far from Berlin, there's pretty good connections from the major cities and towns. It will make the camino longer but hey what's an extra 800 or so kilometers between friends? It will only add a few days to the walk.
For logistical reasons I'm starting in Potsdam. I've trained around the Potsdam area prior to my two caminos this year - I really like the City. And as it happens I've already walked from my door to the Potsdam central station, more than once.

So today I started. I took the train to Potsdam Central Station and started walking. It was either a short stage or a very long stage and as it hit 28 degrees today I decided on the former. There's also the fact that I'm not at peak camino fitness!
As it happens I've also already walked most of this way, just not always exactly on the official camino - not that it's marked. So today I did. Unfortunately the short stage is only 12 kilometers long which didn't really satisfy me so I did an extra five k's. Found a bus stop with 10 minutes to spare - the bus only runs every two hours. Had I known exactly when the bus was coming I wouldn't have rushed quite as much on the last stretch. Including falling flat on my face for the first time ever whilst walking, I covered the last two kilometres in 19 minutes flat! A significant increase on my previous 4.3 kilometers an hour.... .
Oh, and in case you're wondering, with fortunately no injuries other than a couple of tiny scratches and a bit of bruising.
My mind has yet to learn what my body already knows- I'm 59 not still in my 20s.. sigh.
I'm now safely home, I've had a great dinner and I'm really looking forward to the next opportunity to walk. Of course now that I want to get out, it looks like I'm fully booked next weekend. Oh well, there's always the weekend after....
Creativity and focus is a beautiful thing to watch and, better yet, to experience.
 
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This spring I had the good fortune to walk the 800 mile California Mission Walk and what you describe is how most people complete it, a bit here and there at a time. Unlike the Camino which is done always from the starting point through to Santiago, in one direction, and in a continuous path. The CMW for many is more of completing stages in the order that works best for the walker. In essence, you can start at any point and end at any of the 21 missions. while I started at Mission San Diego and finished at Mission Solano north of San Francisco, I moved up and down the state a number of times. Now giving some thought to going back for a start walk through.
 
New Original Camino Gear Designed Especially with The Modern Peregrino In Mind!
I have been following the excellent thread from @sunflowerfunk, and it got me thinking. As others have pointed out I am one of the fortunate ones - I live in Europe. Specifically, Germany. Which, theoretically at least, is in walking distance from Santiago. And Germany has a 49 euro monthly transport card, usable on all regional transport. Plus, due to my current personal situation I often have rather a lot of free time on my hands on the weekend's.

What do all these things have to do with each other?
Well it turns out that the Jacobsweg (Camino) runs near me. (Technically speaking two of them do). I came across it out walking with a friend recently - a beautiful Camino shell, on a route map in the middle of nowhere.
Now Google Maps says that it's only 22,5 days ( walking 24 hours a day ! ) or 2359 kilometers to Santiago. (68 days at just under 8 hours a day). That of course is on the road which isn't much use to me. Plus the fact that it's taking me through Belgium and the whole of France..... A tad expensive.

So I came up with a slightly different plan. Whenever I have the time, I'll walk a section, then get public transport home again. Of course, the further I get away the longer it'll take me to get there and back. And some sections won't finish anywhere near public transport, so I'll have to do a double, perhaps 3 or 4 sections. And at times, make my own Path between one Camino and the next. But as I live not far from Berlin, there's pretty good connections from the major cities and towns. It will make the camino longer but hey what's an extra 800 or so kilometers between friends? It will only add a few days to the walk.
For logistical reasons I'm starting in Potsdam. I've trained around the Potsdam area prior to my two caminos this year - I really like the City. And as it happens I've already walked from my door to the Potsdam central station, more than once.

So today I started. I took the train to Potsdam Central Station and started walking. It was either a short stage or a very long stage and as it hit 28 degrees today I decided on the former. There's also the fact that I'm not at peak camino fitness!
As it happens I've also already walked most of this way, just not always exactly on the official camino - not that it's marked. So today I did. Unfortunately the short stage is only 12 kilometers long which didn't really satisfy me so I did an extra five k's. Found a bus stop with 10 minutes to spare - the bus only runs every two hours. Had I known exactly when the bus was coming I wouldn't have rushed quite as much on the last stretch. Including falling flat on my face for the first time ever whilst walking, I covered the last two kilometres in 19 minutes flat! A significant increase on my previous 4.3 kilometers an hour.... .
Oh, and in case you're wondering, with fortunately no injuries other than a couple of tiny scratches and a bit of bruising.
My mind has yet to learn what my body already knows- I'm 59 not still in my 20s.. sigh.
I'm now safely home, I've had a great dinner and I'm really looking forward to the next opportunity to walk. Of course now that I want to get out, it looks like I'm fully booked next weekend. Oh well, there's always the weekend after....
I guess you might already know this instructive map system, it seems that there are plenty options for you to go due south (from Erfurt) and traverse a bit of Swiss route.
The way you can point to a spot on the map and details will pop up, always amazes me!

So sorry, forgot to include this:

1695145582792.png
 
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Definitely sounds like a grand adventure! You'll have to start your own blogging thread - I have a feeling it would make for many Sunday night reading sessions ;)
 
True, but sadly few would bother to read it because sadly I do not have your gift with writing. If only I could translate my gift for the gab onto paper!
Looking forward to your next post
 
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Time for an update :
I got a map this week showing the various Jacob's Weg ( camino's) here in Germany.
On the flipside it actually shows all of the ones here in central Europe - all the way to Santiago de Compostela. On the grounds that if possible I want to use the public transport here in Germany (to go to fro from end/start points and home) then I'm going to head in the direction of Geneva. Bit more on that at another time.

As it happened my plans for today got cancelled. So I went for a walk....
Day 2:
Today started somewhat late for me (9.45) for the very simple reason that that's when the bus to my start Point went. They don't run terribly often on a Sunday. (Bearing in mind that I was the only passenger that's hardly surprising.)
I got off at the stop that I went home from last week, took a photo, and started walking. I've downloaded mappy.cz because my route today is not an official walk. The alternative would be taking a highly detailed proper map and a compass and I'm not interested in buying all of the maps that I would need.
Started off with a gentle stroll along a walk/ cycleway running parallel to the road. A little later I found a very pleasant promenade that wasn't on my official route but ran parallel and was much more pleasant ! As the name would suggest it's along the lake so really quite nice. There was even a restaurant and a cafe but as I'd only just started I couldn't really justify it...
At the edge of the little town of Ferch I tuned off into the woods.
And this was where the fun started! German Woods are FULL of paths, going here there and everywhere. And as my app absolutely chews the battery on my old iPhone 7 I only pulled it up occasionally. (That and the fact that I want to enjoy the walk not constantly stare at the darn phone.)
The first stretch was no issue and I'd identified the appropriate markers for this particular part. Naturally when I came to a tee junction there were no markers.... . I've got a moderately good sense of direction so I headed off the way that felt right to me. A little later I still hadn't seen any more markers so checked the app.

Yeah you guessed it, first 'Wrong Turn Of The Day'. The appropriate path actually went in the WRONG direction for 500 meters before veering around and heading off into the wilds. All good though because I was running parallel with it (like I said, my sense of direction isn't that bad!).
So I just identified an appropriate path that would eventually connect me with it and continued on. It was a beautiful walk through the woods, sun shining through the branches, woodpeckers and other birds busy at work - and nobody - and I mean nobody - in sight. I think it was about an hour before I saw anybody.

It turns out there was a very good reason for the trail to go off in the direction it had.... . There's a railway line in the way ! .. ... and some pretty rough scrub either side. Ohhhh dear... . Not to worry, it just meant adding another k or so so on to my walk to get to the next underpass. That took me onto an old cobblestone Road which sees very little traffic - I saw one car parked on the side of it in the 30 minutes or so I was on it. Reached, and walked around my second Lake of the day. I could have stayed on the road which would have been significantly shorter - but nowhere near as scenic. A handful of people were taking advantage of the sunshine and swimming. I stopped for my first break of the day and had a bite to eat, (and aired my feet), then continued on.
In an hour or so in I came across my third Lake of the day. More of a very large pond this one, perfect for bathing which one lady was taking full advantage of. By this time I was very tempted to swim as well, but sadly it had not occurred to me to bring a towel 😞. (This is Germany, bathing suits are definitely optional - especially in the middle of the woods!). So I continued on my merry way., past Lake number three, Lake number 4 and on to late number five. Except you guessed it - Wrong Turn number two.
Except it wasn't a Wrong Turn, more of a Missed turn. I was now walking alongside a beautiful big Lake. Except I knew that the rough direction of where I needed to be was on the other side... . So I stopped in the Sun, took a break and pulled up my app. Hmmmm . Oh, boooother... . !
I certainly wasn't going to be catching the next bus home.
It left in 45 minutes and I'd kind of anticipated being there by now. Except that when I missed the turn I overshot slightly. To be more precise, by three kilometers. Yep, you read that right- three kilometers.
Now up until now my misadventures had only added around about one and a half k's to my day but this was a doozy. Oh well, good job I'd only planned a short day! So I walked back 3 km and turned. Walked 300 m and checked the app. What! I've missed ANOTHER turn? 100 m back I found a tiny trail leaving off in the right direction. Seemed a bit odd but I followed it.
Turns out that in the middle of the woods the app was occasionally 50 meters or so off. There was another path going in the same direction... . Not to worry there was a connection in 500 meters or so. And no railway line this time !
I walked into town with no more misadventures, having missed my bus by around an hour and a quarter. Only another 45 minutes until the next one.
But I still haven't joined the official camino ( I'm heading for the Via Imperii) yet, and the terminus of this particular bus line is only another k or so away in exactly the right direction. So a stop for a quick coffee and on I go. ( b. awful coffee by the way - WHY can't Germans make decent coffee? And this was even worse than usual. Heck, surely SOME of the 1000s of Germans that tour NZ, Australia or go on Camino every year must have been Barristas !!)
I miss my café con leche!
Anyway, around 1.2km later I make my bus with 10 minutes to spare. My short 18km day has turned into 27 and a half. The sun is still shining, nothing hurts too much, I didn't run out of water, and my son has volunteered to cook dinner.
THAT is what I call a good day....
 
