Mulfingen, first established in 980, is a small Dorf (village) of about 1500 people, set in rolling, but somewhat steep green hills.  There is a bus system (school days only), but no other public transportation.  I wonder about the teenagers in these small villages; unless they hoof it, drive, or otherwise catch rides they are stuck.  There is little in the way of teenage friendly entertainment as well; no theatre, only a restaurant or two, no video rental, etc.  They must rejoice when school vacation is over!

Mulfingen insect hotel

I am staying in Mulfingen one more day.  I have to admit that I am seriously thinking about quitting the pilgrimage right now.  I don’t like the look of my three bruised toes and am concerned that my right knee is giving out even when I am walking without a heavy pack.  In addition, walking and consequent recuperation is taking more time than I had allowed and the weather is becoming daily cooler as the season advances.

Quitting thoughts aside, I am a bit bored on this “extra” day, and don’t want to spend such a nice day indoors, so I take my book (Eat,Pray, Love) and go to St. Anna’s Kapelle (about 1.5 km away).  It is a small, pretty church first constructed in 1510. 2010 marks 500 years of service to the community of Mulfingen.   This church honours St. Anna, who according to the family tree posted in the church, happens to be the grandmother of Jesus.

St. Anna's Kapella

According to this family tree, St. Anna married three times (way to go Jesus’ granny!).  She had one child (daughter) with each of her three husbands and named each daughter Maria. Anna might have been “hot” or wealthy or both, but she sure wasn’t creative, or maybe her creativity just didn’t run to names.   The first Maria was Jesus’ mother.  Given Anna’s three marriages, which I am sure was very unusual for a woman during those times, I wonder what else she had going for her – charm, a fun gal, maybe?

That in turn brings me to thoughts of Jesus.  When Charli and I were in Oberammergau our dining mates were two fellows from the United States.  Ian posited that in addition to Jesus being charismatic in order for him to have the following he had he had to have been fun to be around too.  I was SO captivated with the concept that Jesus was a “fun guy” that for several days that notion crept into all of my conversations.  It’s put Jesus in a whole new light for me. And, now a new thought – did he, by chance, maybe inherit his charm and fun self from his maternal grandma?

Snail - fish eye effect

I spend about three hours at this church sitting outside reading, ruminating and people watching.   There is a Radweg nearby and several people (adults, teens and children) are cycling along it (this Radweg is also “the Pilger Way” to Dorzbach, the next village that I will attempt to get to).  It is a heavenly day and I am enjoying my quiet contentment.

However, it is time to head to the Gasthaus and get some supper.  I can’t put my finger on it, but I don’t particularly like staying there.   It isn’t the people, they have been unfailing kind and helpful, and the room is comfortable enough although I don’t like sharing a bathroom, especially with six fellows.   They are quite a friendly bunch of guys that have lots of laughs and are doing a motorcycle tour of some part of Germany – they have left that morning.  *Pilger tip #6 – if you want a private bathroom you have to specify that.  Not all rooms come with “in room toilet”.

My room in Mulfingen

I find out what the problem is very early Monday morning at about 4:30AM, the day I leave.   The Gasthaus is situated above a Metzgerei (butcher shop).  I never gave this much thought, but this is a working butcher shop, and Bernd is a butcher by trade.  What that means is that the meat is not delivered all magically cut and wrapped for sale; it is brought in live on-the-hoof.  This particular Monday morning is pig delivery day.  My room is directly beside the delivery area.  It is distressing to hear the pigs screeching and then silence but for the sound of machinery.  The pork steak I had the evening before threatens to crawl back up and I vow to curtail my “pig” intake.  I still like bacon though.

Gasthaus Zur Krone

Joy and Health to you all,