The newly designed path in the Brunstal valley encourages visitors to encounter the forest on a level playing field: sensually, emotionally, artistically and intellectually.
Visitors with and without handicap are invited to start a journey, to open up, to silence all thoughts of everyday life, of the past and the future and to pause at 14 different stations.
This hike starts and finishes at "Fuchsfarm" car park, two kilometres south-west of Mülverstedt. The "Path of Encounter" is three kilometres long and leads into the heart of the National Park.
What's that supposed to mean?
Only in the encounter, only in his counterpart does man find himself, does he partake in life. Being human only works als being with others.
Hence the philosopher Martin Buber says: "All real life is encounter". And Buber refers not only to the encounter from person to person, but also to that from person to animal and from person to plant - and even that between person and things. By this he means an encounter on an equal footing, at eye level.
There are many stumbling blocks o the way to this encounter, and cemented views prevent us from moving forward. The stations of the path want to draw attention to some of them and at the same time function as possible "climbing aids" helping you to overcome die-hard obstacles.
Each station has its own theme, opens up a specific space and is exhortation and encouragement to make your own experiences with the path.
What you have experienced yourself, what you have been thinking, you can also best convey yourself.
"Don't be afraid of your own depth," as the station of the well may call out to you.
Each station is intended to adress you with its own message. Have a sneak peak:
- Entrance area – engaging in something new and unknown.
- Hourglass - taking your time, being able to experience a different rhythm.
- Forest dwellers - beholding, not ignoring others, noticing them and taking them seriously.
- At eye level with the forest floor – changing perspectives and looking at things from a different angle.
- The artistic gaze – adopting the standpoints and viewpoints that have been entrusted to you.
- Palisade – not being put off by adversity and confusion…
- … because, on closer inspection …
- … you are realising that getting through is possible.
- Tree root – linking up to the whole in a fruitful way. Connecting and feeling connected, being in touch.
- A window into the sky – being humble, not complacent. Arrogance does not allow for eye-level encounters and undermines real contact. Accepting the limitations of own’s vision.
- Entanglement – not getting on the wrong track and being able to turning back.
- As many as three hiking trails use this path through an old orchard meadow.
- At the well – not shying away from the depth, neither in oneself nor in the other.
- Farewell – time to say goodbe and getting back to the daily grind.