A Tale of Two Castles

"Neu-Wolfstein castle ruin in the Palatinate"

Hiking in Germany Two Castles with a Medieval Tale to Tell Wolfstein, the starting point or final stop of the Pfälzer Höhenweg hiking trail in the northern Palatinate, is a handsome small town with quite a few period buildings …..

… but most of the visitor’s interest will inevitably focus on its two castles nearby, called Alt-Wolfstein and Neu-Wolfstein. Alt-Wolfstein is a ruin, …

… built probably

A Tale of Two Castles

Our Best One-Day Hiking Trip in the Palatinate Forest

Where to go hiking in Germany Easy Hiker never pretends to have all the answers. For example, one question that I still have not been able to settle after all these years on the road is this: What’s the better hiking holiday – a continuous trail that you follow from town to town or a series of one-day hikes?

One-day hikes certainly have advantages: for one, you can put your heavy stuff away

Our Best One-Day Hiking Trip in the Palatinate Forest

Soul Rocks in the Palatinate

"A bottle of hiker's wine, from the Palatinate"

Hiking in Germany For our second hiking trip in the Palatinate, we tackled the stretch between Waldfischbach and Heltersberg, which is largely identical with stage 4 of the 9-stage “Pfälzer Waldpfad” (the Palatine Forest Trail). The Soul Rocks in the Palatinate

Out of our three planned hikes, this was the one about which I had been most wary: for one, it was the longest at 12 km (our hosts from the Rheinland-Pfalz Tourism

Soul Rocks in the Palatinate

Easy Hiking and Riesling in the Palatinate

"A glass of riesling from the Palatinate Germany"

Hiking in Germany Hiking and Riesling in the Palatinate

Courtesy of Wikipedia

There are certainly regions in Germany with a higher profile than the Palatinate – even the natives of this part of southwestern Germany would probably accept that without objections. The Palatinate’s problem is that it is a little “stashed away” at some distance from the busy transport routes that link Germany’s main economic regions.

Opportunities of first

Easy Hiking and Riesling in the Palatinate

A Nightingale in a Coal Mine

"An old coal mine along the Muttental hiking trail in Germany"

Day Hiking in Germany A Coal Mine Called Nightingale Nightingale or Nachtigall Colliery (“Zeche Nachtigall“) at the foot of the Muttental trail prides itself on being the “cradle of coal mining” in West Germany.

Coal was actually dug out of the surrounding hillsides as long as 300 years ago, and in 1839, at the very dawn of the Industrial Age, one of Germany’s first deep mining shafts was sunk here.

A Nightingale in a Coal Mine

Wonder at the Cathedral and More with Two Hours in Cologne

Got Two Hours in Cologne?

Cologne is one of Germany’s main hiking hubs: whether you are going to the Rheinsteig, the Rothaarsteig, the Eifelsteig or any other trail in the Northwest of Germany, you are likely to pass through.

But rather than just hopping off the airport bus into Cologne central station or using the station to change from one train to the other, why not step out of the

Wonder at the Cathedral and More with Two Hours in Cologne

The Lake District of the Ruhr

"Lake Böllert along the Duisburger Seenplatte"

Easy hiking in Germany Meet the Lake District of the Ruhr A few weeks ago, we travelled all the way to the Mecklenburger Seenplatte in Germany’s “Far East” to experience a near-Scandinavian blend of beauty and bleakness. This week, we discovered that we could have had all of that much closer to “home”.

Well, nearly all of that. The Duisburger Seenplatte (Duisburg Lakeland) on the western edge of the Ruhrgebiet, Germany’s old industrial

The Lake District of the Ruhr

The Coalminers Trail

"Witten Muttental Mining Museum in Germany"

Hiking in Germany The Coalminers Trail There are two things you should know about the Muttental Mining Trail, east of the Ruhrgebiet, Germany’s old industrial heartland:

Firstly, for nearly all of the trail’s 9 km, you would never think that you are in the middle of what is essentially a city of 7 or 8 million people, the fifth largest urban agglomeration in Europe. Even on the few occasions where you leave the

The Coalminers Trail

Hike Along Three Moated Castles But Don’t Mention The Siege

"Burg Gemen in Germany"

Easy hiking in Germany Hike along Three Moated Castles Borken in the extreme northwestern corner of North Rhine Westphalia is, in a way, a strange mongrel of a town: staunchly catholic, rural and conservative, it is culturally a part of the Münsterland, although in fact geographically closer to the coketowns and coal mines of the Ruhr – and more conveniently located for them, too.

The distance from Borken to Münster is 60 km,

Hike Along Three Moated Castles But Don’t Mention The Siege

Bricks Won’t Break Your Bones

"Die Alte Post brick building in Hamburg Germany"

Bricks Architects in most European countries have always considered bricks second rate material, i.e. inferior to stone.

As a consequence, there are fairly few “prestige buildings” across Europe – churches, palaces of the high aristocracy – that are made of bricks.

The exception to this rule is the extreme North of Germany (and to a lesser extent the rest of the Baltic region), where natural

Bricks Won’t Break Your Bones