Sometimes it can be worth to leave the beaten tracks. I did it recently and discovered a place I might not have come across otherwise. This is the story of going straight instead of turning left. The outcome is the encounter with two cloisters, one of them is an oasis of tranquility. It started with an information sign and ended in love at first sight.
Are you catholic or protestant?
At the crossroads I go straight this time. Following the signs to the cloister in Salzgitter-Thiede I reach a small urban forest first. It is very hot and sticky that day. The road goes a little bit uphill, I start sweating. I see a man pushing his bike uphill. I decide to ask him for the way. We get into a conversation and it seems to me that he is happy to have someone to talk to. He starts to go far afield and tells me about the history of the place. But first of all he asks whether I am Catholic or Protestant. I am a little bit confused. I wonder what this question is good for. I tell him that I am none of that. Then he explains that the cloister is catholic and that the collegiate church is protestant. The cloister he continues is not in use anymore, the church however is very beautiful and worth a visit.
Unfortunately I do not have my camera with me that day. Therefore I decide just to spend a flying visit to the cloister which is almost in front of me and go to the protestant church another time. And that was yesterday.
This time I have my equipment with me. On my way to the church I cross marvellous poppy fields that look like blood. And once again I pass by my beloved windtower. From there I bike through the fields towards Salzgitter-Thiede and Steterburg.
An oasis of tranquility
At first I reach the catholic cloister and from there follow the signs to the protestant church. Some minutes later I get a big surprise. The compound with the church, which is a former fortress by the way, is very nice and calm. It is an oasis of tranquility in the midst of the city. I enjoy the calm, I breathe deeply and let the place sink into my soul. There is an extraordinary gorgeous tree in the middle of the courtyard. Unfortunately the church is closed that day but it is not a big issue. After I consumed all the colours, ordours and the calm of the place I continue towards Wolfenbüttel. Via country roads I go from there to Leiferde and from there I cylcle beside the river Oker. At the dam I get another surprise.
A childhood in Oker mud
I am looking for a nice water lily photo. Suddenly I discover amidst the Oker mud a bird couple taking care of his offspring. Fascinated by the scenery I approach them carefully. The cesspit-similar look and feel of the place reminds me of “Dharavi” an Indian slum in Mumbay. Oh boy I think to myself this is a childhood in a slum. Well, it just too bad that people have to litter everything. The way the “mother bird” is looking for food for her child touches me. After a while I leave them alone again.
Impressed by the natural spectacle I am homebound. It is really worth to leave the beaten tracks for once and to take notice of what is right next to me.
Im am back on the track bed. There is a fabric banner haning at a fence complaining about the working conditions within the meat industry. Well, I think to myself, if it would be only for the meat industry …