I had a fairly leisurely walk of 14 miles, almost entirely on a bike trail, on this beautiful Sunday in northern Germany. My day ended in the historic old city of Hildesheim.
I hit the road at 8:30 this morning and immediately found myself on a bike trail running right beside the road. After about two miles, the trail ended because there was a hill to climb with switchbacks, which has almost always meant no bike route until you make it over the hill. Today was no exception. After about two miles of climbing and following the road back and forth through the forest, the bike trail reappeared and stayed with me the remainder of the day.
Two observations I’ve made concerning Sunday’s in Europe. First, the truckers must have a very strong union, because there are absolutely no trucks on the roads on Sundays. It must be their unwritten rule that they just don’t work on the sabbath. Second, considering how many churches (almost exclusively old churches) there are in this part of the world, I have not observed anyone at any of those churches, at anytime. Not on Sunday mornings or any other time. You would think that as many Sunday mornings as I’ve walked through towns and cities, I would have seen someone coming or going to church. Or maybe I would have seen a gathering of cars in the church parking lots. But I honestly have not observed any organized church activity. I can’t explain it, but it makes me wonder.
Tonight I’m staying in Hildesheim. It’s a fairly large city of 101,000+, and was founded around 815. Their current city hall was built in 1268. Most of Hildesheim was destroyed during air raids in 1945, the majority coming only two months before the end of WWII in Europe. Only 27% of the homes in Hildesheim went undamaged, and the city center was almost completely destroyed. Because housing was needed so badly after the war, most of the city was rebuilt as modern concrete buildings so Hildesheim lost much of its medieval charm. However, part of the center of town was rebuilt to look as it did before the bombing.
Tomorrow I walk to Hanover, which is 19 miles north of here. I’ll have a day off Tuesday before tackling next weeks heat wave; temperatures back into the mid-90s for a few days. I hope you all had a great weekend. JB.