I don't remember exactly, but at some point many years ago, young, fresh colleagues met for a symposium. They realised: it fits. Not only professionally, but also in other ways.
It quickly became clear that we - coming from all over Germany and the small foreign countries in the south - also wanted to spend time together privately. This is how a special kind of hiking group came into being. Sometimes we met in the Eifel, sometimes in the Rhineland, sometimes in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains. The gentlemen paddled through Brandenburg waters and climbed dikes in Cuxhaven. Twice they were also in the Swiss Alps.
This year we celebrated an anniversary: the 10th PuPi. Okay, actually the name PuPi only came into being at the second meeting, not all journeymen hikers were equally happy with the naming of our highly qualified hiking group. But: the simpler the abbreviation level, the more memorable. And simpler than PuPi? Hardly possible.
But let's take it one step at a time: It all started in a very simple Alpine Club hut and communal kitchen in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains. The hiking routes were sporty, the conversations very professional, the food exclusively filling.
In 2023, it was the Black Forest's turn. After all, we always want to explore new areas. When the date and holiday flat were finally found, the anticipation of the annual meeting grew.
From year to year, the group developed into a gourmet troupe with wandering side effects. The conversations became more personal, colleagues became friends. We still work together on projects, meet on Fridays for virtual canteen chats and yes, mutual visits also happen.
As I write this, my heart swells: Shared memories are such a precious commodity in any friendship, especially those that last for so many years and great distances. Memories always serve as an anchor.
So it can be helpful to refresh these memories from time to time by looking at old photos, telling stories or visiting places that have a special meaning in the friendship. Thought, done!
At our 10th PuPi in the Black Forest we sat - someone had the idea of looking at pictures - in a cosy round, a slide show of all the meetings in front of us. "Oh yes, do you remember?" Or: "Oh, right, we were there too!" A few hundred pictures later, the evening was already deep into the night, we were still raving about risottos, canoe trips, post bus rides, making espresso on mountain peaks, memorable and strange holiday homes and, above all, about one thing: the time spent together.
As the years go by, we too become more mature, older and perhaps a little crankier. One of us has recently brought along his own "ChiChi" espresso machine, the other only drinks allergy liqueur (perhaps too much?). Where once stock cubes were enough for risotto, today it has to be fresh bouillon. The bags and backpacks get bigger, the shopping a bit more lavish, the menus much better.
What has remained is the cordiality, the joy of being together and the legs that sometimes hurt in the evening. What has also remained is the unshakeable trust in this one person who chooses the hiking route for each day and leads us through scrub, over mountains and through valleys. "Do we still have time for a short cut?" could be the programme.
What has remained the same is the knowledge and appreciation of the wonderful kitchen fairy (one or the other must somehow have our rascals and our chaos under control), of the gaggle of unwilling kitchen helpers and of those responsible for the fondue.
Even after 10 years, we still have to practise how to break up the community fund at the end. When six or more technology nerds and an accountant, but all smart alecks and know-it-alls are together, it's a real challenge! And yes, we've already tried all the apps in the world, somewhere we too must still have learning potential, right?
This Black Forest hiking tour around the Wurstberg will be remembered like all the others! We spent the evenings chatting, feasting and knitting (I didn't even know that Tunisian crochet is now called Moroccan knitting, but this was convincingly explained to me more than once by one of the non-knitting men present).. I scored with my new toy: with my eye-shaker, I took turns cleaning all the glasses (yes, they too have become more over the years).
On the last evening, the kitchen stayed cold and we dined in the Klosterschänke, star-, Kochlöffel- and Gourmethauben-worthy. We briefly remembered the communal kitchen of the first PuPi in the mass camp, but fantastic food, the waitress's favourites: her "Old Plum", egg and nut liqueur made us quickly forget our awkward beginnings of 10 years ago.
We have also come up with new names for our group, in keeping with their age. GouPi, FrePi, BoPu, SchiPi, KreuPi, FluPi are just the beginning of our extraordinary creativity. The interested reader may now find out for himself or herself what is hidden behind these wonderful creations. And us? We hope that next year we will still know what we were thinking, cackling, laughing and fooling around.
Thanks to all of you, thanks to all of you who were there this time and thanks to all of you who enriched this wonderful meeting once or several times! And especially thank you for not forgetting us rumrunners!
News #1 On 24 June we will give a talk about our trip in the van in Konolfingen, Bern, Switzerland. All info and the possibility to Registration here. We look forward to seeing you!
News #2 I am currently writing a book about the encounters on our journey. If you would like to test-read a chapter or two this summer, please contact me by email.
You think this could also be of interest to others? Then you can download the Share post quietly. By e-mail or however you want to do it.
In addition, if you haven't already done so, you can use our Newsletter subscribe. Here you will receive all our experiences in your mailbox whenever we publish something new or once a week on Fridays: live-pur.ch/newsletterWe are also very happy to hear your views, your tips or your questions. Just comment on the post!
What a beautiful report. 🥰
I'm almost waiting. 😁
Especially with spaetzle and cheese fondue!
Thanks for the ride and the great pictures!
Too bad, the app has interfered again.
One should always read again before sending. 😇
It should read "was".
Not "wait". 😂
Thank you for this declaration of love for our great troupe.
We wouldn't want to miss a Pupi Day in the last 10 years.
We are happy to be there again: convinced repeat offenders!
☀Love greetings, Olaf