31-Day Challenge: Day 26

Describe a walk around your block…


We don’t really have a block, so to speak, at least not in the traditional grid sense of your typical American city. Instead, I’ll tell you a bit about my new walking route, which has been deemed “Upper Dorf.”

A couple years ago when I started walking and trying (unsuccessfully) to jog, I formed a “Lower Dorf” route. I still like that route, but it involves crossing a lot more streets, even going directly through a new neighborhood, and frankly, there’s just more people than I like to see when I’m wandering about.

BV went questing into the forest one day in search of dirt (don’t ask), and discovered a new trail, which has now become part of a larger track that I’ve been developing.

As I mentioned a few posts back, since getting the Fitbit, I’ve been trying to get those ten thousand steps a day that we all supposedly need. I’ve got my new trail down to right about nine thousand, which ensures that even on the laziest days, as long as I do that, we’re good to go.

To start off, we leave the house and go around the train station. Don’t make eye contact with the loitering teenagers, and watch out for broken glass on the ground. Also, if they’re having noise contests with their scooters, just ignore them. Passing by the small area of rowhouses and the old station building, go through a gate and under an archway of flowering bushes. This will bring you out in a duplex’s parking area, but just go around the house and turn right back towards the street.

At the next street take a left and in a few steps you’ll be onto the gravel road that goes to some of the local garden plots. Past them, the gravel street narrows to a bike path that connects us to the next village. But we’re not going that far. The short stretch of trees on the right will come to an end, and then you turn right too. Across the field and past the fish ponds, go up the hill and you’ll come to another gravel service road and a few isolated garden houses.

Off to the right you might hear some traffic, but that’s our direction. When you come to the street, check for cars of course, and then go across. It doesn’t look like much now that everything is blooming, but there’s a small path through the forest here. After a quick uphill climb, the path will widen and more paths will come and cross at every which angle. Despite the myriad of trails, it’s rare to see more than a dog walker or an old farmer checking on his trees here. Keep going straight and after passing through the thickly planted area inside a fence, start to the bear to the right. Coming to the top of another small hill, you’ll see another street, which we’re crossing again.

Through another small field with three carp ponds waaaay off to the left, and we’re back onto a gravel farm road. A quick pass under the trees and then a great expanse is in front of you. Depending on the season the squares in front are brown, green, yellow, or right now, all of the above dappled with wildflowers. Time is of no importance and the sun is shining, so again we’ll turn left. On a sunny day all around the field we can look off in the distance and see the Nürnberg TV tower, and beyond that, the soft blue outlines of the hills that surround the city.

The long straight road comes to an intersection. In front of you to the left and the right are small fields with horses. Turn right, passing horses and freshly turned over ground on the left, and a field of waving grasses on the right. A few more minutes brings a T-junction, with more horses to the left. Left also goes to the next village, so we’ll turn right. The road abandons its square lines here, instead snaking into the forest. We follow that through a stretch of forest and come out on the edge of yet another grassy field.

Off to the right we can see a few farm buildings, but let’s turn left again. Around the square we go, today having to pass around two cars that are parked side-by-side on the small farm road, while their owners have a chat. A few more turns and we pass by a dog walker, nodding hello to both man and dog.

Three sides of the field pass by, bringing us to the front of the farm buildings. A sign advertises fresh eggs and milk, and the occasional cow can be heard from deep inside an enormous barn. We caught glimpses of the chickens as we passed by the hedge, but they much have a much quieter rooster than our neighbors.

The farm buildings are connected to yet another village by a long allée lined with birch trees. We follow the trees, just keeping up with a tractor kicking us dust far off in the field to the left. Another patch of forest behind the field on the right comes closer and closer until the field narrows and the forest meets the road. Here we turn right again.

Following the edge of the forest on the right and another field on the left, we start to hear a faint humming sound. It grows louder and louder, and then between the trees we see the outline of some brightly painted boxes. The beehives are open for business. A safe distance away is an insect hotel, where a few bees buzz in and out, in addition to its other residents.

Circling another field we have a view to the skyline of our own small village. Most of the houses are shielded from view by trees that are bright green, though just a few weeks ago they were white with blossoms. Now the white blossoms are all around us, as we’ve left the farm field behind and are crossing through a grassy meadow. Ahead of us the first farm field grows closer and closer, the yellow heads of the rapeseed waving in a slight breeze.

The field gradually slopes uphill, until we come to the first intersection we met. Reversing our path, it’s back through the trees, across the roads, through the forest paths, back around the train station with its loitering youths, and home again. Now it’s time for a book, a sunny spot in the garden, and a loooooong drink of water. Or a beer, your choice.


Editor’s Note: This is part of a 31-day challenge series for the month of May, in which I aim to spend at least 15 minutes writing about whatever strikes my fancy. Results may vary. 


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