Meine Filiale

I'm Off Then

Losing and Finding Myself on the Camino de Santiago

Hape Kerkeling

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  • I'm Off Then

    Simon + Schuster

    Versandfertig innert 1 - 2 Werktagen

    Fr. 23.90

    Simon + Schuster

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From one of Germany's most beloved celebrities, a cross between Bill Bryson and Paulo Coelho.

It has sold over 3 million copies and been translated into eleven different languages. Pilgrims have increased along the Camino by 20 percent since the book was published. Hape Kerkeling's spiritual epiphany has struck a nerve.

Overweight, overworked, and physically unfit, Kerkeling was an unlikely candidate to make the arduous pilgrimage across the French Alps to the Spanish Shrine of St. James, a 1,200-year-old journey undertaken by nearly 100,000 people every year. But that didn't stop him from getting off the couch and walking. Along the way, lonely and searching for meaning, he began the journal that turned into this utterly frank, engaging book. Simply by struggling with his physical limitations and the rigors of long-distance walking, he discovered a deep sense of peace that transformed his life and allowed him to forgive himself, and others, more readily. He learned something every day, and he took to finishing each entry with his daily lessons.

Filled with quirky fellow pilgrims, historic landscapes, and Kerkeling's self-deprecating sense of humor, I'm Off Then is an inspiring travelogue, a publishing phenomenon, and a spiritual journey unlike any other.

Hape Kerkeling, one of Europe’s most popular comedic entertainers, is the winner of the Karl Valentin Prize for Humor, the Chatwin Award for Best Travel Book of the Year, and numerous other prizes. 
I'm Off, Then, his first book, has become a bestselling sensation in Germany.  He lives in Berlin.

Shelley Frisch’s award-winning translations from German include biographies of Friedrich Nietzsche, Albert Einstein, Marlene Dietrich, Leni Riefenstahl, and Franz Kafka. She lives in Princeton, New Jersey.


Einband Taschenbuch
Seitenzahl 352
Erscheinungsdatum 01.06.2009
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-1-4165-5387-8
Verlag Simon + Schuster
Maße (L/B/H) 21.1/14.1/2.5 cm
Gewicht 321 g
Originaltitel Ich bin dann mal weg
Übersetzer Shelly Frisch


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  • I'm Off Then

    June 9, 2001

    I'm off then!" I didn't tell my friends much more than that before I started out-just that I was going to hike through Spain. My friend Isabel had only this to say: "Have you lost your mind?"

    I'd decided to go on a pilgrimage.

    My grandma Bertha always knew something like this would happen: "If we don't watch out, our Hans Peter is going to fly the coop someday!"

    I guess that's why she always fed me so well.

    I could be lying on my favorite red couch right now, comfortably sipping a hot chocolate and savoring a luscious piece of cheesecake, but instead I'm shivering in some café at the foot of the Pyrenees in a tiny medieval town called Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port. An enchanting postcard idyll, minus the sun.

    Unable to make a complete break with civilization, I sit down right by the main road. Although I've never even heard of this place before, there seems to be an unbelievable amount of traffic whizzing down the road.

    On the rickety bistro table lies my nearly blank diary, which seems to have as hearty an appetite as I. I've never felt the need to capture my life in words before-but since this morning I've had the urge to record every detail of my unfolding adventure in my little orange notebook.

    So here begins my pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.

    The journey will take me along the Camino Francés, one of the official European Cultural Routes. I'll be trekking over the Pyrenees, across the Basque country, the Navarre and Rioja regions, Castile and León, and Galicia, and after about five hundred miles I will stand right in front of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. According to legend, this is the location of the grave of Saint James, the great missionary for the Iberian people.

    Just thinking about the long trek makes me want to take a long nap.

    And here's the amazing part: I'll hike it! The entire length. I will hike. I have to read that again to believe it. I won't be alone, of course: I'll be toting my twenty-four-and-a-quarter-pound, fire-engine red backpack. That way, if I keel over along the route-and there is a real chance of that happening-at least they can see me from the sky.

    At home I don't even take the stairs to the second floor, yet sstarting tomorrow I'll have to cover between 12 and 18 miles a day to reach my destination in about 35 days. The couch potato takes to the road! It's a good thing none of my friends knows exactly what I'm up to. If I have to call the whole thing off by tomorrow afternoon it won't be too embarrassing.

    This morning I took my first wary peek at the start of the official Camino de Santiago. Uphill from the city gate, on the other side of the turrets and walls of Saint-Jean, is the entrance to the Spanish Pyrenees, and the first segment of the Camino Francés is marked by a steep cobblestone path.

    My route begins in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port.

    I see a gentleman of around seventy who has difficulty walking, yet is evidently quite determined to undertake this pilgrim's marathon. I watch him in disbelief for a good five minutes until he slowly disappears into the morning fog.

    My guidebook-I chose a wafer-thin one, since I'll have to lug it with me over the snowcapped peaks of the Pyrenees-says that for centuries, people have undertaken the journey to Saint James when they have no other way of going on with their lives-figuratively or literally.

    Since I have just dealt with sudden hearing loss and surgery to remove my gallbladder-two ailments that I think are perfectly suited to a comedian-it's high time for me to readjust my own thinking. It's time for a pilgrimage.

    I paid the p