Mai 252016
Wasserburg am Inn - one of those "mythical" places most Germans have heard of and have never been to. Like Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Lüneburg or Görlitz, this town is enchanting! I actually had only planned a quick look on my way further south, Innsbruck being my next goal. But the opportunity to meet my wife plus my son - who lives an hour's drive away in Munich - made me change my plans. A three-day permanent rain clinched it: Yesterday (Tuesday) I rode into Wasserburg and got a room in a hotel. The receptionist was nice and let me have a room at ten in the morning, quite unusual - probably due to the fact that I looked just the way I felt: terrible! So after a little warming-up routine I headed out and explored this town with a 1200-year history. Located on a loop of the river Inn and therefore basically a peninsula, this town has for hundreds of years been a stronghold both of secular and clerical power. A complete medieval town wall plus impressive stone "gates" and a charming atmosphere quickly let me fall in love with this place. The former regents' castle is used today for a much more profane but nevertheless important function: An Old People's Home! Next morning I met Louise at breakfast. "Toller Tag heute", I said, "endlich mal kein Regen!" "Ich spreche nicht gut deutsch", came back. "Ok, you sound English". It turns out Louise is 26 and in a very strange place from her point of view. The last days of intense rain have disheartened her to such a degree that she invested a parting gift from the lady she lived with in Austria for the last few weeks to take shelter in a hotel. Louisa is on her way to India on a bike with nothing more than a backpack and a basket on her bike. She has come up from Italy to meet her mother in Budapest before setting off east. My curiosity aroused, I found out a few stages of her life. Louise is from  a western part of London (i.e. not the "good" part) and studied art for four years, just barely taking her degree because from early years on she decided that she had to go travelling. Alone, sometimes pairing up, she backpacked over Asia and South America even before finishing her degree. This last winter she spent in Austria, working in hotels doing dishwashing and room cleaning. She came to love skiing which is a lot cheaper for people with a work contract than for "us" tourists. In terms of gear she downsized after struggling up the passes from Italy to Germany (don't know which ones she took) and now has no tent but only a tarp and sleeping bag, which is very little in cold weather! She once had a hammock but found that too uncomfortable. During her university years she spent weeks in training camps learning to get on with and in nature, which includes "survival training" but additionally leads her towards a life in unison with nature, not only in times of emergency. As a consequence, she lives Vegan today.

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