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

Baltic Blues and Reds in Poel near Wismar

Where to Go in Germany A Short Hike in the Island of Poel near Wismar The island of Poel is idyllic in a lonesome and slightly forlorn way, all flat land, empty beaches and unobstructed views all the way to the blurred line where the grey seas and the grey skies merge.

And if, after all this melancholy, you need cheering up a little, you can combine today’s hike with

Baltic Blues and Reds in Poel near Wismar

This Time You Absolutely Only Have Two Hours In Hamburg

"Swans and ducks on the Binnenalster"

Spend Two Hours in Hamburg

The best thing about Deutsche Bahn’s Across-the-Country 1-day rail pass (the “Quer-durchs-Land” ticket or QdL for short) is that it’s very cheap. Forty eight euros for two people on any regional train in Germany: that’s an unbeatable offer.

Journeys take a little longer than on the fast IC trains, that much is for certain, and their trajectories may be slightly more convoluted, but that can

This Time You Absolutely Only Have Two Hours In Hamburg

The City of Seven Lakes

"A lake view in Schwerin"

Hiking in Germany The City of Seven Lakes in Germany Mountains provide the underlying theme of most hiking trails: England has the South Downs, France the Massif Central and Germany the gently rolling landscapes of its various Mittelgebirges.

Now don’t get me wrong. I have always enjoyed my hikes through this type of landcape, otherwise I would not have done so many of them.

But it is also true that, after

The City of Seven Lakes

Black Forest Hiking Season Open Soon

Hiking in the Black Forest

There are two types of holidaymakers with two radically different philosophies: on the one hand, you have the nomads who are for ever driven by their curiosity for the new and would not dream of visiting the same place twice, and on the other hand, you have the settlers who, once they have found their favourite spot in the world, always return, year after year. I, myself, am

Black Forest Hiking Season Open Soon

Hiking A Man Made Mountain

"One of the balconies of the Balcony Promenade in Hoheward Park in the Ruhrgebiet in Germany "

Hiking in Germany A Man Made Mountain In Europe, at least, no landscape has been left untouched by man. Think about it: what chance does a forest, a meadow or any other biotope stand in close vicinity to a tribe of busy apes like us – and what defense mechanisms does it have? They can’t very well run away and start afresh somewhere else – and besides, where would that be: on Mars?

Trees

Hiking A Man Made Mountain

Hiking In The Old German Industrial Heartland

"An old factory seen from the Westfalenpark in Dortmund"

Hiking in Germany

We continue our exploration of the Ruhrgebiet:

Hiking the old German Industrial Heartland The Emscherweg

This walk is short, just right for the time of the year when there are so few hours between dawn and dusk. It features a park, a river promenade and a lake.

St. Petri Church

But beware: nothing is quite what it seems. The idyll is

Hiking In The Old German Industrial Heartland

Guns And Nazis On A Day Hiking Trail

"Friedrich Albert Krupp statue by das Kleine Haus in Essen Germany"

On a Day Hiking Trail

The Ruhrgebiet, Germany’s old industrial heartland, may not be rich with cultural sights, but Villa Hügel – the former residence of the Krupp family – on the shores of Lake Baldeney (popular day hiking trail and site for local day trippers) is a must see for anybody with even a faint interest in 20th century history.

It is obvious from

Guns And Nazis On A Day Hiking Trail