After way too many weeks in the cities and being trapped in an air cask because of my broken foot I set my eyes on a free weekend to get outdoors again. The Saxonian Switzerland is a hilly area and national park about 3 hours from Berlin. It is a valley with some funky sandstone mountains and rock formations – interesting for climbers and hikers alike.
Originally we wanted to head there in early October and sleep outside in a tent. With a recently healed foot and approaching late November I decided a two day hike – called “Micro Adventures in Saxonian Switzerland” on the Komoot app – with a night in a cute hotel would be the appropriate option.
I also declared these two days to be my “strategy days”. I use to take some time off in irregular periods in which I just let my thoughts flow for a while or tackle a specific question during the day and then try to wrap them up or make sense of them afterwards. And the last time felt ages ago.
So I took my travel and work notebooks with me and gave myself the challenges “What have I learned about myself during travelling? What is different now? And what do I want to achieve in 2020?”
Off I was.
I arrived on schedule at 10 am at my departure point Rathen. So many fellow hikers waited at the small ferry with me. I feared my idea of a late November hike all alone in the woods wouldn’t be as romantic and remote as I had planned it. Luckily all of the 30 others turned left just after the crossing to go to maybe the most popular attraction – the Bastei Brücke.
I walked straight through the last little houses of Rathen and I was alone.
Six hours on day one took me through trees and hills. The forest threw all its colors at me and changed from oranges and yellows to blue and grey landscapes. Sometimes on wider paths, sometimes completely off-road when the hiking maps navigation picked a route which was no longer existing.
The little hotel I reached with dusk offered great food, great wine and a place to sit down for 3 hours and write all my thoughts of the day together in my little notebook.
In the background an old playlist with forgotten one hit wonders from the early 2000s tried its best to entertain. It seemed time had stopped here a couple of times during the last decades and it was perfect.
Day 2 brought me from the Kirnitzschtal to Schmilka, a 4 hours walk with smaller climbs, stone carved steps, metal ladders and ridge walk sections. Less thoughts accompanied me during these hours as I had to focus on where to set my feet.
Only on the train ride back to Berlin while enjoying my hot porridge and coffee I realized how much these short two days helped me. I found my way back to inner calmness and a clearer mind – even though it just lasted a couple of days. I have hints what I need to do to bring it back.