12 of 12: A day in April 2023

As a designer, I spend a lot of my working time in front of the screen. To balance this, I spend time outdoors. Some days ago, on the 12th of April, I have joined the bloggers’ tradition of documenting my hiking day with 12 photos. Take a look ☺️.

I am on vacation with my 9-year-old son. I have decided to repeat the wonderful experience we had last year and to spend some days hiking in the Saxon Switzerland National Park. This time, I was lucky and early enough to get an accommodation inside the National Park. I booked a tube at “Saxon’s first concrete tube camp” to enjoy sleeping near nature, while still being protected from the elements. At least I thought so.

1/12: I wake up in our concrete tube. It’s cold and humid. I didn’t expected the experience of sleeping in a concrete tube to be like this – cold and humid. Now it seems logical. An uninsulated concrete tube with outside temperatures around freezing point – despite being equipped with a infrared heater – couldn’t be different. Anyways, I try hard to not let my cold get any worse. My son is grumpy. After some minutes, I am able to convince him to get out of the warm blanket and go for breakfast.
2/12: I let my son choose the table and – as always – he chooses a table with a nice view of the Elbe River. The homemade omelette with tomato, champions, ham and onions is my highlight of the breakfast. For my son, it’s the cookies. We also prepare some additional sandwiches for lunch.
3/12: After breakfast, it takes me some time to select the route we want to hike today. I don’t want to exhaust myself too much so that my cold would get worse. But I also want to enjoy the environment as much as possible. I decide to go to the “Schrammsteine”, a medium length trail that seems to be exciting, with magnificent views. We take the public “hiking” bus with the ticket that is included in the price of our accommodation – a nice effort of the region to reduce the usage of cars in the National Park.
4/12: After we missed the bus stop we should have gotten off, we start our hike at the following bus stop and look for the entrance of the path. I finally find a sign and we follow the stairs. As we do not find any further signs or marks, we start to guess what the right path could be. I criticise the bad marking of the trail. At the same time, we enjoy almost untouched nature.
5/12: My son is glad he has chosen the rain boots for the hike. The trail is wet and we often sink into the soft muddy ground. The environment looks like a magical fairytale landscape. At the same time, we both get a bit nervous, because we are doubting that we are on the correct path. After some trial and error, ups and downs, my son shouts: “There are humans!” I feel a bit like Robinson Crusoe, as we quickly break our way through the underwood to the first signs of civilisation after walking disoriented through the wilderness.
6/12: We are on the right trail now. We both relax and my son tells me about a reality TV show, where two people have to survive 21 days in the wild, naked. “We did the same, just with clothes on, because we felt too ashamed.” my son jokes. The sun shines and the view of the “Schrammsteine” (Scrape Stones) is stunning.
7/12: Seeing the blue sky is special, as it had been raining the whole day before. After a well deserved break, we continue our hike. There are several paths to choose from. I decide to take the one that takes us directly to the rocks. We walk along a flat, well defined (and a bit boring, but relaxing 😅) path. Then I spot a trail that leads us to an iron ladder that I can’t resist.
8/12: My son follows me without complaining – as he, too, relishes variety. The climb is steep and includes climbing up several ladders. Finally, we reach the ridge of the Scrape Stones.
9/12: What a view! The rocks look almost artificial. How many millions of years must it have taken for these to be formed?
10/12: We continue our climb on the ridge on safe, well constructed handrails. Still, nothing for people with fear of heights! We walk past people with small kids who are obviously terrified and who only continue their climb after another group with small kids coming from the opposite direction tell them it’s safe. I also wonder what I would do if my son falls down the rock. Thoughts I quickly push aside. I decide to trust my son’s good sense of his body.
11/12: We gladly sit in a warm hotel restaurant. While waiting for the food to be prepared, my son is happily colouring the kid’s menu with the crayons provided. After 6 hours of hiking, we had finally reached the village of Schmilka. Luckily, there was still a bus going back to Bad Schandau, from where it would be easier to get back to our accommodation. On the way, we drove past the bus stop where we have gotten off, and I saw the correct path entrance we have missed this morning 😜.
12/12: After the meal, we take the ferry back to the other side of the river. A group of drunken youngsters board the ferry. One of them looks at us and shouts: “Konnichiwa!” (a Japanese greeting). Only two passengers seem not to laugh. I am immediately alert, since all these days we have seen only one other Asian face in the area. Also, the region is „famous” for its Neo-Nazis. My son says: “They are making fun of us.” I say: “Yes. They think we are Japanese.” “Yes, next time I will call them Albanians.” he says. “Why Albanians?” I ask. “Because like we aren’t Chinese nor Japanese, they aren’t Albanians.” I love my innocent child 🤗. On the other side of the river, we transfer to the local train that takes us back to Königstein. We hide behind the seats and regularly check, if the group follows us, but they don’t. In Königstein we get off and walk another 25 minutes to the camping site. I ask my son: “How did you like our hike?” He answers: “I liked it!” I ask: “What did you like most?” “The survival training and the climb!” After this adventurous day, we quickly fall asleep in our tube.

My thank goes to Caroline Lorenz-Meyer, who keeps the tradition of “12 of 12” alive. Check out over hundreds other “12 of 12” in her blog Draußen nur Kännchen (in German).

Become active yourself. Documenting your day will help you to become clear about your life and your values. It will help you to be mindful about how you spend your time – and to make conscious decisions for your life.

By Shau Chung Shin

I am a designer, businesswoman and founder of HAHAHA Global and Gesund in MeinerStadt. I develop solutions and products that encourage an open and positive approach to taboos. In doing so, I contribute to a healthier and more peaceful world.

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