Christina/ March 9, 2020/ The daily grind

The suffering is almost over. It is sunday, it is not raining, it is not stormy, i.e. perfect weather for another hiking tour in the Harz Mountains. Our plans are supposed to take us to the Ilse(n)stein, close to Ilsenburg. We meet at the railway station in Bad Harzburg. From there we drive by car to the parking lot “Blochhauer” at Ilsenburg. On the car park a woman with a bunch of roses in her arms aproaches to us. It is women’s day – a nice gesture. The rose is not the only surprise on that day. A hiking tour full of fun and an outstanding photo exhibition are waiting for us.

“I fulfill all wishes”
On of my fellows needs seven more stamps to reach the status of a Wanderkaiser. One of them is the no. 30, the Ilse(n)stein. From the Blochhauer we first walk in the direction of the Plessenburg and make a left turn to the Ilse(n)stein. The path is quite steep an we are confronted with the remains of the latest tempests. Dead, uprooted trees are lying everywhere. On time we really have to climb and thus miss the junction to the Ilse(n)stein. We are wrapped up in our discussion about Corona and increasing lobbying in Germany that we just realize after a while that we chose the wrong trail. Finally, Christian requests us to go back. We go back to the junction. Unfortunately, there is no sign. Christian fetches his map of trails “we have to go straight”, he claims. Susanne and me are rather unsure of that. The Ilse(n)stein should be uphill and not down the hill. However, Christian remains stubborn and finally says the magic words: “I will fulfill all your wishes”. Wow, that is quite something. And believe it or not, it happens! Around the corner we glimpse at the Ilse(n)stein. Close the place we spot a roadhouse and are invited for coffee.

In the fun-zone
We enjoy a little break and the surrounding. We continue our walk towards the Plessenburg, passing by the “Paternoster-Klippen”. After that we realize how damaged the forest over there really is. There are hardly any trees standing, it looks awfully and I have never seen that place before in such a bad condition. We are shocked.

When we reach the Plessenburg we take another break. We are about to move on when I spot a sign, claiming that this is the “fun-zone”. However it looks like the fun is rather going to take place in summer when the “Biergarten2 is open.

A special picture-show
When we return to Ilsenburg we decide to visit the photo exhibition in the national park house. The show displays pictures of animals and nature that have been awarded. We are really moved by the fantastic shots. We like to take pictures as well and therefore we wonder how much time and patience it must take to make such brilliant pictures.

It was a very nice day and I really enjoyed it to be back in the Harz Mountains with my friends. I really do hope that this little paradise will still be there for a long, long time.

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