Last Sunday, my host mom and I took part in the annual Rhön Wandervierer. The Wandervierer is a fundraiser started by four Hessian villages in which sponsors make donations for every kilometer hiked. According to the Rhönklub website, the program is designed to excite families about hiking, as well as to provide outdoor experiences for those who wouldn’t otherwise have access to them. I love to hike, and was excited to see what this year’s sponsoring village of Hilders had to offer.
The path my host mom and I took was beautiful. Winter is releasing her clenches, and it shows – wildflowers were blooming, the streams were flowing, and, in certain sections, one walked on paths entirely blanketed by moss. At one point, we walked through a field with excellent acoustics, appropriately dubbed the “Echoplatz”. My host mom and I played around with our echos, including the German trick of calling out: “Wie heißt der Bürgermeister von Wesel?” (English: What’s the name of the mayor of Wesel?), to which one hears the echo reply “Esel”, meaning donkey.
After the hike, we stopped at the Hilders community center, where we treated ourselves to some cake. Kuchenkultur is one of my favorite parts of German culture, and I will miss it sorely next year.
Many initiatives such as this hike are purely volunteer-led, and I’m always inspired at how Hünfeld and surrounding villages come together to organize events for their communities. This commitment to community is one of the things I love most about Hünfeld, and I hope to bring some of that spirit into my endeavors going forward.