15 May: Maihingen

Distance: 12 km
Elev: +15m

Instead of making the long haul of 26km from Oettingen to Nördlingen all in one day, I divided that over two days, in exchange for no rest day in Nördlingen. With the temperature in the mid-70’s and the humidity near triple digits, I was awfully glad for the shorter day. Since I wasn’t pressed for time, I visited the St Jakob’s church. It dates from the 1300’s and has some remarkable Baroque decoration.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a font quite like this one.

Shortly after leaving town, I encountered a pensioner, out for a bike ride with his husky, who was having a hard time in the heat. So we all stopped on a bench for a while. The farmers had cut hay in some fields yesterday, and were frantically trying to get it collected before rain comes again tomorrow. Turns out, the word for hay is heu (“hoy”). Also those small sprouts I was seeing were sugar beets (there’s a processing plant nearby) or corn (maiz). Later on, I was astonished to see ten storks along the edge of a field. Never had I seen them on the ground like that, only in those traditional rooftop nests.

I had lunch in Heuberg, the berg part of the name being entirely wishful thinking. It was home to an enormous horse operation – I mean capacity for dozens if not a hundred.

This is flat, flat country, which made it very easy for the Romans to build their straight-as-an-arrow road, stretching for over100 km between the Danube and Heidenheim. I walked a section of it after lunch (flat + straight + hot = boring!). Boring, that is, until I came to an intersection with history. There was a monument, made from materials found on the site, to the military airfield that operated here from 1937 to the end of the war, and to the refugee camp it became. This was a big base, with a 1-km runway and 10 aircraft hangers, as well as the necessary maintenance shops, defenses, and lodgings. So it was well equipped to handle 30,000 refugees through 1960 when it was closed. Most of these were the Sudetenland Germans who were displaced by the ethnic cleansing of Czechislovakia. Others were refugees from eastern Germany. The jump in time from the Romans to modern day made my head spin.

Finally I made it into Maihingen. This is a small farming town, but it has two churches. One is an enormous cloister dating to 1700.

In the garden was a labyrinth, a more modern edition. Looks to be in the traditional Chartres pattern.

My lodgings are in the former cloister brew house.

Dining. This is a small operation, but Frau and Herr were most helpful and solicitous. Dinner was a roast pork (can never get enough of the stuff) with mushroom sauce, and spaetzle that was light as air. For dessert, I had some cheese cake (Kasekuchen). Frau makes her own cakes every week – that is one enormous kitchen she has. Herr’s job is to slice up the veggies for the kraut, pickles, salads, etc.

Lodging: Gasthaus zur Klosterschenke which has only a few rooms, but they are well equipped and nicely laid out. Recommended!

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


2 responses to “15 May: Maihingen

  1. I am loving the German countryside and your descriptions. Brings back my stay in 1960 in Beutelsbach near Stuttgart.

  2. Sounds like you are enjoying these beautiful small towns even if the temps are getting hotter and the humidity higher. Also sounds as if you are not meeting any fellow walkers on Jakobsweg. Where are the other pilgrims?
    It’s fun to follow your travels and thanks for putting up the pictures, the mileages and the elevations you make everyday. That helps me form images of your walking more easily. Lois

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