“Oh, ye wanderers, ye merry light-footed, I look upon each of you like a king, with esteem, admiration, and envy. Each of you has an unseen crown, each of you is a lucky and conqueror. I too have been like you, and I know what wandering and strangers taste like. It tastes sweet, despite homesickness. ( . . . ) Once again young, ignorant, unbound, cheeky and curious to walk into the world, keep hungry cherry meals on the side of the road and count the ’right or left' on the skirt buttons at the crossroads! Once again short, warm, fragrant summer nights sleeping in the hay on the way, once again a hiking season in harmless harmony with the birds of the forest, with the lizards and beetles. That would be worth a summer and some new boot soles. ”
(From: Hermann Hesse: Lindenblüte (1906), in: All Works, Volume 13: Reflections and Reports 1899-1926, Suhrkamp Verlag 2003, p. 149 f. )
Hermann Hesse himself was an enthusiastic hiker, as the quotation at the beginning shows. Already in his youth, Hesse undertook “foot trips” in his Swabian homeland, in the North Black Forest, in the Gäu and on the Swabian Alb. Later, the radius, which he reached on foot, expanded to the Lake Constance region, the Swiss Jura, the Bernese Oberland, Ticino, the Upper Engadine and Upper Italy. Many travel and hiking sketches in his work, for example in the volume “Wanderung”, bear witness to this. Several of his novel characters are also wanderers: for example Peter Camenzind, Knulp, Goldmund or Klingsor. It is therefore easy to follow Hermann Hesse’s footsteps as a hiker.
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The path got everything you could wish for from a hike. On the way, beautiful forests, the interesting mountain town of Zavelstein with its romantic castle ruins, and the seaside resort of Teinach with its comfortable spa, where tired hikers can regenerate themselves. From Bad Teinach it goes through the Teinachtal into the Nagoldtal. And from there back to the Hermann-Hesse-City of Calw. Along the way, there are many stories to discover, and legends and myths accompany us every step of the way. Hermann Hesse liked to travel here a lot and can tell us a lot about it.
Hermann Hesse Black Forest
Strangely beautiful mountain gorges, dark mountains, light mats, Red rocks, brown gorges, overflowed with fir shadows!
When above a tower pious ringing with the noise mixes of the fir-storm, I can listen for hours.
Then grasp like a legend, read at night by the fireplace, the remembrance of the days, since I’ve been here at home,
because the farther ones are more noble, softer, as the fir-forest-crowned Mountains happier and richer shone in my boy’s eye.
(From: Hermann Hesse: All Works, Volume 10: Die Gedichte, Suhrkamp Verlag 2002, p. 75)