A Sunday Afternoon Hike in Central Germany

Exploring The Hills Around The “Herkules Statue” in Kassel

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But first of all let me say sorry for the bad quality of the pictures. My camera is at home and my cellphone’s camera lens in broken; this is the result, but let me tell you this much – it is really gorgeous here!

I started this Sunday really relaxed; after a quick run (half an hour) I decided to go to Starbucks – yeah, there’s one not too far from here, my poor wallet – for a morning coffee and a good read. When I lived in the US I went to Starbucks every Sunday morning (well, I went there any other day as well) to sit down and enjoy the Sunday edition of  New York Times. They ain’t got any newspapers here at Starbucks, but I brought my Macbook so I started catching up with my blog reader – once again sorry, but I haven’t been to active lately. One of my favorite blogs is Explore North where I could go through articles from months back and enjoy the gorgeous pictures of the Northern Canadian open range…
As you might know I love the countryside and the northern territories of Canada (Yukon, Northwest Territories) are really fascinating to me. So far I haven’t been further north than central BC, but I know that I soon will! So I was sitting there at Starbucks with my Pumpkin Spice Latte (another reason why I love the colder months a lot) daydreaming about how I’d be living up there one day.
Yesterday I was translating my mom’s blog article Little Luck which reminded me how thankful we shall be for the little things. It’s not about dreaming of something in the very far future, but enjoying the little things that are happening today.
So I told myself: Well, I can’t be in the Yukon this weekend, but I can very well enjoy the countryside around here – a region that attracts a lot of tourists from all over the world. I live only 4miles from the Hercules Monument which is based on top of the stairs in the Mountain park Wilhelmshöhe , a UNESCO world heritage site. I know this artificial waterfall-staircase fountain quite well already as I go running there twice a week; the park around it is absolutely worth a visit as well, but weather was great so everybody decided to go there. I used the same parking lot, but went opposite direction. Crossing a cattle range, I felt like in the Alps or somewhere else far away, but not like being a few miles away from home.

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Soon, I was all by myself (besides the cattle) and the noise from the city became mute. I tried following a hike I found online, but it was mentioned as being hard to stay on the path so I was only occasionally crossing it. The soil was still really wet and muddy (another reason why I didn’t come across too many other folks) and a single pole would have been helpful, but I left them in my trunk!

IMAG1407 IMAG1416Overall I was walking approximately 10 miles in four hours; I didn’t stop for a snack as I always thought I could go a little further before stopping so I had to enjoy my bread and apple once I got back to the car.

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I came across several (partially) abandoned stone quarries (basalt and some tuff are predominant in this region) that need to be explored further on my next hike. By the time I got back to my car the large groups of tourists at the statue reminded me that I was right at the border of a mid-size German town and not somewhere in the wild, but for the last four hours I totally forgot!

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Even though the temperatures were rather low (I started around 60F, but by the time I got back to my car it dropped to 50F) I found some hidden gems. No wildlife (well, maybe some birds if I was an ornithologist), but the last signs of a late, late summer weekend. I’m excited how the countryside will look like next time I’ll be out and about.

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