Thanks to Corona, possible ventures are unfortunately limited. However, one thing that is always possible in good weather and that we like to use is to go out into nature and hike. The bridge day between Ascension Day and the weekend it was once again so far. Kevin and I took extra vacation and together with Christopher and Marie, two good friends of ours, we took the train to Bad Berka. The original plan was to walk the Thuringian 3 towers path, but since it is quite long with its 26km, I let my comrades-in-arms talk me down to hike only part of the way. However, this should also be the most beautiful section of this path.
Arrived in Bad Berka, the signs led us for some reason over the parking lot of the local supermarket, before it fortunately quickly drifted in the direction of nature. Shortly thereafter, at the top of a small mountain, we could already spot the Paulinenturm, one of the aforementioned 3 towers. The way there was quite demanding, as there were several very steep sections over unpaved forest floor to overcome. With a few breathers, however, we finally arrived at the tower. There was also a small playground and a restaurant in the form of an alpine hut, but of course it was closed at the time. After the obligatory photos were taken and a short rest was taken on a bench, we continued into the forest. Here now followed a longer section through nature. But the path was very beautiful and there were hardly any other people.
After a while we reached a table with two benches where we spread out our lunch picnic. Kevin and I made two kinds of onigiris in advance: one part was with cucumber and the other with turkey. Since my wasabi ran out, I had had to buy a new package for this and apparently the wasabi was a bit spicier than the previous one, which especially bothered Christopher a bit. Christopher and Marie had brought some small cut vegetables, salamis, rice wafers and other snacks. Among other things, Christoher even had extra Japanese chewy sweets with him.
Well strengthened, we continued our hike in the direction of Buchfahrt. Kevin and I were here before when we had made our bike tour on the Feininger bike path. At the entrance to the village, some ponies grazing peacefully in a pasture greeted us and in the village itself, the others treated themselves to a soft ice cream. One of the highlights of Buchfahrt is a small bridge that leads through a kind of wooden tunnel. In addition, right next to the bridge is also an old mill, whose wheel turns in the water.
Behind Buchfahrt came another somewhat more arduous section uphill. Although there were even steps in some places, this was signposted as a bike path, which irritated us a bit. Back in the forest, the ground became quite loamy and muddy shortly, but fortunately this subsided after a while. Just before the next village, Vollersroda, we then also took a wrong turn, which is why it briefly went over an asphalt road. However, this was probably even to our advantage, as we saved about one kilometer and could thus escape the approaching rain. In general, we were really lucky with the weather, because it was neither too hot, nor did we have to hike through the rain.
Our next destination was Belvedere. Originally it was planned to go to the Hainturm tower behind Belvedere. At the decisive intersection there was a small discussion: Christopher was in favor of skipping the Hainturm and walking directly back via Belvedere while I was for the full round. Finally, fate decided in the form of a game of scissors-rock-paper which went in Christopher’s favor, that we should just run the shorter route. After a short photo stop at Belvedere Castle, we headed straight back to the city center. Satisfied, we all rewarded ourselves with a cappuccino, or Kevin with a lemonade, and enjoyed a little sun at Herderplatz before we parted ways.
All in all, it was a very nice hike. The path is well signposted and the nature and the small towns are really pretty to look at. In the future I would also like to hike the full Thuringian 3 towers path, but the summer is fortunately just beginning 🙂