Christina/ December 1, 2020/ The daily grind

Where are the mills? During our hike this Saturday we kind of wondered where the mills promised are supposed to be. The brochure of the tourist information promised us „nine impressive wind and water mills“ on this walk between Naumburg, Boblas, Wetterscheid and the Kroppen valley. But we saw almost nothing of that. The actual surprise of the day was the quantity of grapevine snail’s house we found along the way. This trail is nothing for real mill-adictives but a good recommendation for all handicraft workers.

It starts at McDonald’s
Two weeks ago I contacted the tourist office at Naumburg to find out more about the advertised mill hiking trail. The starting point, the guy told me, is at McDonald’s located at the industrial estate of Naumburg. Okay, I did not expect that.

The way to the site is quite good signposted though. With two hot coffees in our thermos-cup we start our hike. We take the descend up to the urban forest. The signposting for the way is easy to find so we do not miss the way at all. From the forest we walk via country roads to Boblas. We are looking for the first mill but do not see any. An information board tells us that the first mill is yet to come. So we are looking forward to see the Neumühle, Lochmühle, Walkmühle and the Untermühle.

A snail’s paradise
On very nice and narrow paths we continue our hike. Suddenly we discover two empty vineyard snail houses on the way. At first we think that these are chance finds. But this is only the beginning. Overall we collect something like 50 houses. Sandra tells me that these are good for handicraft works, we could decorate them and stuff. Ah, okay. Never heard of it or seen it before – but why not?

We take our pickings and arrive at the next village. Finally we come across a water mill here. Well, there is nothing much to see but a mill wheel. Still… Our next destination is Mertendorf. No mill, again. There is only a sign for an ice-cream parlor, closed, of course.
Unfortunately, the way continues on a tarmac road, not so pleasant for our hips and waists. Moreover our good mood vanishes slightly due to the missing mills along the way.

Combat at Wethau
We arrive at Wethau. We do not come across a mill here but a signpost telling us about the combat that took place here on October 9th and 10th, 1813. We learn that Napoleon had some fights here deciding on the future of Europe. Exactly this bridge, the Wethau bridge, was occupied on October 9th, 1813 by the French army. Street- and house fighting between Count Moritz of Liechtenstein and the French took place here.

The stony angel
The next sight on the way is the so called „stony angel“ carved into stone by wealthy winemakers of the seventeenth and eighteenth century. The relief has a height of about two metres and a length of four meters. It was alegedly done to decorate the vineyards.

The mill of the Kroppen valley
On our way we meet another walker. We ask him whether they are any mills around here at all. He tells us that most mills cannot be recognized as they look like normal houses and the mill wheels are mostly inside the buildings. Ah that tells it all. He also tells us that there are another two mills to come. One of them is the Kropp valley mill which has a sign to it. Actually we find that mill and a kind of happy that we do not have to go away empty-handed.

Saalewasser is so tasty!
Lucky enough we pass by a mulled wine booth on our left hand side. It is of course „mulled wine-to go“ directly from a wine-grower. What a nice surprise. The „Alte Felsenkeller“, the name of the guesthouse, offers own creations. I order a „Saalewasser“ made of black tea, wine, rum and eau de vie. The tonic mixture seems to be just the right thing upon these temperatures. Slowly but surely our animal spirits return.

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