We found a cozy little place right by the river in the Altmuehltal, a beautiful valley with many, many possibilities for outdoor activities.

Our place brews its own beer, so first of all we just enjoyed the culinary choices. I’ve never had red beer before and it was accompanied by a “brewer’s burger”.

Then we hit the sites: a flowstone cave, a castle, a (almost) perfectly round karst well, the longest wooden bridge in Germany – all on one long hike.

Finally, we made a stop in Regensburg, another one of those pretty historic towns (with lots of tourists, which by now we can tell by the choice of stores…), but we have probably seen too much “pretty town” and already walked too far today to really appreciate this – we’ll have to come back…


Essen / Ruhrgebiet

The Ruhrgebiet, Germany’s former hotspot for coal mining and heavy steel industry, is not primarily known for its lovely green landscape. Nevertheless, we had a weekend planned here with friends to go hiking.
The whole area has changed a lot in recent years. Most of the mines have been closed down, many sites today have been converted into museums, event locations, restaurants, cultural centers etc. and there’s a surprising amount of green around.
We trekked along the old “Leinpfad”, the pathway where once the boats loaded with coal were pulled down the Ruhr river, from the town of Hattingen to the city of Essen.

Starting out from the train station in Hattingen.


Following the river we were surrounded by green fields.



First rest.


All along the way old buildings, bridges, chimneys, and locks bore witness to the areas past.




Second rest.


Beautiful vistas and the old mile stones counting our progress, while the wildlife kept their distance or defended their territory.




Third and final rest.


And finally the tram to take us all the way back into the town center of Essen ca 14km later.