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Anyway, around 1.2km later I make my bus with 10 minutes to spare. My short 18km day has turned into 27 and a half. The sun is still shining, nothing hurts too much, I didn't run out of water, and my son has volunteered to cook dinner.
All good. Perfect in fact.
Kia kaha, and keep on keeping on (and posting), Peter!
 
That sounds all very familiar! Especially the getting lost in the woods part and trying to catch the bus... Very fun to read also, thanks for that!

The alternative would be taking a highly detailed proper map and a compass and I'm not interested in buying all of the maps that I would need.

Until Leipzig you only need one map. It's a really good one, easy to fold and use, with the Camino path shown.


Highly recommend!

I found my old copy so if you're interested let me know.
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
Time for an update :
I got a map this week showing the various Jacob's Weg ( camino's) here in Germany.
On the flipside it actually shows all of the ones here in central Europe - all the way to Santiago de Compostela. On the grounds that if possible I want to use the public transport here in Germany (to go to fro from end/start points and home) then I'm going to head in the direction of Geneva. Bit more on that at another time.

As it happened my plans for today got cancelled. So I went for a walk....
Day 2:
Today started somewhat late for me (9.45) for the very simple reason that that's when the bus to my start Point went. They don't run terribly often on a Sunday. (Bearing in mind that I was the only passenger that's hardly surprising.)
I got off at the stop that I went home from last week, took a photo, and started walking. I've downloaded mappy.cz because my route today is not an official walk. The alternative would be taking a highly detailed proper map and a compass and I'm not interested in buying all of the maps that I would need.
Started off with a gentle stroll along a walk/ cycleway running parallel to the road. A little later I found a very pleasant promenade that wasn't on my official route but ran parallel and was much more pleasant ! As the name would suggest it's along the lake so really quite nice. There was even a restaurant and a cafe but as I'd only just started I couldn't really justify it...
At the edge of the little town of Ferch I tuned off into the woods.
And this was where the fun started! German Woods are FULL of paths, going here there and everywhere. And as my app absolutely chews the battery on my old iPhone 7 I only pulled it up occasionally. (That and the fact that I want to enjoy the walk not constantly stare at the darn phone.)
The first stretch was no issue and I'd identified the appropriate markers for this particular part. Naturally when I came to a tee junction there were no markers.... . I've got a moderately good sense of direction so I headed off the way that felt right to me. A little later I still hadn't seen any more markers so checked the app.

Yeah you guessed it, first 'Wrong Turn Of The Day'. The appropriate path actually went in the WRONG direction for 500 meters before veering around and heading off into the wilds. All good though because I was running parallel with it (like I said, my sense of direction isn't that bad!).
So I just identified an appropriate path that would eventually connect me with it and continued on. It was a beautiful walk through the woods, sun shining through the branches, woodpeckers and other birds busy at work - and nobody - and I mean nobody - in sight. I think it was about an hour before I saw anybody.

It turns out there was a very good reason for the trail to go off in the direction it had.... . There's a railway line in the way ! .. ... and some pretty rough scrub either side. Ohhhh dear... . Not to worry, it just meant adding another k or so so on to my walk to get to the next underpass. That took me onto an old cobblestone Road which sees very little traffic - I saw one car parked on the side of it in the 30 minutes or so I was on it. Reached, and walked around my second Lake of the day. I could have stayed on the road which would have been significantly shorter - but nowhere near as scenic. A handful of people were taking advantage of the sunshine and swimming. I stopped for my first break of the day and had a bite to eat, (and aired my feet), then continued on.
In an hour or so in I came across my third Lake of the day. More of a very large pond this one, perfect for bathing which one lady was taking full advantage of. By this time I was very tempted to swim as well, but sadly it had not occurred to me to bring a towel 😞. (This is Germany, bathing suits are definitely optional - especially in the middle of the woods!). So I continued on my merry way., past Lake number three, Lake number 4 and on to late number five. Except you guessed it - Wrong Turn number two.
Except it wasn't a Wrong Turn, more of a Missed turn. I was now walking alongside a beautiful big Lake. Except I knew that the rough direction of where I needed to be was on the other side... . So I stopped in the Sun, took a break and pulled up my app. Hmmmm . Oh, boooother... . !
I certainly wasn't going to be catching the next bus home.
It left in 45 minutes and I'd kind of anticipated being there by now. Except that when I missed the turn I overshot slightly. To be more precise, by three kilometers. Yep, you read that right- three kilometers.
Now up until now my misadventures had only added around about one and a half k's to my day but this was a doozy. Oh well, good job I'd only planned a short day! So I walked back 3 km and turned. Walked 300 m and checked the app. What! I've missed ANOTHER turn? 100 m back I found a tiny trail leaving off in the right direction. Seemed a bit odd but I followed it.
Turns out that in the middle of the woods the app was occasionally 50 meters or so off. There was another path going in the same direction... . Not to worry there was a connection in 500 meters or so. And no railway line this time !
I walked into town with no more misadventures, having missed my bus by around an hour and a quarter. Only another 45 minutes until the next one.
But I still haven't joined the official camino ( I'm heading for the Via Imperii) yet, and the terminus of this particular bus line is only another k or so away in exactly the right direction. So a stop for a quick coffee and on I go. ( b. awful coffee by the way - WHY can't Germans make decent coffee? And this was even worse than usual. Heck, surely SOME of the 1000s of Germans that tour NZ, Australia or go on Camino every year must have been Battistas !!)
I miss my café con leche!
Anyway, around 1.2km later I make my bus with 10 minutes to spare. My short 18km day has turned into 27 and a half. The sun is still shining, nothing hurts too much, I didn't run out of water, and my son has volunteered to cook dinner.
THAT is what I call a good day....
And you were saying the gift for the gab doesn't translate??
I'm having loads of fun reading (and laughing about the Germans - we really are a weird little nation) :] Thankyou for the update !!
 
G'day all. (Seeing as apparently more than two people are reading this.. for which I thank you).
So yes I know it's Friday (the 29th of October to be exact) but I'm going into work tomorrow so I took the day off. And - (big surprise!) I went for a bit of a wander.

Day 3:
I started the day where I left off last time (naturally), at the bus stop in Beelitz. It turns out that I actually could have gotten off one stop before the end so naturally I started by retracing my steps. Only for a few hundred metres I hasten to add.
The first part is through the town and therefore logically enough besides the street. BUT - wait for it - I'm on the Camino!
There's still no signs - or at least if there are I haven't seen them yet. The way out of town isn't that bad, a tiny bit boring but that's about all. It could be any town anywhere - it's not Beelitz's fault, it's just that I want to feel dirt beneath my feet (or shoes anyway.) A kilometre or so later I cross a main road and get to what I consider the start of the trail proper i.e on the dirt. And there's a Camino shell !!
My first since I started this project. You have absolutely no idea how uplifting that felt.
Or, actually, maybe you do?

So with dirt beneath my feet, trees and fields around me and Camino shells to follow I was a very happy camper.
Not that I am camping - at least, not yet. It may come to that in due course. I've been very surprised at how long my trips to and from the start and end of each stage are rapidly becoming. Maybe I shouldn't be - after all I'm not exactly going from major town to major town at the moment.

As I mentioned earlier I haven't really done much in terms of planning just yet. The point was simply to get out and walk whilst the weather was so good.( Like @sunflowerfunk I don't do cold very well).
It would appear that the time is rapidly approaching where I'm going to have to give this project a whole lot more thought. That's ok though, planning can also be fun - I just hadn't counted on it just yet.... .

Anyway, back to the walk : my little friends the shells are very few and far between but generally at all of the important points ie at crossroads. The first part of the walk itself is really rather pleasant, mostly along farm or forestry lanes. There are of course some boring parts where the asparagus fields simply seem to stretch away forever on either side. ( How did that song go again: 'Asparagus Fields forever?'). Anyone would think that Beelitz is famous for growing asparagus - oh wait, it is.... . (Shame I can't stand the stuff.)

Ditto with some long straight stretches through the pine plantations. As I recorded for a future YouTube video, whilst I love pine, pine plantations are far from my favorite - they're just so devoid of life... .
Fortunately this being Germany the margins are frequently lined with other species like Oak and Birch, and the subsequent under canopy, which attracts all sorts of Wildlife. I saw numerous Boar scrapes today, which made my trigger finger itch. I heard a handful of woodpeckers and had a very brief glimpse of a squirrel - I tried to get a photo however apparently it can move quicker around a tree than I can.... . There's a surprise!
No foxes or deer today (which are actually quite common here) but that's ok.

