top of page

Pilgrimage under one hat - on the way with Sandra

Bavarian Swabian Way of St. James


Stage 2:  Wemding - Harburg 17.3 km

Logo Buen Camino.png

 Tuesday 7th July 2020  

  Through the Bavarian jungle

Weather situation: perfect


Slept like a rock in Labergasse. No talk bothered me.

Even in bed I think again of old Confucius. The route is the goal. Today I have a good 17 km to go.

There is nothing to complain about at the accommodation. Nice host, delicious food, all good.

There would be five stars for it on an imaginary pilgrim accommodation evaluation comparison portal from me. Much more than yesterday. Find such a pilgrim portal  really already instead of on the net? Otherwise it might be an idea.

Strengthened after a hearty breakfast, I leave the “Zur Ente” inn in the direction of the city center.

Incidentally, there are three different sculpture tours in Wemding. The sculpture in the picture is called Sterntaler Girl. A brochure with explanations of the routes can be purchased from the information center.

Pretty town center

I am now walking on Skulpturenweg 1 and soon pass the picturesque, historic town center.

The golden statue of Mary in the middle of the fountain outshines  the place at 9 o'clock  in the still very pleasant morning sun. 

Otherwise it is tranquil and deserted again.

Not even the excavator operator who belongs to the little orange vehicle has started work yet. He stays just like all the people I am  Missed yesterday on the way, disappeared.

Or he is already taking a breakfast break in the "Invisible".


A place without rest

Shortly after leaving the village, the narrow one meanders

Road up a hill. As an aside, I did

the impression I have hardly started walking when this one

Sign with a view of a very idyllic,

well-kept place, invites you to rest.

Lots of people would be happy if they were such an oasis of calm


Actually, my heart would like to linger now

and the feet wouldn't mind anytime anyway

rest, but the rebellious spirit resists.

He demands from my command center: Do it first

what before you this  Put your legs up again. They have that  not yet earned.

Sighing, I miss this leisurely opportunity and while various body parts  still want to beat up this inner tyrant, put it  this  a special wish to appease everyone involved. He would like to  on the spot just press the copypaste button for landscape duplication and quickly insert the rest area 8 km further ahead in the course of the route. “What an idiot!” Scolds my back. “Total nonsense”, both feet agree.

I don't think I really need to mention it, but of course I can't get past a rest area that is so nicely prepared for the pilgrim until Augsburg.

The path now leads gently upwards, past a few gardens at the back, into the adjacent forest. And all of a sudden, having dreamed a little before me, the path then looks like this:


Lots of undergrowth


A quick check on the cell phone. Yeah, here it goes.  Straight through tick country.

I use my left walking stick like a machete for a few hundred meters and safely separate a few families of ticks from each other by letting them rain in a parallel universe on the opposite side of the path.

Meanwhile, I carelessly pull the right walking stick behind me by the hand strap and so get caught every few meters with the tip of the plate in some overgrown undergrowth.

Mentally I had prepared myself for a lot, but I hadn't really had jungle trekking on my screen.

In the Bavarian forests, the Jakobusweg is thought to be easy to walk on and well cared for, like the beautiful rest area, which was perhaps 2 km behind me as the crow flies. You thought, you thought, you thought wrong….

But here nature was simply unmolested and naturally started to sprout.  The jungle path has its charm, even if it slows me down quite a bit. Fortunately, it doesn't take too long and the passage is behind me. Thereafter  the trail leads to a kind of forest path that is even signposted. 

Sign in the forest - nature will soon

I discover this  romantically embedded  Sign, which reveals to me that now Frankenweg  and Jakobusweg, make common cause for a section of the route and find your way


Much botany, little stake.  

At least the sign attached at eye level is still visible. It continues over a few climbs  and more open terrain.

But it remains lonely like yesterday for the time being.


Lots of space to relax

Not far from this hill, about 100 meters to my right, I rediscover human life. A single camper is parked  in the otherwise pristine landscape.

The family has set up camp there and is practicing sun worship. Quickly raised my hand in greeting, I continue my way towards Harburg.

The route is three kilometers shorter than yesterday, but still not easier because of the more demanding elevation profile.

