I had no set itinerary in mind when I left the house – I just knew it was going to be a long walk. I realized it had been six weeks since I left Sulzburg, other than a couple of trips to church and one visit to the doctor for a flu shot. Those were both quick and focused.
As a city person I find small-town life constraining at times. It would be so nice to experience a city again, even if only for a few hours. But there are problems. The nearby cities don’t seem that appealing at the moment.
Basel, Switzerland is only a short train trip away – but Switzerland set a new COVID-19 record Friday. Probably not the place you want to visit right now.
Mulhouse, France, is even closer if I were to drive. However, France just passed the million COVID-case mark and has a strict curfew. I’m not sure I want to visit a place where they think viruses are only transmitted at night.
Which would leave me with Freiburg, Germany, an easy trip for me and the local city I have visited most often. But COVID cases are on the rise there too. As fans with tickets to last Saturday’s football match found out when spectators were banned 24 hours before kickoff. These days you have to wear a mask just to walk along the street. Not my idea of fun.
So I went for a walk. Not really something different – I try to walk every day for fresh air and exercise.
Except this time I left town, walked through the next town and on to a third one. Return trip 14 kilometres. Took a few hours and I must admit I felt a little tired at the end – that’s about 10 kilometres longer than my daily walk.
However, I took a trail I hadn’t been on in 2020 so far. It’s amazing how many little differences you can find if you look. I found some interesting historic sites in the towns, some trail-side shrines, and just some nice fall scenery.
Admittedly, it wasn’t all that different from my daily walk, but it was different enough. I’d still like to visit a city sometime soon, but until there’s a little more freedom and a little less disease, I think I’ll stick to the Black Forest and the local towns.
And hope they don’t lock those down too.