Christina/ July 5, 2021/ The daily grind

Even though Peter Maffay is singing about sieben Brücken” title=”YouTube-Video” rel=”noopener” target=”_blank”>seven bridges you have to pass, I know since yesterday that it can also be seven hills. The hike over seven hills at Alfeld has a difference in altitude of 720 metres and is 22.5 km long. It is a sweaty business. This is not because of the hills but rather because of the muggy wheather as a forerunner of thunderstorm. We did not see Snow White and her dwarfs though. However after the hike it is for the first time that we can go to a Garden Café and enjoy some coffee and cakes. We choose the café at the cloister Brunshausen which is a really nice place close to Bad Gandersheim.

Persuing the Hödeken
It is for the first time in 1.5 years that I take part in a “guided” tour. Accordingly my anticipation is huge, particularly as we are walking in the seven hills of Alfeld, I always wanted to go there. Upon arriving at Seesen the sun is still hidden behind some clouds. After a joint coffee break at a bakery though the world is suddenly a different place. We meet the group leader Hartmut and two other fellow hikers at Alfeld. The six of us are then heading towards the hills surrounding Alfeld. Meanwhile the sun breaks through the clouds.

Being in a good mood we follow the signs of the Hödeken at first. The Hödeken is a Winzenburgischer poltergeist due to a legend. The little man with the loose cape however reminds me of Inspektor Clouseau from the series “the pink panther”. That is to say that this figure has a positive connotation for me. It is a good sign.

What kind of testicle is blooming?
We hike on nice narrow field and forest paths. The trail goes up and down all the time. On the ridge of the forest of the seven hills a lot of plants are blooming: a lot of bell flowers, orchids, primroses and field poppies. It is a real fest for the eyes. One of the fellows, Jens, is an expert on plants and tells us the truth right to our face: the term “orchid” stems from the latein word “orchid” which means testicle. What? Did we get that right? An embarrassed smile flits over our faces. It turns into laughter. Susanne says: “Hey Tina, that is quite a story for your blog, isn’t it?” She is right, that’s it. Because every expert on marketing knows one thing is for sure: sex sells!

After 10 kilometres we take a break overlooking Rheden. By then we do not know that we are in for the hardest part of the hike after our lunch break.

During our lunch break we talk about this and that and laugh about the “Harzwürmer” (instead of Harstürmer), an absolute in-joke but a good one. Still laughing and sneering we continue our hike. However it does not take too long and the situation takes the smile out of our faces. It is because we are facing a difficult passage cross-country which demands full concentration and exertion. We lost our way for a while and have to climb quite a steep hill by now to return to our original path. It think this is the only stretch of the way during which nobody is talking.

Totally sweaty but relieved at the same time we arrive at the upper edge of the hill and find our way back. From now on the rest of the route feels like a sunday afternoon stroll.

The table mountain tower
At the table mountain tower close to Gronau we catch our breath again before we climb up the 82 steps of the 19 metres high tower. I climbed the “real” table mountain in Cape town years ago so the namesake counterpart here could not scare me. Fromt the top we enjoy a wonderful panoramic view on Alfeld. From the tower we continue to our last stage with the goal “Himmelbergturm”.

On the way we allow ourselves for another break at the Adamishütte. At this place we are coming across the “Schneewittchenpfad” (Snow White path), however we do not meet any fairy tale figures. We arrive at the Himmelbergturm. This time we have to climb up more than 100 steps to reach the top. The tower itself looks bizarre to me, however there is not accounting for taste.

Escaping the thunderstorm
We enjoy a great panoramic view on top of the tower. Still revelling in our enthusiasm Susanne feels the first raindrops on her skin. It start raining. At the beginning it is only a shower and we make it back to the starting point keeping ourselves quite dry. Then it really rains down. Driving back overland that rain has stopped in the next town.

We decide on a coffee-break at the cloister Brunshausen and visit the Garden Café. It is still dry even though we can already hear some thunder in the back. We enjoy coffee and cake and “my” mandatory Café Crema with Baileys. It is just gorgeous. A really nice ending of this diversified hiking tour. We just finished our coffee set when the thunderstorm starts at Brunshausen.

At the train station of Seesen it is raining cats and dogs. But I am once again lucky though: no rain in Braunschweig, only heavy clouds so that I can return safely home.