After a very full day we’re finally winding down at the home of the Superintendent for the Protestant church in this part of Thuringia. It was particularly nice to come home to a home today—not only because our 24 km walk took us a lot longer than we planned (eight hours, mainly due to the frequent photo ops)—but because the last hour was a downpour. Nothing like coming into a warm and friendly house when you’re wet, cold, and tired.
We had a wonderful send-off this morning. We attended the Gottesdienst at the Augustinian cloister’s church in the company of the sisters in gray. At the end the pastor invited the congregation to stay and join in our sending-off blessing. She said a beautiful prayer over us and gave us a cross, since all Christians travel the way of the cross, and an angel, for the angels will watch over us. We kept the cross and gave the angel to our little son Zeke. He and Andrew’s parents Roger and Ginny walked us from the cloister afterwards to the cathedral (Mariendom) in the center of Erfurt, where we said goodbye until next Saturday, when we’ll meet up again in Bamberg. I knew that would be difficult but it was even more difficult than I expected!
It didn’t take too long to start finding the gold shells on the blue background marking the Jakobsweg (Santiago de Compostela, in German) that took us out of Erfurt and through a series of cute little towns. It was great to have the company of Hans and Anne-Sylvie to start us off and our conversation varied from the sublime (the nature of ecumenical dialogue) to the ridiculous (the wonder of discovering dark chocolate Kit-Kats).
Sore feet and sore shoulders, but not too much worse for the wear. I think we will sleep the sleep of the righteous tonight.