The way to the “black madonna

How did you get the idea to go on pilgrimage to altotting??

Vitus kramer: even as a child, i dreamed of this hike, and then, 15 years ago, i uttered the following sentence: "when …………. (a secret wish of mine, known only to a very few close acquaintances/friends) … Fulfilled, i run to altotting". On my 50th birthday. On my 55th birthday, I realized that if I didn't make it to my. I will probably never again manage to cover a distance of about 245 kilometers alone. However, a few more years had to pass before I began to plan my project.

How did you prepare then? In march I started my training. Often my wife hannelore accompanied me on my way

Hikes in the surroundings of zentbechhofen. At first it was only eight to 15 kilometers on sundays when I didn't have organ duty at church. So gradually became 20, 25 and 30 kilometers from it. After all, I had to lose a few kilograms of body weight, because the backpack I had packed in advance for a test run weighed six kilograms and I had to get rid of that weight from my belly – which I did successfully. Always in this training the ways and the kilometers were the goal. How was it with the equipment?

The – not quite cheap – equipment, consisting of good walking shoes, two pairs of socks and a hat with high UV protection, I love me immediately from my family as an "advance" give a present for my birthday.

And what did the itinerary look like? I planned on the laptop my route sections, always about 40 kilometers a day, and also the overnight stays. I also had to take along a small prayer book picture that my parents had bought me for my first communion trip to altotting and which, according to my mother, was the only souvenir I wanted at that time. I put a picture of my father's death in my little prayer book and packed it with my equipment. The souvenir picture, which has accompanied me for such a long time, was also one of the reasons why i had to visit altotting from time to time beforehand. When exactly did it start? On whitsunday at 3.45 o'clock i started my pilgrimage – of course with the most important thing – the first step! The day's destination was the town of lauf an der pegnitz, 46 kilometers away. After visiting my father's grave, my way went through fortschwind, weppersdorf and past poppendorf. I hear from far away the sound of prayer at 6 o'clock from the st.-i spontaneously sang the "angelus" in the church of st. George (the angel of the lord) prayed, which I then repeated every other day at this time and also at 12 o'clock. Through baiersdorf and past neunkirchen am brand i reached already at 15.30 o'clock my daily goal.

What were the other daily goals?

On the second day it went 34.5 kilometers to neumarkt in der oberpfalz and the monastery st. Joseph was my place for the night. On the third day my way led me with many ascents 38,5 kilometers to muhlbach.

There were particularly difficult days?

The fourth day was the hardest. Finally, my daily destination was 46 kilometers away from me in the market of rohr in lower bavaria (district of kehlheim). After a mighty climb, a reward (the beer garden of the weltenburg monastery) awaited me. At some point I stopped counting how many times I had to stop to catch my breath. For this day I had appropriately chosen the "painful rosary" ("who sweated blood for us…") and added a paragraph ("who carried the heavy backpack for us"). In the monastery i enjoyed my pilgrim's pancake, but always with the thought in my mind: "now you have only done half of your distance – 23 kilometers". So I strapped my backpack back on my hump with a heavy heart and marched on.

Totally exhausted I reached my destination at 17 o'clock. The little aches and pains that came up every day were bearable. If it was on the second, third and fourth day of the right leg, starting at the fubknochel, then the shin and finally the knee, was now just another place on it, namely the rear end. Now it went towards the soon goal. The route was now easier? On the fifth day, the legs were still a little tired, but the little "ache" was gone. The memorial poles and plaques became more and more numerous and the crosses also changed their appearance. Since shortly before the goal on the horizon dark clouds were gathering, I made a move and reached still dry fubes my simple accommodation in the middle of the industrial area of ergolding. On the sixth day there was a special high point.

This day made me already with the planning joy. At a distance of 41.5 kilometers lay my destination for the day: neumarkt sankt veit, where the "vitusstuberl" awaited me expected. When I answered a farmer's question about my destination, he gave me a short but polite "respect", which I hoard even more often later. In neumarkt sankt veit i loved good beer and delicious food in the "vitusstuberl end the day. Arrived at my destination. How did it feel? The last day dawned and a mere 25.5 kilometers separated me from my destination. At winhoring, a good six kilometers before altotting, I had to briefly enter the DB tracks on a narrow iron bridge. Near the bridge before neuotting my wife came running towards me. The closer I came to the city center, the more clearly I heard the brass music of a procession, because it was the "altottinger hofdult" celebrated. Soon the chapel of grace and the collegiate church showed their most beautiful side and the chapel square belonged to me almost alone. My way was after 265 kilometers without a blister on the fuben to end. Another heartfelt, sighing "yes, yes", ….." and it is good. Was there a certificate for the pilgrimage as with the way of st. James??

Naturally. Then I went to the "pilgrim"s care" on the chapel square. When they heard my directions, someone spontaneously went to the sacristy to get the special pilgrim"s stamp that is usually given only on special occasions or anniversaries. There was a medal to boot. On the pilgrim"s passport there was the beginning of the mary"s prayer, which is printed on the back page of my prayer book picture. Was that a coincidence? A rough circle had closed.

In the collegiate parish church, my wife and I still visited the "reaper. At night I had trouble sleeping and so I got up at 4am.30 o'clock and walked to the kapellplatz. The chapel of grace was romantic in the first light of the morning. Nobody far and wide. During my walk with the camera around the chapel I noticed light in the sacristy. Without pulling I entered. The sacristan was preparing the chapel for the opening at 5 o'clock.30 o'clock before. I told him about my pilgrimage and asked him if I could take some pictures of the altar of grace, which is actually forbidden. I'm hoarding a "respect" again and he allowed it. Until the opening I was completely alone, which was again a special experience for me. A perfect end for a pilgrimage. The conversation was held by Johanna Blum.


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