There were naturally some stretches of Road walking but whilst a couple were alongside a busy road, generally they were on quiet back roads. I made my first stop of the day around 7,5k's in at a football ground at some convenient picnic tables. ( Thanks Salzbrunn!).

Shortly before I'd had a pleasant surprise. Like many I enjoy taking photos of cute cat's, friendly dogs and beautiful horses - but this was on a different level. Ostrich, Emu, and what I think were alpacas ( either that or llama) . It was an exotic animal Farm - the shop for it was a little further down the road.
*Brandenburg is definitely an interesting area - elsewhere I've actually seen camels. Yes you did indeed read that correctly. It wasn't a zoo either - or at least if it is it's a private one. (I saw it during the middle of Corona so no idea - there was nobody around and no sign).

A little while later the Camino followed the road for a while, two sides of a triangle. And by followed I mean there was no path. So I looked and sure enough I could cut across the base of the triangle through the woods - which is exactly what I proceeded to do. The first part was very easy, a big wide forestry Lane. A bit of a kink and then a second forestry Lane - not quite as clear this one but still pretty good. Until I ran into an area where there'd been logging and any signs of a trail had been oblivorated. I kept going in roughly the same direction and eventually found the trail again. Joined up perfectly with the official Camino just short of the little village of Niebel.
Cute little place. At the sole Crossroads there was a park bench so I stopped and aired my (very grateful) feet, and had a spot of lunch.
At which point I realised that perhaps two liters of water was not going to cut it today. (As it happened it would have, but as I am not somebody who is constantly looking at my phone whilst on the trail -one of the things I love about being on a camino trail is that they're often very well marked - I didn't realize that I didn't have more than five or six k to go. Anyway better safe than thirsty ). Fortunately very shortly after I started again I came across two ladies chatting in the street. I got over being shy about such things many years ago so asked if they would mind filling one of my empty bottles for me, and one of the ladies very happily obliged.
More asparagus fields, some harvested sunflower fields and the most boring stretch of pine plantation that I've come across for quite a while. But the good part - earth beneath my feet!
All too soon I was walking into the beginning of Treuenbrietzen, my end station for today. It turned out to be only 20 kilometers not the close to 30 that I had anticipated. A kind restaurant allowed me to use their toilets and I waited for my bus - which didn't come?
I checked Google, it should have been there and the timetable agreed with it but for whatever reason it never appeared.
I couldn't understand why Google was only giving me bus options when I knew that they had a train station in town.
It turns out that somehow I'd managed to switch off the option of trains.
Blowed if I know how but once turned on again it turns out that I was now going to have to wait 50 minutes. Google showed a cafe not too far away that had four stars so I headed there. I was disappointed to find that they only had pot coffee but at least it was hot. (All too many German coffees are nowhere near hot enough for me.)
I think this is going to be one of my major disappointments on this project. Or at least the thing I miss the most - Cafe con leche!
In the end I strolled around town (quite a nice little place actually) for another 15 or 20 minutes, then out to the train station a km or so further, at the edge of town. Train, swap to the bus, and home for a decent coffee. ... Aaaah.....

I've got a couple of days off next week so I'm going to keep my fingers crossed for good weather. And sometime in between try and plan the next stage or two.

By the looks of things part of my problem is going to be that public transport runs far less frequently on the weekend to many of the smaller towns. And villages only have public transport connections during the week. Oh well, we'll just have to see how we go.

PS: another thing I will miss is services. Zero zip nada. Solely at the beginning and at the end otherwise nothing all day. Food, plenty of water and trowel all advised...
 
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Day 4
Today started off with a slap from a wet blanket. Said blanket being Deutsche Bahn - ie the local railway system.
I freely understand the Swiss in their desire to ban Deutsche Bahn from operating in Switzerland. They constantly experience delays which cause the Swiss - whose trains run punctually, rather like the proverbial clock - to also experience delays.
In my case the delay was substantial. A 12 minute delay meant a missed connection. With a subsequent two hour wait. So my 1 hour 45 minute journey was going to turn into three hours and 45 minutes. And make it questionable as to whether or not I could walk today.
To hell with that 😠 - I went back home and got my car.
Which was doubly annoying because part of the point of this exercise is for it to cost me the minimum amount possible whilst utilizing the (otherwise excellent) rail and bus system to its fullest extent.
So a 45 minute drive later I got to my starting point - the railway station.
Treuenbrietzen, the same one I finished at last time. The camino walks conveniently right past it (or very close to).
So I picked up where I left off and wandered onwards, still not without a slightly sour taste in my mouth.
After a brief piece beside yet another lovely German Lake, it was sadly onto the road. Not a busy one though so no real issue, and a km or so later I entered the countryside. Initially alongside Fields of dead sunflowers, and then into pine Forest. Which became the theme for the first half of the walk. I've already mentioned my love hate relationship with pine Forest so I won't go into that further. Still beats the heck out of walking alongside a busy road!
A few kilometres later I came back out onto the road again, into the little village of Rietz, complete with bus stop and very little else. Pleasant little place, but I was soon leaving and back onto a proper path.
Shortly after I started I met a horse and cart. Actually strictly speaking two horses and a proper buggy, manned by a couple of friendly locals who wished me well. Not quite a Buen Camino but very welcome nonetheless!
A long stretch followed - through pine Forest again - and this time on rather Sandy paths. I seriously need to put my sand baskets on my poles !
Much as I am hate doing it in the end I gave up and walked alongside the trail for a couple of kilometers. It rained recently and so parts were almost boggy, in others the loose sand was so deep it was really hard walking.
This journey is turning into a number of first's for me. Not all of them the best but nonetheless learning experiences....
I made a short pit stop in the woods and then continued on my way. 1.2 kilometres later, (according to Google Maps) I entered the slightly larger village of Dietersdorf, and suddenly realised I no longer had my poles anymore..... .
Yep that was my learning experience. I always perform my usual checks such as handy, handkerchief, backpack but somehow it didn't occur to me to check that I had my poles before I left. Which i use constantly. How on earth did I continue walking without them in my hands? Two camino's, where I do not lose a single item, and I leave my poles in the woods at home. Great.
I found myself really wondering about how my brain functions. Why, do you ask?
Well it's like this - I can put my glasses down in my apartment and cannot find them for the life of me, even though they're clearly on display. And yet I can walk back 1.2 kilometres, sidetrack 10 or 15 meters into the woods exactly to where I left my poles... . HOW? I mean this is a pine Forest, one tree looks much the same as another, especially when they're all pretty much the same age.
So I walked back to Dietersdorf - which had the first open restaurant that I've seen so far this trip. With the German equivalent of a €10 Tages menu. I was seriously tempted, however I'd bought lunch lunch with me, so I munched my filled roll and banana as I walked further. Not quite the same, but a lot cheaper.
1 detour - probably simply following the original trail or at least the Old roads from the area - I didn't do. I figured I'd already done an extra two and a half k's so that would easily make up the difference. I did think twice about that later mind you - the cycle path alongside the new road was long, straight and all tarmac. Seriously hard on my feet.
At the next village - small town? of Marzahana I found myself faced with a similar choice so decided to take the detour rather than do another three kilometers going straight ahead. My by now aching feet made that decision quite readily for me. Of course had they known that they were now going to be faced with two kilometres of straight DDR Style concrete Road, followed by an additional 3 km of tarmac I'm sure they would have made a different choice. My brain certainly would have because all of it was directly on the road - zero path. Not overly busy but nonetheless unpleasant.
Technically at the village of Kropstädt, I should have detoured around the outskirts but as the bus was due in 15 minutes I decided to hell with that! The next wouldn't be for at least one hour, and with no cafe or restaurant in sight there was no way I was going to hang around.

I made it with time to spare and so began the long journey home. It's only about 18 kilometers along the road back to my starting point if you go direct. ( I walked 23,3 today).
But naturally these buses are anything but direct. I first got an Express Bus - the only option - off in a side direction, which connected me after a 20 minute wait with a bus back to my start point and my car. I think it was around an hour... . And neither bus was exactly what you would call slow nor did they stop frequently. They just completed two sides of a triangle with a long wait in between!
Interestingly Google Maps led me through the back side roads most of the drive home with only a short interlude on the Autobahn. It was actually really quite pleasant.
Home to a good hot coffee and the chance to put my feet up! The simple pleasures of life.....

Footnote: My journey times to and fro are starting to become slightly problematic. Had I travelled just with public transport today I would have spent as long on the trains etc as I did walking. And at least in the short term it's only going to get worse as I go further. After the next short leg I may seriously have to consider doing minimum two or three day walks which is not going to be as easy to organise. And will naturally involve overnight stays, with the commensurate costs. Plus which one or two of the connections are going to involve ICE trains, for which I have to pay - they are not included in my monthly pass. The alternative is spending an entire day just to get there or back.

But that's for another day. Right now I'm celebrating the fact that I've walked over 100 kilometers so far!
 
Very much enjoy reading your adventures, and it brings back memories to last year when I walked this myself.

