The strange tree near wickendorf and two other ratsels: from steinberg to teuschnitz

In the summer series, the FT reporters travel through the district from south to north on side roads.Always on the lookout for stories along the way. At least i am still on the marienweg path. Then I’m not quite so alone. Maria, the wayside shrines and the chapel of asherah make one think about a bit of spirituality and a story in the category of "unnoticeable knowledge, which I heard yesterday on the eve of the hike.

A theologian has taken the trouble to calculate the distances the israelites walked in the old testament. In one of the most famous wanderings, led by moses and god, the landless people of israel spent 40 years in the wilderness between agypt and the promised land. The geographically knowledgeable theologian has calculated that the people of israel walked about five meters a day. The distance can be covered in eleven days for an average exodus. This is slow.

I walk a little faster. For the sake of interest, I calculated how long it would take me to travel at five meters a day, like the biblical people, through the district of kronach – in a straight line – from south to north. It was almost 29 years. The summer series was then without interruption about 1508 week episodes long.

Mother alone with maria

I am currently on the third stage, the marienweg between steinberg and teuschnitz, so alone that I wish I could talk to animals and plants. Between trebesberg and schafhut I meet a quiet, careful walker, adapted to the pace of israel, who I assume is one of the many participants in the contemplative retreats in haus gries. There is little talk. We say hello briefly. On the other hand it is also too heib to talk. By noon the temperature climbs to over 30 degrees.

One is going too fast for me: hello, servus! Another man in a checkered shirt meets me exactly on the bridge over the teuschnitz in the valley, which is too narrow for two hikers. He wishes me a good day and that I will find some good subjects for pictures. And finally, the butcher’s shop assistant in teuschnitz asks me how it is possible to go hiking in such heat. All for the text. This is my work. I can not think of anything. Auber, that her workplace is much better tempered than mine.

I wander alone through places i have never heard of before. Sheep’s hat and courtyard. In schafhof I see no sheep, but bees. Honey from the apiary is advertised. The chapels between glosberg and steinberg are lined with marterls behind the aschera chapel.

In principle it is not bad to be alone. The hiker can then concentrate on his thoughts about the bible and the wondrous things along the way. There are quite a few of them, and because there are no information boards or local people to help me this time, I have tried to explain the little wonders to myself, or to have them explained to me afterwards.

Three questions, three answers

The tree: there are many trees in the forest that look as if nature is trying to make art or someone is trying to make art out of nature with chainsaws. The tree in the forest between marienroth and wickendorf looks as if it had conquered a serious childhood disease. My question: is it true??

The power pole: a green flag and a red backpack hang from a power pole just before wickendorf, below the tickling sound of the current, but above my arm’s reach. Who has placed the two things that do not belong there, so that every hiker sees them but cannot reach them?? What’s in the red backpack? Manna?

The bottles: in a section of forest behind posseck, two ketchup bottles have been sculpted on two poles and marked with pink paint. What is this?

Everything can be explained, even if not with absolute certainty: I send the photo of the strange tree to a forest expert friend, georg. That it is a spruce, I have also recognized. He does not think it is a disease. He says the tree probably suffered from several attacks in its early years and kept getting scarred until it looked like a candle burning down in a bottle.

He also has a suspicion about the two ketchup bottles: kafer traps. I have not seen any cafer, only the red bottles. But maybe they will come.

It gets interesting again with the electricity pylon. I am not sure if it is an idiotic speculation or if the answer is actually found in technology. I write to bayernwerk and the grid operator tennet. Bayernwerk answers that it is a high-voltage pylon of the company tennet, which does not respond. Nevertheless, the press spokesman has a suspicion: at this point tennet is replacing conductors. The green flag marks the disconnected circuit. The safety line is probably in the red bag. Learned something again.

By the way, the way to relax is indeed ideal. On the 17 kilometers alternate wide frankenwald viewpoints, noisy barbecues, shady woods, pond and meadows. Had I had more time, I would certainly have been longer on the road. Not 40 years, but a long time.


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