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       Pilgrimage under one hat - on the way with Sandra

     Bavarian Swabian Way of St. James  

       Stage 7:  From Augsburg to Göggingen  - 7 km

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Damn long ago ... damn long ...

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It's been almost a year since I arrived at the Jakobskirche in Augsburg. Today, the Thursday after Pentecost, the weather is promising and the incidence in Augsburg has finally fallen somewhat. I already have the melody of the BAP classic in my head in the morning and pack myself into the car with a pilgrim hat, four pilgrim stones and a moderately full backpack to cover the route for the planned mini-day stage. I park 100 meters away from the starting point of the Wertach Bridge in Göggingen  on a quiet side street. "Huh? Starting point? Isn't the Wertach Bridge the destination?", The attentive reader might think.

Right! Be careful.

Because there is a small corona-related plan change with traffic-technical advantages for pilgrims who are unfamiliar with the area.

I will follow the path today - contrary to my previous direction -  first back to Augsburg to the center and then  go back (like an Amazon parcel) to my starting point.  That makes a total of 14 km and avoids both looking for a parking space near the Jakobskirche in the city center and a simple but full tram ride back to the car. 

The first pilgrim stones are exposed

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The pilgrimage sign with the note,

that here is the further way direction

Lindau in an east and a west way

at this point separates, I find out

Right off the bat. The Ostweg I in a couple

Weeks to tackle leads

from here towards Türkheim  until after

Bad Grönenbach, where he met the

Westweg reunited. 

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I think the pilgrim stones are clearly visible here on the metal frame. I can only hope that someone else will also find it great, comes up with the idea of taking one with them,  Identifies the QR code on the back as such, scans it, hopefully it is still readable and then, after all the effort, finally contacts me. 

I think the idea is good in and of itself, but the likelihood that I will get a reaction  I get rather low with this stone input. Certainly I first have to lay out 100 - 200 stones and optimize the system that has been devised in order to actually hear something about the whereabouts and movement of the stones. 

Because actually you lay  picks up his own pilgrim stone and does not pick up another pilgrim's obviously painted stone.

And the longer such a stone has to wait for its "pick-up", the more the weather does the rest of the legibility of the QR code on the back.

But maybe, like so much else in life, you just need a little patience. And hope that it will be fine.

I admit, the pilgrim stone idea fascinates me and I would really like it to work. With sharks  And turtles can also track their water journeys, so that would be great for my pilgrim stones too. So analog on land. The contact with me would be the limiting factor with the spoiled sea creatures. I hope that the pilgrim does not fail. Because the alternative - pilgrims with tracking devices - would certainly mean even less interest for me.

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Are you all still there?

In any case, full of anticipation and curiosity, I ask myself, as I follow the path along the river Wertach for about 3 kilometers, whether on my return in a few hours all the stones will probably still be there or all have already disappeared and what I would probably find better . 

Almost Icelandic flair

I come to an idyllic kiosk with a beer garden

past. The outdoor catering has been open since yesterday

Bavaria.

This spring-like sun shines unsteadily, and so do the birds

chirp friendly. On the way back there would be a cool drink with a view of the Wertach  a nice reward, but it is not yet deserved and so we continue with our destination in the direction of the Jakobskirche.

I leave the Wertach and walk a short distance through it

quiet residential area and further through the Wittelsbacher Park

in the middle, like a cold water geyser,  Water is shot into the air to form a tall fountain.

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AAA - Old Augsburg Old Town

 

We continue past a striking, round hotel tower. Shortly afterwards I cross the train tracks on the Gögginger Bridge near the main train station. There is already a lot of traffic here and I am obviously approaching the center. Then I have to over three times  two lanes away  change the side of the street and use several pedestrian lights connected in series. I obey the traffic rules and only cross the street immediately when it is green. However, the green phases are so short that I would not recommend anyone with walking disabilities or elderly people to cross the street here, unless they are tired of life. Despite walking quickly across the street, I need more than five minutes to cross the three lanes thanks to the generous waiting times at the traffic islands. I think that can be optimized.  

I notice that Augsburg has a few beautiful historical corners and medieval alleys that I would not have actually seen, because somewhere at a temporary strawberry stall I probably missed the correct turn. Instead of going back, I look for a more or less parallel path that also leads me to my goal. I even pass a historic water wheel near the bird gate. I can definitely take the originally planned route back, then it won't be boring. 