Next stage: Wittenberg, I presume. There is a Herberg there, worth staying overnight. Next stage you will probably have to take a hotel or pension, but there will be a Herberg again in Bad Duben.

Anyway, Guten Weg !
 
Hi @Marc S. , and thanks for following along. My posts are as much for me to remember things by as much as anything, glad if somebody else gets something out of it too.
I presume you mean the DJH hostels, I hadn't actually thought of them to be fair. On the few occasions I've used them here in Germany they seem to be always populated by class groups of young screaming school kids - sometimes several of them at once - and I'm not really sure I want to deal with that at present. I've long since let my membership expire. And having stayed and worked in many a backpacker hostel I'm not sure I want to deal with that alternative either! Drunken 18 - 30-year-olds also no longer really my style. Give me a good Albergue any day!
Accommodation is not something I've done a lot of research into so suggestions would be well and truly welcome. @good_old_shoes has posted a useful resource above, I guess I need to look into it further....
By the way, yes, in terms of my routing you're absolutely correct.
 
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There's a real pilgrim's albergue ("Pilgerherberge") in Bad Düben. At least there was in 2020. Donation based it was, I think, at least back then (wasn't fully renovated yet). Had a dormitory and a kitchen. I even met another pilgrim there. You might need a credential.


Edit: Ahhh, I see, apparently it is a commercial place now that it's fully renovated... :-(
 
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I presume you mean the DJH hostels, I hadn't actually thought of them to be fair.

Didn't mean the DJH hostels (I avoid regular hostels as well), I meant Im Gloecknerstift (run by CSJM) in Wittenberg. And the pilgrim albergue in Bad Duben, run by an enthiousastic pilgrim (although a bit expensive for a Herberg).

Is this the accomodation link posted already ? It does not mention Im Gloecknerstift anymore, but I think it still exists, you may want to google to find their phone number)


Btw I can also recommend the pension in Kropstadt. In Leipzig there is no Herberg, but I stayed in a guest room of Leipziger Missionswerk (when walking the Via Regia in June) and it was good option.

Last year I made this thread about the Via Imperii, maybe it is usefull.

 
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Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

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Sitting at the railway station, gotta ticket for my destination ….
What Simon and Garfunkel failed to mention was that they were waiting……

As am I

Day 5 . Kropstädt - Pratau. From one place in the middle of nowhere to another. Fortunately, today the journey to my kickoff point went smoothly- other than me getting off the bus one stop too late and having to walk back 8 minutes, that is. But that was ok because my connection was also running 5 minutes late.
The walk out of town was very pleasant- 50m from my bus stop the Way turned off the road, and into the local park. With, naturally, a lake. A short stint on a back street at the end between the park and a forest, even saw my second squirrel 🐿 of my journey.
A real mix of forest today, not just pine plantations - although plenty of that, too.

In case I haven’t mentioned it before, it’s flat around here. So far I haven’t seen a single hill, not even in the distance. The second day meandered a little, but we’re talking a few metres, not more.

Not an awful lot more to say about the landscape from there onwards. Pleasant, sometimes in the forest, sometimes between the fields. Which reminds me -
I actually saw some one else hiking today!
An older chap, we greeted each other but nothing more. I was significantly faster than him so he was very quickly left behind.
I had one minor issue finding the way today even with Mapycz. Mapycz said the trail went straight ahead but I assure you it most definitely did not! I went 100 meters to the left - nothing. Ditto to the right - hmm, a maybe. Pulled it up on Google Maps and found a connection to where I wanted to be. I actually suspect it was the correct trail just no trail markings and mappy was out at this point. No big deal.

The signposting today was very sporadic until I hit the outskirts of town, without an app or a map life would have been very difficult. From the outskirts to the centre it was excellent!!

Lutherstadt Wittenberg was, as it’s name suggests, the home of Martin Luther. His home church is lovely, and the Schlosskirche ( Castle church) is superb.
Sadly, I wasn’t feeling like being a tourist today, and as I’d only walked 16km I decided to move on after lunch. I shall definitely return to this little town as a tourist though, there's a heck of a lot to see. As is so often the case I can't believe I haven't been here before - it's only an hour away from home with the car.

With the exception of the next km or so it was extremely boring, a complete contrast to the morning. All alongside the highway on a cycle path. Still, at least it’s out of the way for next time!
I got to the next little town and found that relying on Google for travel information in the area is absolutely hopeless. Fortunately I also have a rail Network app. Which showed me unlike the information on Google that had quite a while to wait. A good chance to have a cup of tea and put my feet up - yes, because of the cooler weather I'm caring a thermos! Not exactly like I'm carrying a full camino backpack after all.

Update. I’m on the train - which was, of course, late - except now we’re waiting, between station’s….. . I only need to go one stop on this line!!!!
I’ve already missed my express connection, Goodness knows how long it’s going to take to get home.
Guess I should have played tourist after all!
 
Sitting at the railway station, gotta ticket for my destination ….
What Simon and Garfunkel failed to mention was that they were waiting……

As am I

Day 5 . Kropstädt - Pratau. From one place in the middle of nowhere to another. Fortunately, today the journey to my kickoff point went smoothly- other than me getting off the bus one stop too late and having to walk back 8 minutes, that is. But that was ok because my connection was also running 5 minutes late.
The walk out of town was very pleasant- 50m from my bus stop the Way turned off the road, and into the local park. With, naturally, a lake. A short stint on a back street at the end between the park and a forest, even saw my second squirrel 🐿 of my journey.
A real mix of forest today, not just pine plantations - although plenty of that, too.

In case I haven’t mentioned it before, it’s flat around here. So far I haven’t seen a single hill, not even in the distance. The second day meandered a little, but we’re talking a few metres, not more.

Not an awful lot more to say about the landscape from there onwards. Pleasant, sometimes in the forest, sometimes between the fields. Which reminds me -
I actually saw some one else hiking today!
An older chap, we greeted each other but nothing more. I was significantly faster than him so he was very quickly left behind.
I had one minor issue finding the way today even with Mapycz. Mapycz said the trail went straight ahead but I assure you it most definitely did not! I went 100 meters to the left - nothing. Ditto to the right - hmm, a maybe. Pulled it up on Google Maps and found a connection to where I wanted to be. I actually suspect it was the correct trail just no trail markings and mappy was out at this point. No big deal.

The signposting today was very sporadic until I hit the outskirts of town, without an app or a map life would have been very difficult. From the outskirts to the centre it was excellent!!

Lutherstadt Wittenberg was, as it’s name suggests, the home of Martin Luther. His home church is lovely, and the Schlosskirche ( Castle church) is superb.
Sadly, I wasn’t feeling like being a tourist today, and as I’d only walked 16km I decided to move on after lunch. I shall definitely return to this little town as a tourist though, there's a heck of a lot to see. As is so often the case I can't believe I haven't been here before - it's only an hour away from home with the car.

With the exception of the next km or so it was extremely boring, a complete contrast to the morning. All alongside the highway on a cycle path. Still, at least it’s out of the way for next time!
I got to the next little town and found that relying on Google for travel information in the area is absolutely hopeless. Fortunately I also have a rail Network app. Which showed me unlike the information on Google that had quite a while to wait. A good chance to have a cup of tea and put my feet up - yes, because of the cooler weather I'm caring a thermos! Not exactly like I'm carrying a full camino backpack after all.

Update. I’m on the train - which was, of course, late - except now we’re waiting, between station’s….. . I only need to go one stop on this line!!!!
I’ve already missed my express connection, Goodness knows how long it’s going to take to get home.
Guess I should have played tourist after all!
Oh wow I don’t know how I have missed this thread up to now, but have just skimmed through and I’ll take a closer read but looks fantastic. I am a lover of all things German (well apart form Deutsche Bahn and Borussia Dortmund) so I am keen to do a good trek in Germany. It’s just a country I love and feel so very at home in but my experience tends to revolve around beer, football and bratwurst so I need to branch out!! Been all over the country many time so looking for recommendations and thoughts for maybe a 2 - 3 week hike so this thread is fantastic. Maybe August time.
 
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Oh wow I don’t know how I have missed this thread up to now, but have just skimmed through and I’ll take a closer read but looks fantastic. I am a lover of all things German (well apart form Deutsche Bahn and Borussia Dortmund) so I am keen to do a good trek in Germany. It’s just a country I love and feel so very at home in but my experience tends to revolve around beer, football and bratwurst so I need to branch out!! Been all over the country many time so looking for recommendations and thoughts for maybe a 2 - 3 week hike so this thread is fantastic. Maybe August time.
Thank you kindly.
I have to say, your comment about beer bratwurst & football made me laugh. It's so much like what the so-called typical kiwi male used to think was important - rugby, racing and beer!
I'm one of those that broke the mold. I'm proud of our rugby team but otherwise couldn't care less, racing is boring, and as for beer.... yuck.
A Scotsman in a little distillery in the Highlands once told me that beer was what your body expelled after an evening drinking perfectly good whiskey....

It's a good job that New Zealand produces some top quality wine and some excellent cider or I'd be left with solely drinking imported product.
Here in Europe of course we're also very fortunate - Port. If ever I needed a reason to walk the Portuguese - which I don't - it would easily be provided by the opportunity to visit Porto again! Needless to say when I eventually do get to walk the trail I will not be just staying overnight..

