Christina/ June 28, 2020/ The daily grind

Sporting activity and culture can be well combined within the Harz – the Harz is a forested mountain range in North Germany. The proof for this claim is our hiking trip from Bad Suderode to Gernrode and our visit to the collegiate church St. Cyriakus. The tour of 14 km includes three stamps of the “Harzer Wandernadel”: the Preußenturm (183), the Anhaltinischer Salstein (185) and the Försterblick Gernrode (186). Opposite the collegiate church we discover the café “Der Froschkönig” (The Frog King) and this is a ripsnorter. We are told that some guests drive more than 40 kilometres just to have one cream puff from the pastry shop.

Alongside the Anhalt-Prussian border
We start at the spa gardens of Bad Suderode, to be more precise at the “Schweddenberg”. It is astonishingly quiet today. I remember my last visit to this place in 2018. At that time we were sitting on the terrace of the hotel “Am Kurpark” (at the spa gardens) having a nice cup of coffee. Now in times of the Corona crisis everything is shut down. Just a few people are staying a the Behringer Brunnen (fountain of Behringer).

The way to our first destination is well sign-posted. It is hot and humid today so that we start sweating immediately as we are climbing uphill. The effort pays-off: We are rewarded with a gorgeous view overe the villages of Bad Suderode, Gernrode, Ballenstedt und the northeast Harz-foreland. And: the panoramic view is ours alone today!

We follow the signposting towards the Anhaltinischer Salstein and walk alongside the sovereign national border between the dukedom of Anhalt and the kindgom of Prussia. We cross a wonderful oak forest providing shade to us. Moving on historical ground and partly on the “forest botany hiking path” we reach the Anhaltinischen Salstein just a couple of minutes later. The Salstein is a rock cliff giving a view on the “Kalte Tal” (cold valley). The name “Saalsteine” derives from the late medieval “Salbücher” (salbooks) indicating documents of ownership and contract.

Beware of anorexic hikers!
Leaving the Salsteine we head towards the “Bremer Teich”. Unfortunately our next destination, the Försterblick Gernrode, is not signposted from here. However a resourceful hiker left a message on one of the official signs giving further directions. As an aside: At the Futtersackweg (nosebag trail) we encounter strange information signs. The icons look like this path has been indicated for anorexic hikers. Well just a few steps down the trail the secret is solved: the pictogram is meant to signpost Nordic Walking paths.

Following we have to walk alongside a street for a few metres and thus discover the Forsthaus Haferfeld (forester’s lodge Haferfeld) which is in private hands by now. Just around the corner we enter another beautiful woodland. We arrive at one of the most beautiful stamp locations of the Harzer Wandernadel: the Försterblick Gernrode. From this hill, the so called “Stubenberg”, we enjoy a marvelous view on Gernrode which is also our next destination with the collegiate church of St. Cyriakus.

Visiting the Frog King
We are descending to the church and are lucky today: on the one hand the church can be visited again after the lockdown. On the other hand we make it just before the closing at 4 p.m. I especially like the cross-coat and the garden of the church. I really do enjoy this oasis of well-being.

Leaving the St. Cyriakus I spot the opposite café. It is called the “Frog King” and looks really tempting with its terrace. Also the interior decoration is very nice giving attention to detail.

On the terrace we prefer the homemade raspberry lemonade to coffee – it is too hot that day. And it’s worth it. A lady from the neighbouring table recommends the cream puff to us. It is freshly prepared she explains. She drove about 40 kilometres for it! We enjoy the view on the collegiate church having a good time. Exiting the place I encounter an award stating that the Frog King belongs to one of the best coffee places in Germany.

Taking the panoramic trail to Bad Suderode

After this nice coffee break we start our way back to Schweddenberg. At the limit of Gernrode a marching band serenades for the inhabitants of a rest home. We take the panoramic trail back to Bad Suderode thus crossing the shady spa gardens again.

My conclusion: A wonderful hiking trail offering everything your heart can possibly desire!

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