Guns and Forests in a Ruhrgebiet Hiking Trail

"Statue of Alfred Krupp by the side entrance of the family home Villa Huegel"

Day hiking in Germany Guns and Forest on a Hiking Trail? Over the next few months, I am going to tell you – in a loose series of posts – a little bit about day hikes in the Ruhrgebiet, Germany’s old industrial heartland.

The Ruhrgebiet may not be an area that many foreigners will want to visit for its natural beauty. It is, after all, not the Rhineland or the Black Forest. Even

Guns and Forests in a Ruhrgebiet Hiking Trail

Five Christmas Markets All In A Row

"Christmas market in Essen Germany"

What to See in Germany Christmas Markets in Germany Even at this time of year, hiking in Central and Northern Europe can be fun – until about 3 p.m., that is.

By which time, at the best of times, the pale sun is getting even paler and slowly begins to set while the temperature drops another couple of degrees. This is nature’s way of telling you: Quick! Search shelter! Look

Five Christmas Markets All In A Row

Hiking And Christmas Markets in Germany

"Christmas market in Trier Germany copyright Tourist Information Trier"

Let’s face it, fellow hikers: November is not the best month of the year for hiking

The weather is getting murkier by the day, the trees are shedding their leaves, the clouds barely seem to lift, and, worst of all, the days are getting seriously short. Which is not good news unless you happen to like hiking in the dark (and I still have to meet someone who does).

Hiking And Christmas Markets in Germany

Blocksberg Or Bocksberg

"Easy Hiker with his mom in a cable car up to Brocken in Germany"

Easy hiking in Germany I’m sure you will agree. To visit the mountains without getting to the summit of one is like traveling to the sea without dipping as much as your toe into the water.

So when we recently visited the Harz mountains in northern Germany and had no time to climb the Brocken (aka the Blocksberg), the highest peak of the range, we decided that the Bocksberg, separated

Blocksberg Or Bocksberg

A Peep Show Machine And Video Games

Where to Go in Germany An Old Peep Show Machine In the age before computers and video games, itinerant amusement parks in the 30s to the 50s were the place kids and adults could have some fun.

At the end of our day hike on the Siebengebirge south of Bonn in Germany, we chanced upon these vintage games machine circa 30s and 50s . On offer was a mechanical fortune teller, a peep

A Peep Show Machine And Video Games

How Do You Call it: Seilbahn or Cable Car?

"Cable car in Brocken Germany"

Seilbahn or Cable Car?

The English call it a cable car, the Americans say aerial tramway and the Japanese refer to it as the Ropeway. For the Germans, it’s Seilbahn.

The prototype of the Seilbahn or cable car was first built in 1644 basically to move soil to build defenses up in the hills. In the 1860s, it became the most efficient means to transport ore mined from high mountains to

How Do You Call it: Seilbahn or Cable Car?

The Hexenstieg Is Where Witches Go Hiking

"A witch doll in a tourist shop in Goslar Germany"

Hiking in Germany

 

Where Witches Go Hiking

Trail

The Harzer Hexenstieg in North Germany, about 200 km (130 miles) west of Berlin, with a total length of 97 km (in 5 to 7 stages) from Osterode to Thale across what was once the most fiercely protected border in Europe.

Profile

The Harz is the wildest, most rugged and most untouched of the mountain ranges in northern

The Hexenstieg Is Where Witches Go Hiking

An Old Ore Mine That Hitler Used

"Rammelsberg Ore mine museum in Harz Germany"

Where to Go in Germany

“Tourists” – to paraphrase Napoleon – “from the heights of these buildings, ten centuries of industrial activity are looking down on you!”

Well, up to a point. This is the old ore mine that Hitler used for his war efforts.

It is true that, when the Rammelsberg pit near Goslar in the Harz mountains of Northern Germany was closed in 1988, it

An Old Ore Mine That Hitler Used

An Example Of German Inventiveness: The Striegelhaus

The Striegelhaus an example of German inventiveness

German Inventiveness on Show

There is much more to this wooden shed than meets the eye. Or to the picturesque little lake that surrounds it. In fact, both belong to one of the technological wonders of the “Old” – i.e. pre-industrial – world:

The water management system of the mines in the Harz mountains of Northern Germany. A good example of German inventiveness.

An Example Of German Inventiveness: The Striegelhaus

How To Get The Best of the Oktoberfest in Lake Starnberg

Day Hikes in Germany

 

Lake Starnberg

In Munich for the Oktoberfest and already yearning for something else to see than men in short trousers and vomiting Aussies?

Then I suggest the oompah-free zone of Lake Starnberg.

There is no shortage of attractive hiking destinations for day trips near Munich where you are during the Oktoberfest. Both the Goldsteig and the Altmühl-Panoramaweg “top trails” are just a train

How To Get The Best of the Oktoberfest in Lake Starnberg