Day 75. Choices

We choose every day, every moment of the day. We choose left or right, meat or fish, yes or no, blue or red. I find it hard to choose, but on the road I don't think about my choices too long. I trust my gut feeling. I decide quickly without thinking.

I had walked along the most beautiful part of the Danube, sat at a small semi island in the river for hours, reading, sleeping, meeting Christian again who now caught up on me and left me some food. I swam, I was slow. I didn't just want to walk through this landscape, I wanted to be in it.

I left when the afternoon was at its hottest and sweated my way to the nearest city. I walked along the boulevard, in search of a place to eat something but all the places looked fancy and dull. In the far distance something caught my eye. Under the big bridge with all the trafic.

I love nature but I also love the edges of the city. The unruly places where everything comes together. The down to earth corners where life shows itself without its shiny layers.
A small terrass under a noisy bridge, overlooking the Danube. A big shed-like structure with a bar, outside long tables and in the corner, a big grill. A choice of grilled sausage or grilled fish. Potato salad or bread. Sometimes choices are easy.
No plates, the fresh fish comes in a paper wrapping which serves as a plate. Although I recieved a fork and a knife, I ate with my hands. I cleaned them with the bread and ate it. A glass of simple wine. This must have been one of the best meals I had during my walk.

The grilling men asked about my walk. They wished me all the best. They waved me out.

The Danube was still there, straight now, no hills. I thought I saw mountains in the far distance but they were hardly visible. They looked like a fata morgana.

After a couple of kilometers, in the middle of nowhere, there were two restaurants in a bend in the river. I was thinking about coffee, Aiming for the left restaurant with the terrass at the water, where there were some last sunbeams. But when I passed the other one, I decided to ask if there was internet there and when the answer would be yes, I would stay there.


Now I imagine having gone to the other one. Having drunken my coffee, having walked on in search of a place to sleep. Having found some hidden corner somewhere, inbetween some bushes maybe, having secretly put up the tent again, ready to leave early in the morning.

But I didn't go to the other place. And so I met a group of men who were working in the area, securing companies for the danger of explosions. I recieved a gift for my walk from Werner, who was retired but got hired now and then when his expertise was needed. He asked the restaurant and hotel owner if I couldn't pitch my tent at their field. And he invited me for breakfast the next morning. We sat outside talking until it was late, we moved inside and continued talking until it was even later.

It was Werner's birthday. All I had to give was the image of C., my faithfull carier and companion on this trip, making it possible for me to walk 1500 kilometer in a comfortable way. Werner was aiming to walk the Compostella road in the fall but had difficulties carrying all the things he wanted to take, most important being his photo equipment to catch images of birds. I gladly gave him all the information he needed, happy again that just being somewhere can be meaningfull to others. And maybe not just in a practical way. Because again in meeting Werner I met somebody who was amazed by the simple fact of seeing somebody walk slowly through the world.

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