Incidentally to get back on topic if you are serious about walking here you might want to look at the excellent thread by @Marc S -
 
A Treasure Trove Of Interesting Pilgrim Hacks! Learn & Share Your Own Too!
Day 6. Pratau - Lubast. 17.9 km

The rain has stopped, supposedly for the next 4 days, and as I’m a fair weather hiker ( when possible!) I’m grabbing the chance. Without my trail legs I need 4 days to get to Leipzig.

So today was always going to be a short one, hiking wise, because the only way to extent it is to add tomorrow and today together. Because tomorrow is predominantly through the forest- specifically, Dübener Heide Naturepark. And without my trail legs there’s no way in heck that I’m going to walk over 40 km in one day. To be honest, somewhere around 35 is about my limit even at the best of times.

Thank goodness it was a short day too. Because things most definitely did NOT go to plan !
My bus didn’t turn up. At all. Which meant that I missed any chance of getting the connecting train 28km/ 45minutes later. Short of driving to it, which leaves my car parked elsewhere for 4 days, in an awkward place to collect on the return journey. 2 hours until the next connection. With still 2 hours or so of travelling time after that. Bother…..
The key is getting back to it (the car) later, without taking forever to get to my start point for the day.

This project - at least in it’s current form, using public transport to go to and fro- is NOT proving to be all that easy…

So I took the car. Drove for an hour to a place I’ve never heard of before today (Roßlau) because there I can: 1/ park the car easily 2/ get to my start point easily and 3/ back again !

All of which took a while to figure out and implement. But by 9.30 I was on my way, a half hour wait for my train, ( on time) 15 minutes for the connection ( on time) and, shortly after 12.15 I was finally on the trail !!

It was all a bit anticlimactic after that. Nice ( wonderful! ) as it was to be walking again, 80/90% of today was tarmac. Occasionally road, but more often the Berlin - Leipzig cycle way. My feet were not pleased. Still aren’t!! .

It’s (still) flat, and pleasant though the scenery was, I hate to say it, but I’m getting a little bored. Spain this ain’t. The occasional village’s are, generally speaking, cute . But after (15/20/ more?) they kind of look the same. As do the (flat) fields. And the hedgerows. Train’s, both practically on top of me, or running across the horizon like a Z gauge train set. Although I was actually happy to walk a km or so through pine forest towards the end of the day!

Yep, I know, I’m spoilt. Been in Germany 5 years this time, and this is not yet far enough away from where I live for the differences to be apparent.

The other thing is the lack of cafés. Zero, zip, de nada. A couple of bars/ restaurant’s, all closed. Several supermarkets today, which would have been useful tomorrow, but today I’ve got everything, because I just left home….

Oh, no other pilgrims either. And the ONLY place to stay tonight is - wait for it- a 4 star hotel. Aggghh! Talk about blowing the budget! But I’m buggered if I’m going to camp - it’s getting too cold. Did I mention that I don’t like the cold?
Winter is wonderful - when you’re sitting in front of a roaring fire. I love the rain/hail/snow on the windowpane. Nature needs it. I don’t. My hands turn purple, my ears go numb- if I’m lucky- and it’s wet. Oh, and cold. NOT my favourite time of the year.

Plus which, if I camped, I’d need to bring my good sleeping bag, and a mat as a minimum. Preferably a tarp, better yet my tent. My little stove and a pot would be good too….. No way any of that - let alone all of it! - will fit in my Camino pack, which means bringing my 65 litre pack. No thanks.
Shame, really, because I saw a number of wicked spots to wild camp on the way !

I have digressed somewhat. Sorry about that.

I’m here, feet are recovering, my room is comfortable ( but no better than most 2 or 3 star hotels I’ve stayed in). I’ve had my coffee (average ), enjoyed a long, hot shower, washed my shirt ( I spoiled myself and bought enough socks and underwear for 4days) and now I’m heading downstairs for dinner. Here. In the hotel. Because there is nothing else. €€€€

I suspect I’m probably going to be the only person in the restaurant in hiking clothes!!
 
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Camping in winter isn't that bad. I tested my sleeping bag at -13°C in the snow to be sure I'll never be cold. Tent survived snow, too, just had to shake it a few times during the night.

When you're in the warm sleeping bag, getting up in the morning is the most difficult part!

Since "expensive hotel or nothing" is often the problem when walking the rarely walked paths far away from Spain, I wouldn't walk without camping gear anymore. But I totally understand everyone who prefers not to camp, especially in cold weather! It's certainly not for everyone.

I remember I stayed in a hotel once on a non-camino hike with a friend. I had only brought my hiking sandals and it had been raining all week, so the sandals were extremely muddy, as was most of my gear. Thankfully they still let us into the hotel, even though we were soaked and muddy.
In the evening I had to go downstairs to the restaurant in wool socks and no shoes, to not ruin the fancy carpet they had...

I guess I prefer the tent over the funny looks I got from the other customers 🤣.

I hope you'll find more affordable accommodation the next days, but for now, enjoy the luxury! Guten Weg, Pilger!
 
Camping in winter isn't that bad. I tested my sleeping bag at -13°C in the snow to be sure I'll never be cold. Tent survived snow, too, just had to shake it a few times during the night.

When you're in the warm sleeping bag, getting up in the morning is the most difficult part!

Since "expensive hotel or nothing" is often the problem when walking the rarely walked paths far away from Spain, I wouldn't walk without camping gear anymore. But I totally understand everyone who prefers not to camp, especially in cold weather! It's certainly not for everyone.

I remember I stayed in a hotel once on a non-camino hike with a friend. I had only brought my hiking sandals and it had been raining all week, so the sandals were extremely muddy, as was most of my gear. Thankfully they still let us into the hotel, even though we were soaked and muddy.
In the evening I had to go downstairs to the restaurant in wool socks and no shoes, to not ruin the fancy carpet they had...

I guess I prefer the tent over the funny looks I got from the other customers 🤣.

I hope you'll find more affordable accommodation the next days, but for now, enjoy the luxury! Guten Weg, Pilger!
Yep, I’ve camped in the cold before- but I was somewhat younger….
My 4 season sleeping bag was great - but as it was a 20th birthday gift from my dad, not sure how well it would do now! A Fairydown, one of those that’s double zipped and opens completely as a blanket. As a warm sleeper, I used it more often as a quilt. (I’ve still got it.) Plus, it would literally half fill my pack - and I hate to think how much it weighs!
Maybe when I transition to phase 2 of the project I’ll look for a replacement.
 
What a difference a day makes, 24 little hours…. .

Isn’t it great that, if you think about it, somebody’s created/ sung a song for nearly every eventuality??

Day 7, Lubast- Bad Düben. 22.1km
Ok, it should have been 21.3, but I missed a turnoff!

So my 4 star hotel wasn’t too bad. Dinner was FIamkücken ( think super thin Italian style pizza, but with sour cream as a base instead of tomato; bacon bits and red onion. Yum!) - but with a twist- specifically, sheeps cheese (feta), walnuts and winter salad sprinkled over once baked . Delicious! And only €9. The wine cost €6! To be fair, it was 250 ml. No room for dessert.
Breakfast was pretty standard, usual German style buffet of bread/buns, cold meat, boiled eggs etc, plus cereals, yoghurt etc. Bacon and scrambled eggs in the corner. OJ, tea/coffee. So, definitely not your standard pilgrim fare!! Yoghurt, then Bacon and eggs it was, washed down with OJ and coffee. Shame I’m not carrying my thermos… but I did make a bun for lunch. Oh, and took a pear 🍐.

So, after a decent nights sleep and a better than usual breakfast I hit the trail at around 9.15. Overcast, but fortunately not as windy as yesterday (did I mention that? It was damn cold every time I was out in the open).
The first 500 m or so was on the tarmac, but then I entered the woods - and it turned to gravel. It’s still a road for the first couple of km of it, but no cars at all this morning. Much better!! Well, my feet certainly thought so. Still big long straight stretches, but with real woodland. (AND- it’s not just flat!!!! )
Which means I saw loads of deer tracks, heaps of boar scrapes, (no deer or boar today though), a couple of red squirrels, and heard/saw loads of different birds. Gorgeous!! Nature can be so uplifting.

Later there was some pine forest, but still with birch, beech, oak etc lining the way.
Wonderful rest place at around 8km. Stopped for a break, didn’t eat because I wasn’t exactly hungry - can’t think why?

Saw my first two cyclist’s - who actually greeted me! And heard a third whilst I was taking my break. Only saw two more the whole day.

A couple of kms later I reached/crossed the road and saw the Luther stone, where Maarten Luther once preached. Shortly before and afterwards saw multiple groups of people, often families, out mushrooming. Tis the season.
Shortly thereafter, back in the woods once more, I found a lovely sunny spot, pulled out my bubble wrap square (super light, free, and keeps my butt clean and dry!) and took another break, ate my banana this time. 100m later I found another of the covered rest areas! No sun though, so I made the right choice.
Shortly afterwards, strolling along the big, wide trail once more I missed the turn off….. . Fortunately, something didn’t feel quite right so I pulled up Mapy.cz just a few hundred metres along and realised my mistake. To be fair, it was easy to miss - the sign was hidden until the last moment, and the trail became exactly that - perhaps a meter wide, heading off into the woods at right angles to the 4m wide trail I’ve been following for the last 10/12 km.
Different! Dirt under foot! NOT flat! Actually slippery! ( without my poles I’d have been a goner a couple of times) . And, at one point I actually had to seriously climb. Ok, maybe not climb, but it was STEEP! Only for 50 metres thou, but at least it wasn’t flat.

