When the group leader turned left at Sulzburg City Hall I knew it would be a longer than necessary walk. To get to St. Ilgen a right turn was required, at least if you wanted a direct route.
Marching through the forest meant that my wife, who took the vineyard route, managed to be waiting for us in Laufen, normally a half-hour walk, despite her starting half an hour later than the group.
Taking the forest route made sense I guess. It meant a fair amount of walking was done in the shade, an important consideration for a middle aged or older group. And it explained why we had a 12:30 departure for this community walk. St. Ilgen is normally about a 45 minute walk from Sulzburg, leaving two hours beforehand seemed a little excessive.
I’ve been on pub crawls. I’m the person designated to drink soft drinks and ensure that none of the drinkers in the group get into trouble. But I don’t remember ever being on a church crawl before.
It seemed like a reasonable activity for a hot holiday afternoon. Three villages, three churches, three organ recitals.
I must admit I have never been a huge fan of classical organ music. Somehow it all sounds pretentious. Even when it is being played in churches built a millennium ago, on pipe organs older than the 18th century music being played.
There were about 50 of us who started the walk from the Sulzburg market Square. At the first concert, two hours later in St. Ilgen, there were more than 125 people in the church. Probably the biggest crowd of the year – the place only holds 100 comfortably, they had to bring out extra benches.
There were refreshments before the concert at each stop. Donations accepted. There were cakes I didn’t care to try, bread and cheese, and sparkling water. I’ve never quite understood the European love of sparkling water (and I feel a separate post for that topic might be warranted).
By the end of the second concert (which was in Laufen) I was done. The organ to me is not a solo instrument. I found the second concert more interesting because we were seated near the organist and could see the intricacies of playing the instrument, but even then, I found it didn’t fully capture my attention.
So we skipped the last performance, which was back in Sulzburg. After all, it had been a full afternoon. Three churches, a couple of concerts and we had walked 10 kilometres.
I’m not sure if I would do it again though, unless the music is more to my liking.