There is a German joke: Congratulations. You just won a digger tour through the Eifel.

I tried to find out where this joke came from. But could not find any information.

We have been one week in the Eifel and would not have got anywhere with a digger because the Eifel is quite big. It does not only cover two federal states, Northrhine-Westfalia and Rhineland-Palatinate, it also covers a huge area.

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It is divided into x sub-Eifels. Rureifel, Vulcanoeifel, Northeifel… While Rureifel clearly references the river Rur and Vulcanoeifel stands out with the remains of volcanos as tuff cones, gush springs and lava rocks, you don’t really know what the Northeifel has to offer…

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Joking aside. We stayed in a nice small cute half timbered house in Lommersdorf, which is a part of Blankenheim: holiday flat Höppches. We have been welcomed with a huge food parcel full of regional products. Absolutely genious. From this holiday home in Lommersdorf we started our discovery tours. As the Eifel has a lot valleys, gorges and brooks to offer we drove here a little bit longer to each place…

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But not always. Right the first evening after dinner we went out a little bit. Behind the house a small way leads to a hill with a viewable cross. From this hill you have a nice view. And the sundown was beautiful.

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Next day we got into the car and went to Gerolstein. There is not only the famous sparkling mineral water but also a very impressive church. The Erlöserkirche. It is covered all over with tesserae and looks quite orienta because it shines and radiates. There are supposed to be 24 millions gilded stones that have been put in place by 40 workers. Well we did not count them… But we admired them rather long.

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If you want you can do that too and zoom in this photo here.

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Erlöserkirche zoom in 2

There exists also a small sibling: the Erlöserkapelle (chappel). Though chapel is little bit played down. But it has also these golden mosaic and it lies directly at a hiking path. You just step in.

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After having visited buildings we went out into nature. To the national park. The park has several gates. From there you can start guided tours with a ranger and there is also a tourist information and an interactive exhibition. Of course you can also hike on your own initiative.

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The selection of routes is huge whether regional or far tracking ways, premium or theme paths. The decision is rather difficult.

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We have been at the monastery Mariawald and had a look at the stations of the cross. The way also leads to Heimbach. In the beginning the stations are integrated into the walls of the monastery but later on the path leads through the forest. The stations are right beside a brook and in the middle of huge beeches. Pictorial!

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Also the different landscapes are pictorial. Over and over there are spots from where you can see very far. Over heathlands with junipers or huge grain fields, intermittent with bushes or trees. Sometimes there is a solitary tree with impressive hight. It goes up and down and up again. There is sometimes a dark gorge and then you go between high rocks.

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At Nideggen we have seen purple climbing rocks. Even for non climbers a fantastic spectacle. Here you can see the volcanic origin. The village Nideggen is small but has a nice old town and a castle.

Castles and ruins of castles are nearly everywhere. We have been to the castle Olbrück. A ruin on a hill with a residence tower. From high above you can see all around until Cologne. Or to the next point of interest like Rodder Maar.

So we went there. A small maar but in the middle of beautiful nature and a paradise for water birds. Here you will find again lots of hiking trails.

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We had a look at a very special hiking trail: a dreampath (Traumpfad). We choose the high path (Höhensteig) with the trass caves. Totally incredible. These old mining tunnels are free to walk in or rather the hiking trails leads through them. Don’t worry. They are not deep and you won’t need a light. The dream path here is really a dream. You walk along a small path, which is really good signposted.

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By chance we have been there at the right time. So we could see the Brohltalbahn – a small old railway. It looks like a toy. And goes very slow.

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As we have been already in-between the rocks we also went to see the wolf gorge (Wolfsschlucht) and the waterfall. Quite interesting to see how a brooke cleaves through the rocks.

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After the dark gorge we wanted to see the light again and climbed up the Lydia tower. Again a great view. This time also over the Laacher See (lake).

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And finally on our very last time we took the chance to see another special waterfall which grows. The minerals add up so that it changes its look all the time. The water does not really fall but rather drops which is very nice.

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And we took a stroll through the juniper heath. There are also ancient stations of the cross. And a very special fauna. We even saw some wild orchids.

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The Eifel is diversified and has a lot to offer. And it is huge. So please don’t go with a digger, take your car – or bike – or walk…