In case you haven’t realised, I’m definitely NOT BORED today!!!!! In fact, I’d even go so far as to say that I thoroughly enjoyed today’s walk. And then some.

The last 8 kms was back on wide gravel roads mainly, but still managed not to be boring. 1/ saw two other hikers! Going the wrong way, but still. Proper backpack’s, actually carrying more than me because they had full camping gear. 2/ Beaver pond’s! Well, supposedly, according to the signs. 3/ an absolutely amazing carving park. Think tree stumps, carved into animals, gargoyles, griffins, people, scissors, acorns, etc,etc. Talent!! Free, wide open, with two more covered rest areas.

Incidentally @sunflowerfunk, these area’s would make great spots to sleep. Think big, wide timber bbq tables, with a roof….

Shortly afterwards it was back on to the road, sealed this time, for a km or two. Literally on the road, on the outskirts of a village. But it’s the first for today, so no big deal.

About 1 km later I entered the outskirts of Bad Düben. Most of the time it’s on a trail alongside the road. Until the very last stretch, which lead’s literally to the door of my accommodation.
Bad Düben Pilgerhaus has been set up by a (former?) pilgrim. He’s converted an old 2 storey house into a pilgrim haven.
Ten beds, in 5 rooms. A couple are doubles. Nearly all rooms individually lockable. Two bathrooms, a third under construction. Two - yes, two- kitchen’s. One large, one small, but serviceable. Fully equipped. Including oil, herbs, pasta, rice….. . Actually, a pantry with enough ingredients for dinner. Coffee, machine, milk, breakfast cereal. Free
Washing machine. Drying room. Patio area, with lounger’s. Two living areas, one of them huge! Keyboard, guitar.
I’ve probably forgotten stuff.
Sadly, I’m alone in the house- it’s like having a wonderful Albergue all to yourself.
Oh, it comes complete with bed linen and towels. €39.

Headed out for a coffee. You know the drill, the second bar/café is always better, right? Sure was today! Only one table left, a big one, right at the back. I’d barely sat down before I was approached by a lady, asking if anyone was joining me, and, if not, would it be ok if she and a couple of friends joined me? Heck yes!
A minute later, repeat! Now a full table. Just like on Camino!!
The group of 3 were locals, apparently this is THE place. The cake certainly was. Coffee …. ok, I’m fussy 😭 .
We all ended up chatting for the next 45 minutes, and left at the same time. Just what I needed.

The Camino provides - even here in Germany.

Talking of which, I’m hungry….
 
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Y'know, I'm actually rather regretting not walking from Germany when I had the chance - but I'm glad I get to live vicariously through you!! It's just about as good <33
I'll take note of the general sleeping spot availabilities though,,,, for unrelated reasons,,,, I'm sure I'll be back in Germany soon !!
And y'know, I'd probably also endorse the whole not-camping thing, I think we seem to have similar levels of cold-tolerance and most mornings I wake up feeling like I've lost one or more limbs hahah - take the warmth where you can get it <33
Congratulations on a lovely walk (finally not on the road!!), and enjoy the massive pilgerhaus - and dinner :))
 
Day 8, Bad Düben- Krostitz 22,3 km

Porridge for breakfast today, and the worst coffee yet. Made by me in one of those sachet machines. Not helped by the fact that the only milk around was Hafer (oat) milk. Which works well with porridge, but NOT coffee!
Another late start, out the door at 9.00. There’s no rush. And by 9.00 it’s generally warmed up a bit.
Searched for, and found, a bakery. Not cheap, but really good. Had I known that they serve coffee, I would have just come straight here. Oh well, the porridge was good, warm and filling - plus, bonus points - free. And the so-called coffee had caffeine in it, even if my taste buds didn’t appreciate it.
Got an excellent schnitzel roll for lunch, with extra salad on request. It was BIG!

Back on track, (the bakery isn’t far from the Camino), with plenty of signage heading out of town. The locals have made a real effort for a couple of kms in both directions. It’s been pretty hit and miss elsewhere.

Road soon turned into a paved (literally) cycle way, then tarmac, later still gravel. Not a lot of dirt today. But my feet appreciated the variety of surfaces.

So, like the Way itself, today was rather mixed. My preferred ( only) accommodation option in Krostitz was full, so I decided just to walk and see what happened. (Lots of transport options today).
Some of the stretches were just that. Long and straight. One piece, between 2 villages, made me think that the roading people have a nasty sense of humour. The signage says 2km - so, the road goes off on a tangent, dead straight, for 1km, sharp bend, and back in the other direction for, yes, 1 km. A straight line between the two villages was max 1,5 km…. . Oh, fortunately the road is fairly quiet - because the road IS the trail. You can step off if needed, but not walk on the verge- a little steep and overgrown. Had a few km like that.

Unlike yesterday, the majority of today (70 % ?) was paved, either literally, with tarmac, or with concrete. Sometimes, fortunately, with a grass strip in between.
Another section was … slightly odd. A quiet road section between 2 tiny villages. And the oddity? Cars came towards me always in pairs. 3 set’s. Cars from behind me, always singly, and a couple of minutes after the pair in the other direction. Yep, 3 times… ?? Not the same vehicles, I hasten to add.

The terrain is, sadly, flat again. But at least the surroundings vary. Different crops in the fields, a bit of (pine) forest, a few thoughtfully placed sitting area’s ( one, like yesterday, just 100 m after I’d stopped, hidden by trees…). One long stretch ( seems like today’s theme - The day of the long straight stretches‘) had pear trees alongside. Literally just on the edge of the trail, no where else . One stretch was clear, around the bend, the next had quite a few windfalls. Unfortunately, they were rather sour- not something I normally associate with pears!
I walked into Krostitz, directly past my preferred accommodation option, and a little further. Stopped at a convenient bench, and assessed the situation. Walk on to the next transit point? Hmm. Another 3,5km, and a long wait for a bus. Or, 150m a 15 minute wait, and a 50 minute trip into Leipzig, with load’s of accommodation options, from a €15 dorm bed up.

Not really hard to guess what I chose, is it.

I wasn’t really prepared for how big Leipzig is. I just never thought of it. 600,000 people is a few more than I was mentally prepared for. Especially after seeing something like 10- 15 people all day- on the trail, that is, the train coming in was FULL.

Just finished a Flat White (coffee), which could have been better, but was a vast improvement on this morning! Now off to explore for an hour or two before I seek dinner, then bed.
 
You know how in the old days, you’d write PS: at the bottom of the letter, and then write a bit more?
Well…

PS:
Wandered around the central city some. Seriously scenic! Neat old buildings, including St Nicholas church, town hall, etc, etc. Some of which is well lit at night. Which, whilst beautiful, really makes me want to see it in the daytime. There’s also some amazing new university buildings, too. I like good architecture.
I mean, I’m coming back anyway, to start off on the next leg (when I can), I just think I might need to add in at least half a day- as in, not just start walking straight away. Oh well, what’s one more day, right? I mean, at my current pace, I’m already looking at another 150 days- not exactly notching up the mileage at present ! I did say that this would be a long term project…
Still, the Camino isn’t going anywhere, right?

Oh, Indonesian food for dinner. Healthy, relatively cheap, and absolutely delicious!!
 
A Treasure Trove Of Interesting Pilgrim Hacks! Learn & Share Your Own Too!
You know how in the old days, you’d write PS: at the bottom of the letter, and then write a bit more?
Well…

PS:
Wandered around the central city some. Seriously scenic! Neat old buildings, including St Nicholas church, town hall, etc, etc. Some of which is well lit at night. Which, whilst beautiful, really makes me want to see it in the daytime. There’s also some amazing new university buildings, too. I like good architecture.
I mean, I’m coming back anyway, to start off on the next leg (when I can), I just think I might need to add in at least half a day- as in, not just start walking straight away. Oh well, what’s one more day, right? I mean, at my current pace, I’m already looking at another 150 days- not exactly notching up the mileage at present ! I did say that this would be a long term project…
Still, the Camino isn’t going anywhere, right?

Oh, Indonesian food for dinner. Healthy, relatively cheap, and absolutely delicious!!
Leipzig one of the greatest cities in Europe, and if you are going to Dresden, that may be even better!
If it interests you check out the Stasi stuff in both cities! Are you staying at Groners?
 
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I simply hadn’t realised. Silly, I know, but in my defence I was simply thinking of it as just another way point, just a little bigger than most.
I love Dresden, visited multiple times. Definitely not heading in that direction this time though! Next major stop would be Nürnberg. Which I’ve actually been to, but not seen - I was ill, spent 4 days flat on my back in bed, while my wife and son explored the city!
 
I simply hadn’t realised. Silly, I know, but in my defence I was simply thinking of it as just another way point, just a little bigger than most.
I love Dresden, visited multiple times. Definitely not heading in that direction this time though! Next major stop would be Nürnberg. Which I’ve actually been to, but not seen - I was ill, spent 4 days flat on my back in bed, while my wife and son explored the city!
Nuremburg is absolutely magnificent. Try and spend some time theee. Very dark history of course but the rally site is quite something.
 
