One Week in the Northern Harz Foreland
Northern Harz foreland… that sounds a bit strange. What will we see there? How will it be? We asked ourselves before our journey. But then…
After the exit from the highway we were surprised from the wideness. And the many alleys. We could not get enough from this view. Because there are not the usual chestnut or plane trees but here you will find fruit trees. And no monoculture but each tree is different. One has yellow apples the other one has red ones. Then there is a pear tree and after that a cherry tree. At once we asked us: who can harvest them? And we also saw some people picking apples. In case you want to get some of the fruits try this page: mundraub.
Though we would have loved to try some of the fruits we wanted to reach our holiday flat. This lies in a historic area. Right next to the former boarder to the GDR in an old railway station building. The sign at the front and the many references to the railway still remind you of it.
Right next morning we went off to find some breakfast. At the road you can still find a part of the border installations. Some meter behind there is still a watch tower. Today we can just go to the next village. Some decades ago this was impossible.
At our short drive it is pretty clear: here there is a lot of landscape and much view. You can look for ever. The land is slightly wavy and there are tree lines everywhere or beautiful solitary trees. Awesome. Here you can find your inner peace and unwind.
Between all the green there twinkles a village once in a while. With a church and nearly always with a village tree. A lime or a beech tree. With a bank or some tables. For to rest, to pause or for a picknick.
Houses are old but well preserved. A lot of half timbered houses and there is something special that we noticed. Here the roof tiles are also fixed to the front of the houses or the walls. That does not only protect the walls but looks really nice.
Next to the small and beautiful villages you can also see huge farmsteads or manors. Some can be visited; some are private. Which ones you have to know find our carefully. Here things are still quiet and discreet. Here you won’t find market crier or blinking neon ads or signs in front of the door. And even if you know for sure that you want to go somewhere because there is something that you want to visit you still often do not dare to walk in. Here one is a little bit more restrained.
We experienced that at the monestary properties in Heinigen. We knew that there is a demeter farm with a farm shop. But still we hardly dared to go through the gate. Next the question came up: Where can you park your car? There were no signs. Only a sign „demeter farm“. And then behind a hedge there was the small but nice and well-assorted shop. From the shop you can have a look through a glas to the cheese dairy. Try the cheese! Depending on the season there are more than 30 varieties.
Quite the same happened at the farmstead Lucklum. While strolling through this impressive farm we felt like intruders. But people are very friendly and open. On woman lead us through her flat into the manor park. It is wide and there are huge old trees. But there is also a romantic bridge and even a waterfall. Without the nice resident we would not have found the park. You can right away make a historical movie at the ground. The streets are cobbled and nowhere satellite dishes or cables disturb the view. Heaven. A cafe and a restaurant are included, but they are only for some days a week open. In case you are not on tour at the weekend you won’t be lucky. But not always…
We went on to Hornburg. To the old town. Here are supposed to be more than 400 half timbered houses. And as a matter of fact there are. Already when parking you car we could not stop gasping. One house is more beautiful than the other. With wide beams, artificially carved and painted. The houses have several floors and mostly all of them carry a saying on their front. One house lines up with the others. Wide ones and small ones. Richly decorated or simple.
The church was open when we arrived. Inside everything is made from wood. There are galleries with familiy names and year dates. Here everybody seems to have their own seat. A lush decorated organ is there everything is fully illustrated. That can hardly have been a poor village. How nice that everything is well preserved. How is it to live here? At such a place? In such a house? What has this house experienced during these centuries? Puh!
Good that there is cafe. And it is open. We need a break. Again we discover something here: ‚Hornbuger Fachwerk‘ (half timber). A big cookie. Simple from the outside but not to be underrated. A layer of marzipan hides under the grid and the jam. Like the land… Not visible to the outside. But there are hidden gems that want to be discovered.
Even the castle park in Destedt wanted to be discovered. First we had to encircle it from all sides. Also here time seems to have stood still. The castle and the huge park full of old trees. Again a water fountain, paths and ways. You can easily imagine the ladies in former times with their parasols strolling through the park.
And that is how we discovered one gem after the other. Like the ‚Ruheforst‘ but also some tiny corner shops in the middle of the village where you can get nearly everything on limited space. Or the windmills that suddenly pop up behind a roof. The chocolate manufactory. The oker. The landscape…
When you open up your eyes here you can discover quite a lot. It is not thrusted on you but you can sense it. And that is very very nice.
All photos © Waltzing Meurers