Google teaches me that Augsburg has the third largest old town after Cologne and Hamburg. Who would have thought that! At least I don't.

I am just before the end of the stage. I notice that a surprising number of people wear masks on the street. In our district, that is much less common. An older woman comes towards me, does not speak to me, but points to my face.

Aha, that means I should put on a mask. But just as many people walk around without a mask. I am still undecided. Everyone can do whatever they want outside and it's not tight either.

The Jakobskirche is already in sight. This time I decided not to forget to take a photo of the church and the fountain behind it or in front of it, as I had, unfortunately, literally sweaty when I arrived last year.

Outside on the wall of the church I come across an information board on the Way of St. James, which was probably already there on my last visit, but which had remained invisible. I learn that the church was built in 1355 and has been Protestant since the Reformation. It was probably destroyed by air raids during the war in 1944 and rebuilt in 1948. 

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Church open again  

I'm luckier this time. The front door can be opened and useful information for pilgrims is hanging on the wall inside. A telephone number offers help in finding accommodation  and four different addresses for receiving a pilgrimage stamp are also listed.  Even  It says MCTramp, the outdoor shop right across from the church, in which I received the Augsburg stamp last year only thanks to the knowledge of my fellow pilgrim Ansgar. Because in the church the information is of little use if you can't get in, but of course that was due to the pandemic.

There is even a flyer published by the Jakobus Pilgergemeinschaft-Augsburg eV, which can be found on their homepage

www.pilgern-schwaben.de indicates where you can find a lot of helpful information.

Ignorance does not protect against punishment

 

After taking a lunch break outside at the fountain and strengthening myself, I'm back on the now alternative way back. After a few hundred meters, a woman speaks to me and warmly recommends that I wear a mask, because the police would be constantly checking here in the city center. 

Oh man, only now I really understand.  The Augsburgers actually had to wear a mask outside! I really didn't know. One or two signs at the beginning of the pedestrian zone might have been helpful for the inexperienced out-of-town hiker, but nothing to see.

Or maybe I just looked past it. Or should have read that beforehand.

When I turn into Karolinenstrasse, just before the Rathausplatz, I am of course wearing like everyone else  a mask while the police are actually slowly patrolling me. That could have been an expensive trip too ....

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I walk out of town towards the St. Ulrich and Afra basilica.

I believe in  Augsburg has a lot of impressive buildings to visit.

I'm really pleasantly surprised, but also happy when I leave the city center and can take off my mask again. It won't take long  and I'm back at the river again. Since it is now really sunny  has become, I'm already looking forward to the beer garden stop.

It is astonishing  me that at this

nice weather no more people sitting there.

Only one more table is occupied.

but  maybe it's too early in the day. After a half-hour refreshment break, it goes on

back towards Göggingen.

Are you all still there ???

The last two kilometers  pull like chewing gum. I pissed off some muscle in my left shin. He complains a little, but I ignore him because I'm curious about the current stone situation on my sign.

And find what  do I go there? Guess!

Naturally.

All stones are still lying well where I put them .....

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The cheese church

As the grand finale of the day, I take a look at the so-called "Skt. Camenbertkirche", which was built right next to the Wertach Bridge and is actually called "To the Most Holy Redeemer". The walls owe their nickname  its unusual architectural design, which is of course reminiscent of a piece of French soft cheese.

So from the air.

You can't really see that in my photo. Somehow I am surprised that the front door is not locked, because I had read beforehand that it was only open on weekends. All the better.

To my delight, I of course find the most modern pilgrim temple in the interior of this modern church. Not tailored to the eighth shape, but round, but with a mechanism to press down and with an integrated stamp pad.

Reminds me of our old coffee machine in small size, only without a jug underneath. 

With this construction you first have to make a test print on paper to see how the thing works and where the front and back are.

On the sheet of paper in front of me, it had already been tried five times. Both the test print and the print in my passport are perfect. Somebody thought about it and had the stamp individually designed, probably on the Internet. 

Very nice. Shortly afterwards, satisfied, I return home.

Then the start of the second week of pilgrimages to Bad Grönenbach  actually nothing more in the way.

I just have to take care of the overnight stays.

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