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Nuremburg is absolutely magnificent. Try and spend some time theee. Very dark history of course but the rally site is quite something.
Ok, now I’m really going to show my ignorance - I never realised that Nuremberg and Nürnberg were one and the same! Trust the English speaking world to change the spelling….
 
Ok, now I’m really going to show my ignorance - I never realised that Nuremberg and Nürnberg were one and the same! Trust the English speaking world to change the spelling….
Ooh Blimey! I guess it can be confusing!!! Just so you know Koln and Cologne are the same place, as are Munchen and Munich!! If you followed the Bundesliga you would know!! Sorry I will stop being a clever clogs…I have been caught out many a time not least by Florence / Firenze in Italy, and I wasn’t sure re Fisterre and Finistere.

But it’s a great city and has so much recent history, albeit dark I guess. The rally location and the trials museum esp! Nuremburg sausage is legendary. Great beer though I know that’s not your thing!! Can get over to Munich on Bayern ticket for about €20.
 
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Day 9, Kostitz - Leipzig. 22km

A decent night’s sleep, but thank goodness for my earplugs- tramline straight outside the window. Didn’t hear a thing once my earplugs went in though.
Up relatively early by this trips standards, breakfast was calling. Just a bakery chain store, with machine coffee, but at least the coffee was halfway good for a change, and two fresh chocolate croissants never go amiss.
Back to the hotel, check out and a quick walk to the bus. Which, ofcourse was late. Just as I was looking for other options, it showed up, and I was off!
50 minutes or so later I was back in Krostitz, with a choice to make - wait 15 minutes for the next bus to yesterday’s end point, or walk an extra 1.2 kms.
Oh well, no point standing around getting cold… Never did see the bus!

Wasn’t very impressed with the start today. On the road, at the start just steep ditch on one side, and the other wasn’t that great either. Not that dangerous as it’s a long straight stretch on a relatively quiet road, but still….
Around 500m or so along there’s a turn off to the right. Heading straight towards the second village of the day ( the road once again following two sides of a triangle - with reason today). Now, the only problem with the gravel road was that it only went part way. Smack in the middle was a field. But there was another lane on the other side ….
Now, the funny thing about farmland in Germany is, they often don’t bother with fences. In NZ, EVERYTHING is fenced. (Not sure what that says about our different culture’s?) And the edge of the field lined up perfectly….
Anyway, I figured that if walked straight along the edge of the field, I’d be doing both my feet and my head a favour ( zero anxiety!) . So, that’s what I did. The great part being, zero crop in the field = no guilt.

Walking today was, unsurprisingly, all on the flat again. A bunch of different surfaces, much like yesterday. Big open field’s for the first part, giving way to lane’s/ cycleways on the edge of suburbia the nearer I got to Leipzig. Less actual road walking than yesterday, too ( welllll / if you ignore the first part…)

The hum (well, ok, roar) of so-called civilisation was present for the vast part of today. Hardly surprising given how large Leipzig is, but still 🤐.

After about 10km I was seriously ready for a break. No sooner had I vocalised that ( yes, really) I rounded a bend on the cycle way to find not one, but 5 wooden benches. All empty. Shoes off, jacket on, lunch out. An excellent Brie and cranberry sauce roll. Yum!! (Stopping overnight in the city has advantages.)

A good twenty or so minutes later, I reluctantly started walking again. Shortly afterwards, I joined the road - on the city outskirts!

Still 12 km to go though

A few minutes later, I saw my first Camino sign of the day. They were pretty regular after that. I’m not saying there weren’t any before, but I’m fairly good at spotting them ( this one was half hidden), so if they were there, there weren’t many of them.

Anyway, judging by my lack of photos from the last few kms ( a couple of neat buildings, a church, and the first seriously busy intersection in a few days (last night doesn’t count, I wasn’t on the trail then!), the rest of the trail wasn’t particularly noteworthy. Oh, other than the fact that it started raining. Nothing much, but enough to make me glad I was finishing.

I arrived back at my start point from this morning- the bus stop immediately outside the train station - 4 hours and 50 minutes after I left it. Including bus ride.

When I checked my connection back to my car, I had exactly 7 minutes!!
Just enough time to buy ( and drink) a coffee…

Incidentally, I’m writing this from home. After a shower and a GOOD coffee. And the rain has well and truly set in. I’m VERY glad I’m not out in it!

The next trip might be some time off sadly. The further from home I get, the harder it is to fit into even a long weekend. Especially if I want half decent weather!

Still, it’s been a hell of a year. I’ve discovered the Camino, walked the Inglés and the Primitivo, plus over 200 km of the Via Imperii. And goodness knows how many kms of training walks!

Not to mention finding this forum, and all of you.

Thanks, Ivar.
 
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A selection of Camino Jewellery
I am doing exactly this what you are now doing! One sunny Saturday in October 2017 I opened the door in Ulm where I lived that time and started walking towards Santiago. In Germany, I used the Baden-Württemberg train ticket on the weekends to always get me back to where I had stopped. That was before D-ticket. Once I hit Switzerland I started doing longer stretches and now, six years (alltogether 43 days of actual walking) later I have reached Le Puy in France. Next summer I'm hoping to have several weeks to continue.

The Jakobsweg I followed from Ulm to Constance was very well marked! But there are also maps on the website Outdooractive you can use. I can't really help with the lodging because I didn't stay the night even once in Germany and as far as I can remember I only saw one piögrims' hostel along the way https://www.haus-st-jakobus.de/de/2/Home.html . On the other hand, finding lodging was easy in Switzerland. There are cloisters, hostels and lots of private families that take pilgrims.

I meant to reach Santiago by the end of 2020! Nope, that didn't happen. What happened was a torn meniscus, a pandemic and whatever else. Now when I have been able to continue my pilgrimage, every single day, well, every single moment, has felt ever so special, like a gift from above.

I ordered a punch of credecials from Ivar and keep combining them when I run out of pages.
1698166323205.png
 
@Reija, something tells me I might struggle to catch up…. !
I thought about going via Ulm (although you say where you USED to live), but unless things change in the interim I’m more likely going to cut across to Tübingen and Rottenburg. Nothing set in stone though.
Good on you, and I hope you’re plan’s for next year work out!
Peter
 
Ideal pocket guides for during and after your Camino. Each weighs just 40g (1.4 oz).
@Reija, something tells me I might struggle to catch up…. !
I thought about going via Ulm (although you say where you USED to live), but unless things change in the interim I’m more likely going to cut across to Tübingen and Rottenburg. Nothing set in stone though.
Good on you, and I hope you’re plan’s for next year work out!
Peter
If you end up taking the route through Ulm, you WILL have a place to sleep! My family is still in Ulm, only I relocated to my native Finland for work. And I already mentioned this to them, that they might get a pilgrim to host sometime in the future.
 
Actually, now’s probably a good time to put forward the ( very rough) preliminary plan. With options.

Feedback welcome !

To be completed in two ( or more?) stages. Depending on where life leads me…

Stage 1: Germany. In multiple steps.

Step 1 : Potsdam- Leipzig. COMPLETE!

Step 2: Leipzig- Nürnberg. Via Imperii- Hoff, then on to the Fränkischer.

Step 3: Nürnberg- Tübingen.

Step 4
(last of Germany/ beginning of Switzerland) : Tübingen- Basel.

Stage 2: two choices.

A/ Basel - Le Puy-en-Velay. Then the Via Podiensis, and on to the Frances.

B/ Basel - Genève (Jura - Drei Seen- Weg.). Then onwards to Le-Puy-en-Velay, and the Via Podiensis to St Jean.

Not sure after that. Much as I would like to walk the Frances, I’m more drawn to the Norte. So perhaps cutting across to Biarritz, and continuing on from there.

Or ????

Oh, and finally, finally looping Finistera and Muxia.

I HOPE to do stage 2 as a single walk.
 
Actually, now’s probably a good time to put forward the ( very rough) preliminary plan. With options.

Feedback welcome !

To be completed in two ( or more?) stages. Depending on where life leads me…

Stage 1: Germany. In multiple steps.

Step 1 : Potsdam- Leipzig. COMPLETE!

Step 2: Leipzig- Nürnberg. Via Imperii- Hoff, then on to the Fränkischer.

Step 3: Nürnberg- Tübingen.

Step 4
(last of Germany/ beginning of Switzerland) : Tübingen- Basel.

Stage 2: two choices.

A/ Basel - Le Puy-en-Velay. Then the Via Podiensis, and on to the Frances.

B/ Basel - Genève (Jura - Drei Seen- Weg.). Then onwards to Le-Puy-en-Velay, and the Via Podiensis to St Jean.

Not sure after that. Much as I would like to walk the Frances, I’m more drawn to the Norte. So perhaps cutting across to Biarritz, and continuing on from there.

Or ????

Oh, and finally, finally looping Finistera and Muxia.

