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Thuringia, Germany Tourism
A visit to the "Pummpälz Half Marathon" in Bad Salzungen, Thuringia
We have met one of the main supporters of the "Pummpälz" hiking path already in 2005. He is a great supporter of our project to create an English language Internet tourists guide for this beautiful "new" German state. Thuringia was until the reunification part of the GDR. Many thanks again for all your help Mr. Wolf.
We already have launched a brief web site to give you an idea what to expect when you visit the "Pummpälzweg" the new hiking path which leads you from Eisenach to Bad Salzungen (or reverse).
For your convenience again some helpful contact information:
Immediately after our arrival in Suhl we had a brief meeting with Mr. Wolf. He invited us to participate as "guests of honor" at a half marathon in Bad Salzungen at the "Keltenbad".
Mr. Wolf was always a great help in giving us advise about tourism in Thuringia. He is also involbed in a famous hiking trail - the Pummpälzweg.
We had already been several times in this beautiful spa with many amenities and accepted this generous offer without hesitation.
For us it was not mandatory to walk the whole distance - only a short distance was planned for all the "VIP's".
Elizabeth is signing the guest book
Our meeting point was the "Cafe König" which is located in the upper floor of the Celtic bath.
A cold buffet was already waiting for us and slowly the other participants showed up.
Everybody was dressed casual same as us.
Hartwig Gauder, the "man with the three hearts"
I was very happy to meet finally M. Hartwig Gauder, known as the "man with three hearts". He is a famous world champion in walking who won many medals for the former GDR. This includes the Olympic games from 1980 in Moscow.
1995 he got a virus infection and in 1996 an artificial heart had to be transplanted to safe his life. which was replaced one year later by the heart of a donor. He is still very active and strong.
Only Mr. Wolf was still missing. He was taking care of all the Nordic Walkers, bikers and hikers at the starting point of the half marathon.
After we had some light snacks and something to drink the VIP's Walk started. Because of my damaged leg I did not join, but Elizabeth was eager to try Nordic Walking again. Somebody had some walking sticks to spare and gave her brief instructions how to walk properly with them. Many people do not know how to use them to achieve the promised results. Unfortunately, Elizabeth's were too long for her. The right length is very important!
I went on my own to the area behind the "Keltenbad" where all the activities took place.
All the food stands were getting ready to feed the expected hungry crowd and some thirsty people had already her first beer. I was offered a free "Thuringian Bratwurst" on a crunchy roll. (not the mash mallow type which we have in North America!) I could not reject this offer, but I stayed away from the beer.
Everybody is waiting and some kids are already in their costumes
The first runners are coming
Where is the litter?
I was so busy that I missed the arrival of Elizabeth as Nordic Walker. I could not believe that she was so fast. As you can see she must have had a good time. That is one of the most important things to be together with friendly people.
Elizabeth with her new made friend
Slowly the kids in their costumes got ready to make an appearance on stage. Many spectators had were standing or sitting around to see their performance. A "witch" was the conductor and the show was really nice. It was a mixture of story telling, singing and dancing. Even I had problems to understand everything. Elizabeth tells me for years that I need a hearing aid. I hope that will translate Thuringian dialect If I really get one.
Please watch our first video clip which we have created for our Internet travel guides. We know it is not great and that we must improve our performance, However, it will give you a brief impression about this event and how children play an essential part of it.
Watch the video "Bad Salzungen, Thuringia, children performing ":
After the children has completed their performance the public presentation ceremony was announced.
The two ice ladies who were assisting the general manger of the "Keltenbad" gained some strength before doing so with a certainly not ice cold beer which I found hard to get in Thuringia.
On the most right hand picture they are not shown, but seniors who have been awarded and Mr. Hartmann the general manager in his Celtic outfit.
Now I added another older video to give you some impressions about the "Half Marathon". I do not show very much about the marathon itself and who was winning.
Senior citizens and little kids participated. Many used two poles when they were walking. This is called "Nordic Walking" and it is very poplar in Europe. It is a full-body walking workout that can burn significantly more calories. Maybe I can do it sometimes with two canes, because I am almost handicapped with respect to walking.
many of the kids did it too. According to the instructions given to Elizabeth, when she tried it they did not do it properly. However, they had fun.
My video shows a little bit of the atmosphere at the property close to the "Keltenbad", where all the runners and walkers arrived. Naturally, people celebrated with drinks and the famous "Thüringer Bratwurst", a delicious sausage made of pork and barbecued on a charcoal grill.
The children performed their play shortly after I took this video.
Watch the video "Bad Salzungen, Thuringia, some impressions of a half-marathon":
Some of the athletes were even not from Thuringia. They came from as far as from Northern Bavaria.
Some of the "guests of honor" and some of the best athletes assembled after the public ceremony in the "Cafe-König" for a brief review.
We have had a great day and because it was still in the afternoon we decided to spend a few relaxing hours in the spa.
Watch the slideshow: Thuringia, hiking the Pummpälzweg
Watch the slideshow: Wartburgkreis impressions Impressionen