Christina/ December 9, 2019/ The daily grind

I do not come undone, no: IT is done! 222 (in words: two hundred and twenty-two) stamps of the “Harzer Wandernadel” are mine! The final ones, no. 88 (Hoher Kleef) and no. 99 (Harzer Dampflok) were encashed last sunday. I finished my chase for stamps with mixed feelings though:On the one hand, I am happy and proud of myself. On the other hand, I wonder what’s next? But there is a simple answer to it: More magnificent hiking tours are to come – but without any pressure to collect as many stamps at possible at a time

On sunday we started off in Rübeland which is quite a nice village in the Upper Harz with two well-known caves. Above on of them there is a gazebo on top of the “Hoher Kleef” hill. A nice hiking trail leads to it crossing the ruins of fortress Birkenfeld. The view from the top is wonderful. I need to return in summer that is for sure.

Our next goal is the Galgenberg of Neustadt. On top of this hill we’ll find the final stamp: the Harzer Dampflok. The place is quite new, just good enough for a last-ditch effort. Again, we enjoy a wonderful view from the top, this time onto Neustadt. We take a winner photo, of course. I smile, I am happy. It was a great time and still I feel that “the chase is better than the catch.”

We drive back to Osterode located on the fringes of the Harz National Park. We go for a walk around the “Sösetalsperre” and finally celebrate this red-letter day with mulled wine on the Christmas Market of Osterode.

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