Day Two of the Four Points walk, Wednesday 24 June 2015:
Returned back to “Im Kerr” in Merishausen…
(See Alex Supertramp and Canada Slim post of this blog.)
…and once again found myself climbing a steep hill up into an elevated forest heading ever southwards to Schaffhausen.
There are many things about the German language mentality that I like…
There is a tendency to create long words to describe simple concepts:
“Dampfschifffahrtskapitan”: steam ship captain
“Auslanderbehördeamt”: foreigner registry office
As well, the German language mentality also has the tendency to give one not JUST information, but rather COMPLETE information, whether you sought after it or not.
This is especially evident if you ever have to endure a presentation by one of your German-speaking colleagues.
A North American will spin an idea, then, in some catchy phrase, repeat the idea in this catchphrase again and again until it becomes a mantra in your soul inducing you to buy whatever the idea happens to be.
German speakers will give you a long-winded spiel about the origins of every concept possible in the presentation to the point where the listener has lost any conception of what the presenter´s purpose for speaking originally was.
(Kind of like NOT seeing the trees because of all the forest…)
But, damn it all, you WILL be informed.
Along the Via Gottardo are signs informing the hiker about “Dämmerungszeit” and “Sonnenuntergang” (twilight and sunset) times…
(Great sounding words, eh?)
…as well as “Setzzeit” and “Brutzeit” in the animal kingdom one might perchance encounter.
(My Langenscheidt German-English dictionary stares at me and matter-of-fact says, “Dude, I can´t help you here.”)
I think it refers to the birth and infancy of animals.
As expected, what went up eventually went down.
The path, after leading me behind Redmonds recycling yard and showing me signs that I was entering a “Grundwasser Schutzzone” of the “Trunkwasserung des Stadt Schaffhausen”…
(Sounds official…groundwater preservation zone of the drinking water of the city of Schaffhausen…)
…descended back down to Highway 4 through industrial zonage.
Normally not such a treat for the feet or the imagination, but the one constant I find in my adventures is the tendency to be surprised.
I have never driven anything with a motor in my life…
(I know, I know, damn unusual for a North American male…)
…yet classic cars, what German speakers call “oldtimers”, fascinate me with their shapes and styles they possess.
Garage Germann (a real name, honest) has a old-timer Jaguar collection to make any classic car afficiando salivate.
Somehow Garage Germann has taken upon itself to become a minor Swiss version of the Donington Grand Prix Exhibition (a museum of motor racing cars based at the Donington Park motor racing circuit in Leicestershire, England).
Outside Garage Germann, rows of classic Jaguars recline like cats in the sun, while behind display windows are the true treasures…
– A poster of the 16 May 1948 Grand Prix de Monaco
(Won by Italian Giuseppe Farina in a Maserati;
Swiss driver Emmanuel “Toulo” de Graffenried, also in a Maserati, came 3rd.)
-A Pau roadsign of the 1960 Tour de France
(Though a cycling event, clearly Garage Germann is proud that a Swiss cyclist, Kurt Gummi, won the 11th stage, mountainous terrain between Pau and Luchon, of the race (4, 173 km/2,593 miles).
Gummi completed the Tour de France in 113 hours, 54 minutes and 40 seconds, coming in 22nd place.
Italian Gastone Nencini won at 112 hours, 8 minutes and 42 seconds.)
-A bright blue racecar with the number 88 proudly painted on its doors
(Not certain here whether this represents Dale Eberhardt Jr.´s preferred number #88 for the cars he drives/has driven in NASCAR races…
(Is Eberhardt a name of Swiss origin?)
…or Hal Keck´s #88 Shelby Cobra in the 1964 Greenwood SCAA race near Indianola, Iowa.)
(Is Keck a name of Swiss origin?)
Down the street stands the Durach Sports Centre with its Scorpion Gym…
(Why “Scorpion” for the name of a gym?)
..and the company Helistyle for all your model helicopter needs.
(Gosh, that comes as a relief to know…)
The Via Gottardo then climbed back up a street called Teigecke, through a lovely suburb…
…shared by the local psychiatric centre with its large lawn statue of a scarecrow…
…to finally descend a staircase at Vordersteig 2…
…the birthplace of Carl August Koch (1849-1897), the Swiss inventor of the Sinar professional camera system, (an innovation in photography that created black-and-white photographs of sharper quality and intensity)…
…behind the momentous monument of Johann Conrad Fischer (1773-1854)(the founder of the local Mühlental steel foundry and the first president of Canton Schaffhausen).
It then crosses a busy road, the railroad tracks and meets the Obertorturm (the upper gate tower) to finally embrace the hustle and bustle of the centre of Schaffhausen´s shopping High Street district.
Lunch consumed uncomfortably at the El Sombrero Tex-Mex Restaurant.
The food wasn´t the problem.
Stomach and tastebuds appreciated the taquito, the pollo salsa de mani and a glass of cold aqua de Jamaica, but the waitress…
GRUMPY, GRUMPY, GRUMPY
She: We close at 2.
(It was 1:30.)
Do you know what you want?
Me: I haven´t seen the menu yet, have I?
I felt unwelcome from start to finish.
Ah, it is so good to come back to civilization…