In the last few kilometers I'm already whistling on the last hole.

Finally I approach the village of Ronheim, which lies at the foot of the medieval Harburg fortress. 

A shield puts me in need

For a long time I have seen the castle and town of Harburg enthroned on the hill in front of me. My goal for the day. So close and yet so inaccessible.  Because soon I have to realize that the ascent to Harburg would be connected with a huge catch for me today.

I'll try to explain what made me think:

The Way of St. James leads from this side only through Ronheim and on the other side of the river up the castle hill. To get into the place you have to  First cross a main road and then go through an underpass to the other side of the railroad tracks that run parallel to the road. According to the pilgrim guide and app, this was the only access.

Now it would not have been that difficult to use the tunnel in and of itself.

But the adversity is approaching in the form of a road sign No. 250 placed in front of the underpass. Round sign, red border on a white background. Oh no! Nothing good for me.

A look behind the prohibition sign reveals a major construction site to me. The whole street was torn open, behind it the hustle and bustle of construction vehicles, trucks and even helmeted people  Shovels.


From one second to the next, my physical exertion is accompanied by an inner conflict with real frustration. I had to now  Walk around for tens of additional kilometers on the edge of the main road around Harburg to get to my destination from the other side?  I lean on my sticks, relieve my knees and feel myself  Drops of sweat running down temples.

Or do I just ignore the ugly, round sign?

This time I listen to the revolting body parts and decide to ignore the sign first. I balance sideways with the use of a stick along the wall through the torn underpass to the other side. 50 meters away I see someone who I think is a site manager talking to a few workers.

I reach the men and greet them in a friendly manner.  

"Excuse me, does the ban on entering Harburg also apply to pilgrims who want to walk to Harburg?"

The site manager looks me over from pilgrim hat to shoe and furrows his forehead. I'm sure he can read the strain and fatigue on my face.

Maybe he thinks about whether he should ruin my day or rather lend me a helmet. Then he says to me over the construction noise of the excavators:

"Run through quickly. 200 meters straight ahead and then turn left there directly behind the building. Then you come to the bridge over the Wörnitz. "

"Thank you. Thank you! Thanks a million". A real chunk falls from my heart.  

They say yes, one should do a little good deed every day. The man succeeded in doing that for today.  I gave him credit for it and then plowed through the construction site as fast as I could.


After a while I get up again

to the final daily increase. I arrive at 3:30 p.m.

  Today I am at the Ostrich Inn in the Fürstenzimmer

housed. First the goose, then the duck, now the duck

Strauss - these Swabians either ate for their lives

like various poultry,  idolized the bird cattle for zoological reasons, or the naming of their restaurants had another winged meaning that I had not yet understood.

A rest without space

When I arrive at the bridge, I first throw my backpack off and sit down on an ole concrete step.

“Where is our promised one now  Resting place  from this morning? ",  ask the feet.

"Well  Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V  confused, ”remarks the back sarcastically.

But the view in front of me of the medieval Harburg complex, which was built before 1100, is also impressive and makes up for lost rest stops.


Small rewards

So I check in, actually want to take care of my feet first when I remember that I only have until 4 p.m. to go to the tourist information office.


I want to get my stamp there as a reward for today's stage.     

So, quickly  Boots with smelly socks kicked into the corner, barefoot  Slipped into my maximally comfortable sandals, grabbed pilgrim ID and hobbled quickly to church.

The lady there scares me a little by announcing that the employee responsible is not there and that she does not know where the colleague is keeping her stamp.

But luckily she goes on a search and finds it. I am very grateful for your commitment and thank you several times. I'm so lucky today! My inquiry about other pilgrims these days shows that very few of us are on the way, which probably also explains the condition of the overgrown section of the path.

I leave the information center again, sit down in an open café directly opposite my accommodation as a reward and order a large cup of tea. Splendid.

With the second day  I am very satisfied and blink at the sun. It quickly gets so hot there that I have to move to a shady spot. While I'm sitting there so relaxed, I think so  to my probably wingless  Dinner and look forward to a princely sleep in my spacious, admittedly a little bit of medieval must-smelling princely suite.

But always something to complain about….

bottom of page