I HOPE to do stage 2 as a single walk.
Not that I'm biased in any way, but I also cut across to Biarritz (technically Bayonne, but they're almost the same place anyway), and what I've seen so far easily rivals the Geneva to Le Puy section in terms of beauty and varying terrain and everything else!
To be fair, I have been diverting from the trail,,,, a lot (whoops), to stay closer to the coast, but still! A few hills to climb with some killer views and a lovely swim every day doesn't go amiss :))
No matter what you choose, I'm so excited to follow along - even through classic flat Germany <33
 
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If you end up taking the route through Ulm, you WILL have a place to sleep! My family is still in Ulm, only I relocated to my native Finland for work. And I already mentioned this to them, that they might get a pilgrim to host sometime in the future.
Many thanks 🙏. Might be a while though!

Loved Finland, although it’s been a few years since I was there (1997 I think). From memory it was a bit like here- a little flat ! Wonderful people, some really neat places.

I visited (not necessarily in order) Helsinki, Turku, Rauma, Tampere, Lappeenrata, Savonlinna, Kajaani, Rovabemi and Oulu, (and presumably a few other places in between) before taking the bus up to Nordkap. (On the first day the road opened in spring, I was the only passenger! ). The snow was higher than the bus on either side of the road - incredible.
 
Not that I'm biased in any way, but I also cut across to Biarritz (technically Bayonne, but they're almost the same place anyway), and what I've seen so far easily rivals the Geneva to Le Puy section in terms of beauty and varying terrain and everything else!
To be fair, I have been diverting from the trail,,,, a lot (whoops), to stay closer to the coast, but still! A few hills to climb with some killer views and a lovely swim every day doesn't go amiss :))
No matter what you choose, I'm so excited to follow along - even through classic flat Germany <33
Just think, once you get your posts up to date I’ll be able to follow you 🤣🤣.
Yeah, I’d far rather stay close to the coast, there’s a good few post’s on the forum about variants.
I’m really interested in your views about the last part of the Norte, assuming you do it. I absolutely loved the Primitivo, and I just know I’m going to struggle to not cut across to re do it….
Assuming of course that I don’t just grab a two week holiday somewhere, and do it just for the pleasure of it.
 
Just think, once you get your posts up to date I’ll be able to follow you 🤣🤣.
Yeah, I’d far rather stay close to the coast, there’s a good few post’s on the forum about variants.
I’m really interested in your views about the last part of the Norte, assuming you do it. I absolutely loved the Primitivo, and I just know I’m going to struggle to not cut across to re do it….
Assuming of course that I don’t just grab a two week holiday somewhere, and do it just for the pleasure of it.
Shhhh I've got no idea what you're talking about I'd never fall behind,,,,,,,
But yeah, I'm interested too! I've got a guide for the Primitivo,,, but I do love me some water,,, but I do love some mountains! Too many routes and not enough time !! I'm not entirely sure what I'll do yet; but I was toying with the idea of picking one, getting to Santiago, doing the Finisterra/Muxia loop, walking back to Santiago and just,,, walking the other one backwards? It'll all depend on the time, so we'll see :)!
And I mean, you could always re-walk the Primitivo to celebrate walking the Norte!!
 
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I look forward to reading about /both/ of your journeys on the Norte or Norte-Primitivo !! I have to hold tight until 2025.

And I just enjoyed reading your posts about the Primitivo this year, Peter. Thank you for sharing your experiences. :)

Walking from your home in Europe is really cool! I'm in Australia, but maybe one day I could do a pilgrimage from my father's hometown in Devon, or my mother's in Kampen, Netherlands...
 
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Hi Peter,
just stumbled about your thread. I do have a similar dream to walk from my doorstep to Santiago but want to do it in one go. I guess it will be a few years until i'll be able to do that.
I live in Jena, and there are pretty much two options available. South (as you planned) or west (my current plan) over Erfurt - Vacha - Mainz - Trier - Metz -Dijon - Le Puy.
Not really sure why i did plan this way to be honest but it feels good for some reason. Might be a few kilometers more, but who's counting.

I stumbled over a website/blog a few years ago by a guy who walked from Jena twice, once the south and once the west option. Depending which way you'll continue from Leipzig it might be of some help. (or maybe thhere are more websites like this to find, who knows).

Anyways, i wish you best of luck on your way and will gladly read your journals :)
 
Just discovered this thread - I have walked the Norte, Finisterre, Muxia and just recently the Primitivo, like you Peter! I have family in Germany so we go yearly from Canada to visit so now plan on extending my visits to walk somewhere each time I go (until I am too old to walk that is)- I feel a draw with all the history as I discover TONS of walking Camino paths all through Germany! I am excited to do this new exploration and I no longer need another certificate, for me it is more about the walking, feeling the Way and the history. My question is - since I LOVED and used the walking Apps like Gronze and Wise Pilgrim apps) to get less often lost, does anyone know of anything similar in Germany? I am fortuantely bilingual so the language is no concern. I also have already bought a lot of the guide books (which are heavier than the compact versions we see for the Spanish Caminos!. Guter Weg Peter!
 
Greetings ! I love your part of the world - I stayed at a hostel ( The Fiddle Head) a couple of times, tucked in behind Powell river. Once in summer a year or two later in winter ( Christmas). Sadly it no longer exists ,( fire). Took the ferry to and fro from Vancouver Island, I'm guessing somewhere near you? Also hiked part of the West Coast trail; that was all many years ago.
Re: apps, I use Mapy.cz . I downloaded that specifically for the Jakobsweg.
I've never used anything like Gronze whilst on Camino -I've only done the Inglès and Primitivo so far, so no guidance required - just follow the arrows and find a bed at the end of the day !
I wish there was something like Gronze - whilst my language skills are improving they're not great and I seriously struggle to find any decent, current list of pilgrim accommodation. @good_old_shoes helped me out with the list above. Unfortunately that only covered a small part of my intended route.

I'm attending a Hospitalero's course in March so hoping to find others there that can give me assistance.

I'm unlikely to walk any further this winter because I see zero point in the current weather conditions. I appreciate some of you love hiking no matter what, that is simply not me.
Should weather hit whilst I'm actually on the trail that is of course a completely different thing. Then it is simply another challenge to be overcome - just like getting lost or having nowhere to stay for the night. No big deal...

EDIT: Also found this on the forum - https://www.oekumenischer-pilgerweg.de/gehen/pilgerführer-bestellen.html .
 
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The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
Greetings ! I love your part of the world - I stayed at a hostel ( The Fiddle Head) a couple of times, tucked in behind Powell river. Once in summer a year or two later in winter ( Christmas). Sadly it no longer exists ,( fire). Took the ferry to and fro from Vancouver Island, I'm guessing somewhere near you? Also hiked part of the West Coast trail; that was all many years ago.
Re: apps, I use Mapy.cz . I downloaded that specifically for the Jakobsweg.
I've never used anything like Gronze whilst on Camino -I've only done the Inglès and Primitivo so far, so no guidance required - just follow the arrows and find a bed at the end of the day !
I wish there was something like Gronze - whilst my language skills are improving they're not great and I seriously struggle to find any decent, current list of pilgrim accommodation. @good_old_shoes helped me out with the list above. Unfortunately that only covered a small part of my intended route.

I'm attending a Hospitalero's course in March so hoping to find others there that can give me assistance.

I'm unlikely to walk any further this winter because I see zero point in the current weather conditions. I appreciate some of you love hiking no matter what, that is simply not me.
Should weather hit whilst I'm actually on the trail that is of course a completely different thing. Then it is simply another challenge to be overcome - just like getting lost or having nowhere to stay for the night. No big deal...
Hello Peter,

I actually DO live on Vancouver Island, in the Comox Valley, just across the "water" from Powell River. Yes a beautiful area of the world for sure, and there are hopes to use an old railway line from Victoria to here to make a sort of walk (but no hostel infrastructure) as there is a very active Canadians Pilgrims association right in Victoria, a few people of which I kept on running (walking) into on the Norte last year! So far I have been buying books on the different potential routes but if I find out any Apps I will let you know - who knows maybe we will run into each other walking in Germany somewhere (strange things happen as we all know when walking) - currently I am thinking about walking the Rennsteig in the Thueringe forest area late August to mid September... it is supposed to be one of the most amazing ways in Germany... you can start from the Polish border - or not... depending on the amount of time you have..
 
I actually DO live on Vancouver Island, in the Comox Valley, just across the "water" from Powell River. Yes a beautiful area of the world for sure, and there are hopes to use an old railway line from Victoria to here to make a sort of walk (
Yes, saw Courtney on your profile. I used to have very good friends in Victoria (we actually met at the Fiddle Head). Visited a few times, I've hitched around Vancouver Island and across most of Canada.

That rail trail sounds like an excellent idea. I find them a little hard under foot, (rockplates highly advised ) but the gradients are always very gentle! And they often go through wonderful countryside. No need to worry about traffic either.....

Re: the books you are gathering, if you find anything that you'd be happy to recommend (suitable to the list I posted above) I'd be very grateful. I don't mind buying them, it's just there's such a massive number of publications to wade through I find it mentally exhausting. It'll be a good winter time activity to help improve my reading skills!
 
I seriously struggle to find any decent, current list of pilgrim accommodation.

And there you go ;)

It is not complete, but a starting point. (eg for Via Regia and Via Baltica you have to buy the guidebook to get all pilgrim accomodations), but maybe it is usefull for the route you intend to walk.

 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.

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