Rügen – light and shadow

As autumn sets in, the days grow shorter and cooler, and life soon moves all the way inside again, it’s time to reminisce about the joys of summer, even if they weren’t quite as joyful this year, but they are definitely proven to be meaningful.

Everything was a little different this summer and the months before had left their mark: having become tense and sluggish from sitting all the time in my home office, my need to embark on a longer journey was not particularly great, and I had almost come to terms with being at home to stay and make smaller trips with Mowgli.

But Oberhausen isn’t exactly a local recreation area and the weather wasn’t exactly inviting either. So it happened that after several rainy days, my nomadic gene came through again. Mowgli, who spent most of the day sleeping, lifted his head briefly, went “Pfff”, which means the same as “Boooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo?” “Hey Mowgli!” Dog and human looked into each other’s eyes: “Fancy a little adventure?” Mowgli’s eyes lit up. “Forest or sea?” Preferably both. To reprimand. Jasmund National Park. The small campsite “Krüger Naturcamping” at the edge of the forest still had a spot free for us:

I needed two days for the preparation including car check and shopping and cleaning up the apartment. As I gathered all the stuff, Mowgli followed me up and down the stairs, wagging his tail with excitement and barking, “Yeah, here we go again!”

A new adventure

And then our new adventure began, already on the way there. While I was in a good mood listening to the music of Simon Khorolskiy , a young Russian singer I only recently discovered, my tomtom sat nav suddenly said goodbye. The plug was broken and no longer accepted electricity. It didn’t help to replace the fuse in the plug, it was just gone. My phone wasn’t cooperative either. Even before the trip, it had decided to only run on 2G and to bitch about other things. It was not possible to download any map. I was prepared to follow the map in a very old-school way, which used to be quite normal for people of my generation. Then I remembered my mobile router. So connect the mobile phone to the router via WLAN, download the missing maps – and that’s how it worked. But this action meant a severe loss of time and so I only arrived in the evening, already quite exhausted.

The adventure continued with the tent construction, because one of the two large fiberglass poles broke. Should this ever happen to you: having duct tape can solve many problems. 🙂 I wrapped the broken pole in duct tape and was amazed that it was fully operational again. A holiday without an awning would certainly have been stupid… I also really wanted to try out my new airlock connection, a magnetic tape with a piping rail. When I was done with everything, the stars were already twinkling. That was adventurous enough for one day and I hoped that the next few days would be calmer.

The silence of the forest

Directly behind the campsite is the wonderful beech forest that is so typical of Rügen. We spent most of our days roaming it on long hikes. A hiking trail leads past the large stone grave “Pfenniggrab” and the Herthaburg with the Herthasee to the Königsstuhl, from there you can hike along the high-altitude hiking trail along the cliffs and enjoy the spectacular view of the Baltic Sea. If you go in the direction of Sassnitz, you come to a rather strenuous descent to the beach at Kollicker Ort . The last piece consists of a very steep steel staircase that is anything but dog-friendly. However, Mowgli, fearless and undaunted, mastered them to the great astonishment of all onlookers.

Of course, there are a lot of people out and about in such famous places as the Königsstuhl. But I find it much nicer to hike on quiet paths, in deep contentment, just seeing, hearing, smelling, perceiving what I encounter. Listening to the wind, which seems to be constantly changing direction. Pay attention to Mowgli and follow his gaze. Breathe deeply.

Moving silently through the forest – I notice how hard I stamp as I walk. As I manage to muffle my step, I hear more and more bird calls. A crow high in the tree announces our approach, the signal is confirmed further away by another crow. You neither notice the sacred silence of the forest nor the presence of the animals when you trudge noisily through the forest. On the big paths I involuntarily hear the most irrelevant conversations and it seems incomprehensible, even disrespectful, to disturb forest life in this way. In the depths of the forest, the noise of people announces itself from afar. I wish for less loudness, less coarseness…

In the evening we sit for a long time by a small forest lake and listen to the rustling of the reeds. Little birds come close, the air is full of buzzing and buzzing insects. The already ripe grain from the fields behind us smells. Wildflowers are everywhere. On the way “home” the scent of woodruff penetrates my nose.

Sunken Worlds
My friend, the times of the past
Are us a book with seven seals.
what you call the spirit of the times,
This is basically the spirit of the gentlemen,
In which the times are reflected.

That’s what Johann Wolfgang von Goethe says in “Faust”.

Not only the megalithic tombs in the immediate vicinity of the campsite or the Herthawall built in Slavic times bear witness to sunken cultures. Rügen is littered with testimonies from ancient times.

