Christina/ June 22, 2020/ The daily grind

Due to Corona and its restrictions I go on with the discovery of places around my residence. Today we want to visit the Cisterician cloister of Marienrode close to Hildesheim. The hiking trip afterwards leads us from there through the forest of Hildesheim via lark-, finch- and Gallmountain and back. Immediately at the church of St. Michael we get a kick in the teeth and also the beer garden announced at the parking lot is closed that day. Despite these initial queries we experience a nice field day due to helpful citizens.

Two guys and a dog
Once again we are blessed with blue skies and bright sunshine. A reasearch on the internet for hiking trails in and around Hildesheim lead me to a special site of a hiking lover. The cadences of his prose makes it a little bit difficult to find the path of this none-singposted trail, leading from Marienrode and back by passing three hills. Well, we like the idea of combining a hiking trip with a visit of a cloister, therefore we decide to walk on the wild side.

Approaching the starting point is already a little bit difficult. We cannot find Marienrode in the first place. However, two guys with a dog help us out and give us directions.

Being confused in the Michaelskirche
We are getting started at the church of St. Michael. The entrance to the inside is a glass door. There is a piece of paper attached to this entrance. I kind of ignore it in the first place assuming it is just a hint to wear a mask. It is not! I take a closer look and realize the Arabic character of “Nun” which symbolizes the Latin letter of “n”. I start reading the text underneath and I am shocked. Taken out of context and without any explanations the visitor is being informed that Arabian terrorists use this letter to select houses of Christians in order to exile or even kill them. There is no further information or a placing of the event in its proper historical context in Iraq in 2015 when supporters of Al-Qaida were still to the fore. Also the web presence of the cloister does not provide more description.

Quid pro quo?
I want to know what this is all about and start a research on the internet for the character “nun”. What is this procedure good for in times when the situation between the religions is already tensed and a lot of simplifications about Arabs and Muslims in general are circulating on the net? What’s the goal? Is this to divert from one’s own numerous wrongdoings by pointing it’s finger at somebody else?

Follow letter “R”
We are leaving the compound. Whereas I am taking a picture of an outstanding rosebush I can see from the corner of my eyes that my friend is talking to a guy from the voluntary fire brigade asking for the way. We follow the route signposted with the letter “R”, however get lost again at the next crossing due to missing signs. Well we ask for help and get lost again. However, in the end we find the right way and reach the nature reserve “Gallberg”.

An alley of cherry trees
The Gallberg hill is very nice. We see cows and goats and pick some cherries from the trees around us. The view from the top of the hill onto the city of Hildesheim and its environment is really something.

Even though we cannot manage to find the described way back to Marienrode we find an alternative trail and finally walk the same path to the cloister. It is too bad that the cloister’s café is being closed for renovation. We therefore decide to finally visit the burial plot of duke and duchess of Eglofstein. The couple belonged to Goethe’s inner circle of friends.

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