"One day it occurred to me that it had been many years since the world had been afforded the spectacle of a man adventurous enough to undertake a journey through Germany on foot. After much thought, I decided that I was a person fitted to furnish to mankind this spectacle. So I determined to do it. This was in March, 1878." Mark Twain, A Tramp Abroad


Wir Wandern!

We decided we wanted to go for a hike and explore the true ‘German countryside.’ After much consultation with the tourist office and various maps, we opted for a journey into the Burgwald—“the biggest forest landscape in Hessian.” We convinced our friends Sam and Jamie to come along for the adventure.

The journey began with a 30 minute train ride into the countryside. When we got off we found ourselves at a deserted train station in the tiny town of Münchhausen. At first we couldn’t locate the beginning of the hiking trail that would take us to our destination, the hilltop village of Christenberg. When we stopped a man and asked him how to get there, he replied, “by auto.” Gee, thanks!

Eventually we found the trail head and began our journey through the forest and up the hillside.

The father, our fearless leader.

We happened upon a rainbow trout farm, the oldest in Hessian.

We followed the series of ponds until we reached the source--a spring. Someone before us had thoughtfully attatched a metal cup to the rock, so we all partook in the refreshing, ice-cold water.

Penleope loves travelling in her Ergo. (Thank you Korb family!)

Pit stop!

The father takes a turn carrying the little one when the going gets steep.

The majestic pines of the Burgwald.

We finally reached our destination, Christenberg, and took in the views of the German countryside.

We paused at the Biergarten for a drink.

Below is St. Martin’s Church in Christenberg, built in the 1200’s. Otto Ubbelohde, the illustrater of the Brother’s Grimm fairy tales, used the church as the inspiration for the castle illustration in the fairy tale “Cinderdella.” The Küsterhaus in Christenberg was also his model for the illustration of the witch’s house in the fairy tale “Hansel and Gretel.” (Sorry, we forgot to take a picture of that.)

Surrounding the church is an immaculately kept cemetery, each grave plot with its own miniature flower garden--a colorful ‘communion of saints.’ A large memorial to the World War I and II victims caused us to stop and ponder the War from a new, and very differnt, perspective.

We found the German countryside to be every bit as magical as the fairy tales it inspired.

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