For example, there were the Slavs, also known as Ranen or Rujanen, who peacefully settled Rügen (Rujan) from the 7th century until they were conquered and Christianized by the Danes in the 12th century. Many place names still indicate the former Slavic settlement. At Cape Arkona we find the complex of the Jaromarsburg, which probably represented the religious center. (Unfortunately the area is closed at the moment.) We read that the Ranen had a polytheistic religion. But if you dig a little deeper, you will find out that they cultivated a Vedic body of thought. When you then come across the clue that the Slavic Vedas are related to the Indian Vedas, things start to get really exciting.

History tells us the dates and circumstances of important struggles and battles, the names of the rulers of the time and the locations of archaeological finds. But what do we really know about the ancient times and the people who lived in those times? Aren’t we often inclined to believe that ancient cultures were somehow more primitive? And if in fact they were more civilized in their manners and customs than we are today? Who knows exactly…

canine delights

My friend Mowgli doesn’t think about these things. He takes the days as they come to him. If he finds a stick, he lies down in the middle of the path and only continues when he has chewed it. He loves to put his paws in the water or bite the waves. Full of joie de vivre, he rolls in the sand or in the grass. He wants to dig up every little hole in the ground and track down the little inhabitants. Sometimes you can see a little mouse rushing away in panic. Mowgli takes the time to examine everything closely. You learn to see and hear when you are out and about with him. And patience – you also learn.

Lohme and the coffee garden

About two kilometers from the campsite is the small town of Lohme. There is a village shop, an RV park, a marina and a few small souvenir shops. You can go down through the forest strip to the stony beach, where you sometimes have to climb over slippery boulders to get to the water. Mowgli naturally wanted to go into the water, apparently slipped on the stones and then, strangely enough, came out again with his leash in his mouth. He seemed kind of tense, as you can see here:

It wasn’t until the next day that I understood what had happened and why he suddenly reacted so harshly to other dogs who wanted to get to know him.

I had discovered an inviting sign at the entrance to the village:

What a pretty idea! I accepted the invitation and found myself in a beautiful garden , where I was treated to very tasty cakes by extremely friendly people. The other guests also seemed to feel very comfortable there and everything would have been perfect if Mowgli hadn’t barked so loudly as soon as one of the guests’ dogs approached. He usually lies down quietly next to or under the table and is politeness personified. I would certainly have eaten a third piece of cake, but Mowgli’s behavior was too embarrassing. However, the gracious hosts were very understanding.

Nothing works anymore

Mowgli’s restlessness increased the next day. He made erratic, jerky movements, wanted to crawl under the car and kept licking the tip of his rod intensively. If I tried to see what the problem was, he would snarl at me. He seemed to be in great pain. Luckily I had the painkillers in my luggage that the Italian vet had given me last year. After one pill he felt much better, so that I could cut out the matted fur mat on the tip of the rod and carefully feel the vertebrae. It appeared to be a fracture! Our first route after returning home would definitely be to his vet.

But I was also ill myself, downright knocked out, and would not have been able to get him to a local vet. So all that was left was to spend the day in bed, feeding Mowgli painkillers as necessary, and just resting. So we suffered together. It was raining anyway…

After a few days he didn’t seem to have much of a problem and was as happy and relaxed as ever. I still wasn’t allowed to look. I soon got better too. At the end of the day, after hours of listening to the rain pounding on the car roof and tent and the bickering neighbors getting up and going to bed arguing, I moved to the saucepan to make myself some soup, that could lift my spirits again. But it was Simon Khorolskiy’s music that blew away the murky clouds. My confidence and optimism returned from the very first bars. While I was stirring my soup, I did a few little dance steps, no one saw – only Mowgli looked at me in surprise and wagged his tail a little questioningly.


The next day the quarrelsome neighbors finally left and I noticed from the silence that now set in how much unrest they had spread. But since we were so stricken, it made sense for us to start our way home soon. So we spent a last peaceful day in the tent in the rain. The small camping heater did a good job and I was happy that the lock connection withstood the rain. I used the time to write, think and read. Actually, it didn’t bother me that there were problems on this trip. After all, difficulties are there to be overcome. They promote our courage, our perseverance, our talent for improvisation, our self-discipline… In my travels I don’t see a points program of activities that want to be ticked off, but rather a gathering of experiences that enrich me. Reacting to obstacles and accepting change is part of it.

In general, I increasingly have the feeling that planning has become difficult. In July 2019, would we have thought that a year later the world would be so messed up? I see dark clouds on the horizon and wonder what to expect for the next few months. Whatever lies ahead, it will take faith in God and courage to navigate uncharted territory. At this point I would like to let Simon Khorolskiy speak again:

It should also be mentioned that all navigation failed on the long drive home and I was glad to have the route in my head.

As for the compass that shows us the way to right thinking and acting – it is in our heart anyway.

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