Off the beaten tracks there is also a lot to discover for passionate hikers. This time we are tracing the most honest crook of his time, the villain Rose. He is supposed to have made trouble in the 19th century. He was sentenced to 15 years jail for his infamous actions and was finally deported to the United States. I’d like to report on his places of activity, undone train stations and scenic landscapes today.
Nobody ever got off at this station!
There you go again: actually the „villain Rose loop trail“ starts at Harbke. However, Harbke does not have a train station, that’s why we chose Marienborn as our starting point. Stepping off the train we are welcomed by youngsters claiming: “Nobody ever got off the train at this station!” Admittedly, the train station – if you want to call it one – is not exactly highly frequented. So what? We have reached our starting point. The weather is perfect, we are in a good mood and the trail with its dense signposting seems to be in a good shape.
The oldest place of pilgrimage in Germany: Marienborn
Right at Marienborn we start our sightseeing tour. We learn that the village is the oldest place of pilgrimage in Germany – my word! The town centre offers a former cloister building, a former orangery, an old brewery and of course the chapel of Virgin Mary. After that we make for our first villain Rose memorial place: the robber’s den at Marienborn. From the chapel a small path leads to the den which can be visited. Equipped with two torches we tackle the task. Within the den we notice a penetrative ordour and finally discover the remains of a dead dear. Is that deed due to a fox or a that the remains of Rose’s prey?
We leave Marienborn and are heading fort he memorial of General Gneisenau. Passing the resting area of King Friedrich Wilhelm IV we arrive at Sommerschenburg. We reach the monumental historical site shortly after are surprised by the size and the pomp and show-off of the place. Walking over wonderful country roads and natural finish meadows we do not only meet a yapping ankle-biter that shouts itself hoarse but also come across a rich families’ tomb. Passing by the town’s church we leave Sommersdorf and are on our way to Harbke. Within the forest of Harbke we encounter cabin of Hartmannshausen. We get more and more enthusiastic on the landscape, the silence and good smells.
Earl of Veltheim shoots a bullet in his head
Strolling along another beautiful trail we are heading towards our coffee break at the orangery at Harbke long sought for. Shortly before that we make a brief stop at the so called horseshoe. At this place Earl of Veltheim is said to have shot himself. A couple of minutes later we arrive at the palace gardens of Harbke with its beautiful orangery. We are lucky to get hold of one of the open-air seats. We enjoy the usual double espresso and liquor for me, my boyfriend takes a non-alcoholic beer and some ice cream. We relish our relaxing break together with some classical music coming out of the orangeries interior.
It does not always have to be the Harz Mountains
On our way back to Marienborn we make a detour through the village: villain Rose’s love nest is on the programme (!!!). Well, it’s not more than a badge on a house’s wall. It’s for the first time that we are a little bit disappointed. But that does not last for long. We hit the forest once more and come across the robber’s den of Harbke – a real nice place. We continue to walk through the beautiful forest and finally through the lots. At the end we reach both, our starting point and the train back to Brunswick, happily and satisfied.
Our conclusion: An absolutely recommendable hiking trail that has it all what hikers are usually longing for. Therefore, it does not always have to be the Harz Mountains.