Huy or Hott in Anderbeck

Christina/ March 12, 2024/ The daily grind

The Huy (pronounced “Hüh”, from Old High German for height) in Saxony-Anhalt is a ridge in the foothills of the northern Harz Mountains. It rises up to 314 meters high and is still largely unknown as a hiking area. However, there are some sights to discover on well-marked geological hiking trails. For example, the Huy-Fallstein claims to be the “largest and most beautiful beech forest area in Europe.” That sounds exciting and worth exploring.

“Closed today because of yesterday”
Unexpected highlights are often the best. At the beginning, we deviate a little from the predetermined route. We don’t feel like walking directly along the county road. It’s not necessary anyway, as there is a nice agricultural path parallel to it. To our surprise, this path leads us to a post mill. Next to it is a bakery, which is “unfortunately closed today because of yesterday.” A great saying that I immediately adopt into my repertoire. I don’t just think about Monday mornings in the office with this one 😊.

Former salt mining site Wilhelmshall
We follow the road and after a while, we arrive at the old site of the salt mining, Wilhelmshall. The whole complex is now a “Lost Place” at its best. Old industrial culture with smashed windows, holey facades, and plundered interiors. A little further on, we come across the former medical building, which seems to be inhabited. We wonder about the condition of the site. Alongside extremely dilapidated buildings, there are houses that are obviously inhabited. We hear vigorous barking of dogs again and again. Sometimes behind locked gates. Sometimes the beasts are visible and would love to jump over the fence.

At the end of the settlement, there is a parking lot with an information board, on one hand, about the former mining area, and on the other hand, about the hiking and cycling trails in the Huy. We turn right onto a forest path. On the left-hand side, we pass by the stromatolite. We continue walking until we reach a shelter and turn right at this point, following a quite wide (and boring) path through the forest for a long time. There’s not much to see here except for a few painted snails and grinning faces. Burkhard tells me that it seems to be a Facebook campaign. The snails can be collected, and new ones can be left in exchange.

At the glacial potholes
After a while, we reach Siebertsplatz. Here, we deviate from the route again and continue straight ahead towards Hardelsberg, which is supposed to lead us to the glacial potholes. What initially starts as a very narrow and beautiful forest path increasingly becomes a worn-out construction machinery track. Fortunately, it hasn’t rained in the past few days, otherwise, we would probably sink into the mud. But eventually, we reach the former quarry and thus the glacial potholes. According to the on-site information boards, children were already climbing on the geological formations here in 1930. Most of the old installations are still there. Unfortunately, there are also visitors who mistake this natural spectacle for a rubbish dump.

From the glacial potholes, we initially leave the forest. We cross the county road and follow the West Geological Path. This takes us back into the forest until we reach Kuckucksmühle. Here, we have to walk along the road for a while before we come across a hiking trail again. This leads us back to Anderbeck. On the hiking and cycling map for the Huy, we discovered a hint for the Galeriehöfe Anderbeck. Unfortunately, we can’t find anything like that during a drive on the main road. However, we have become curious and therefore drive back to the junction at the glacial potholes. We look for the location of the Galeriehöfe on the hiking map. The information is very vague and doesn’t help us further.

Kolly Ponds
We are somewhat undecided. Before we drive back to Anderbeck again, we first take a look at the Kolly Ponds. The name spontaneously reminds me of the dog breed of the same name, which, however, is spelled with a “C” at the beginning and an “ie” at the end and probably has nothing to do with the wetlands. So, we add another 1.8 km to our hiking account and pay a visit to the wetland biotope. There’s not much to see here, but maybe it’s just the wrong season.

The locked Galeriehöfe
Driven by curiosity and determination, we drive back to Anderbeck once again. By now, we have explored the street names and house numbers of the supposed attractions via the internet. Back in the village, we find them, but they are behind closed doors. We find it a bit strange that these Galeriehöfe are advertised on a hiking map and then are not publicly accessible. Well, sometimes it’s one way, sometimes it’s the other in Anderbeck.

Hessen is located in Saxony-Anhalt

As we all know, there’s no distance too far when it comes to art and culture. That’s why, on our way back, we simply drove through Hessen. No, not the state, but the district of the city Osterwieck. It’s already dusk when we arrive at the parking lot by the castle. And there it is again. Angry barking behind a locked garden gate. The complex itself is quite manageable. The former Welf Castle is lovingly maintained by the eponymous association. Only parts of the original complex remain. We are surprised by the mention of a “pleasure garden.” Now, there is a kind of park on the premises. However, there is no trace of the former “Princely Brunswick Garden of Hessen” far and wide.

The fading daylight makes photography increasingly difficult. Additionally, a cold east wind is blowing. We retreat to the car. On the drive back to Braunschweig, we realize just how much we’ve discovered today. Art, culture, natural treasures, and a good dose of movement. We had everything that makes for a beautiful hiking day.

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