Allowedly, Wolfsburg is not famous neither for its urban nor scenic beauty. All the more we were surprised when we discovered the local spring hiking trail last Saturday. The suggested walking paths are eligible in a version of 8 km, 10 km or 14 km. The trail can be extended up to 16 km if you add a detour to the nearby Arboretum, just as we did.
Armed with a description of the path and a GPS we started our tour at the VW-Bad. At first, we reached the so called “three stones”. Giant formations of limestone that poke out of the ground. Strolling along some lakes we reach our first highlight: the Rotheburg spring. Just when we tried to assure ourselves on the water’s quality, wondering whether we should refill our bottles here, a cyclist came along the way with six big glass bottles on his carrier. The guy told us that he is collecting his drinking water from this spring since years, because the water is so delicious and quality checks are done on a regular basis. I became curious and tried it myself. I can only confirm the guy’s statement. That was our first spring wonder for the day!
An Englishman in Wolfsburg
At first the path passes close to some housing complexes – but after an hour or so you find yourself completely surrounded by forests, sound air and silence. We come across the “Erlenground” and then reach the “Tommy-Spring”. I wonder where the name comes from and my guess is that it is just an Anglicism and abbreviation of the German male name Thomas. But I am wrong. This is the next surprise on the way: in fact the source is named after an English captain who used to get his water from this spring after World War II. At the Tommy-Spring we also come across the Arboretum and take a look at it.
Where the beetle got its name from
The next point of interest, the “Oldtimer-Handschwengel-Pumpe”, is interactive. In a self-experiment we learn how people collected water in the old times. Due to the high iron and manganic content of the water it has a “rusty” taste.
After a while we reach the “Hattdorfer Teiche”, a nice place for a picnic or to simply relax for some time. After a short break we continue to the “Käfertränke” (beetle watering hole). Now we know where the beetle – the car – got its name from: “This drinking water comes from the Harz mountains and is exclusively reserved for the Volkswagen AG”, we learn.
Why search every low and high?
Another highlight are the old carp lakes. The little slippery rascals seem to be shy. However, I finally manage to take a picture capture the typical movement they make opening and closing their mouth. Leaving the lakes behind we start our way back to the starting point. Almost done we realize that one spring is still missing. We make a U-turn and stop two bicyclists coming from the direction where the source is supposed to be. We ask them for directions and see two astonished faces. “Well we just passed by a spring. But, what is it called again?” they ask with a bit of surprise. “Yes, we live in Wolfsburg”, the guy adds. And his wife states: “Ah well, I have heard of the spring walking trail once.” Probably, the spring they just passed by might be the “Brunnen zum Kaiserstuhl.”
We thank them for the information and finally reach the Kaiserstuhl. Moreover we are sure that the cyclists became curious as well and will walk the spring path of Wolfsburg one day, just like us. I finish this story off with Goethe’s famous saying: “Why search every low and high, when good things could not be closer by.”