Hike in the Barnbruch nature reserve: Where the happy sheep live

Christina/ April 22, 2024/ The daily grind

Sometimes things don’t go as planned. We’re on our way to the Wolfsburg City Museum M2K. We want to visit the exhibition “Young City in Quick Strokes: The Wolfsburg Sketches of Hans Kreuzer.” The city museum is supposed to be open today from 11 am to 6 pm – or so we thought. While I’m taking a few photos of the castle, I hear Burkhard chuckle. At first, I don’t understand why. Then I see the notice on the door: “On April 21, 2024, the museum will be closed. We apologize for the inconvenience.” “Well, great,” I think, “that’s a fine start.” Luckily, a curious flock of sheep saves our day. Nonetheless, we decide to visit an exhibition. Photographer Javier Moya is showcasing his “Third Eye View” in the tower of Wolfsburg Castle. The images from Mexico, Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia are impressive.

The Carriage House at Wolfsburg Castle
On this sunny but very cold April Sunday, our hopes are set on the carriage house at Wolfsburg Castle. Our goal is to see the exhibition “Young City in Quick Strokes.” Full of anticipation, we enter the castle courtyard. A confirmation is being celebrated in the castle carriage house. Otherwise, it’s quiet – conspicuously quiet. When we stand in front of the city museum, we understand why: the doors are closed today. Later, we find out that someone fell ill. Now what? We enter the castle courtyard. Additional exhibitions are offered in the castle towers. We opt for the cameraman and photographer Javier Moya. “The Third Eye View” is the name of his exhibition, presented by the Crearte Art Association. We are greeted by images from Mexico, Peru, Colombia, and the Galapagos Islands. Besides the usual sights like Machu Picchu in Peru and Tenochtitlan in Mexico, it’s primarily the portraits of people and landscapes that fascinate us.

In the second castle tower, on the left side, more artworks are on display. This is where “Young Art” is active. I must admit I have some difficulties with installations and “Modern Art.” Therefore, we decide to take a stroll through the castle park instead. We then continue by car to Weyhausen. There, we plan to stretch our legs a bit in the Barnbruch nature reserve.

The Sexually Active Toad
In the parking lot leading to the nature reserve, we discover an information board. Among the local biodiversity is the toad. We learn that the male can indeed be described as sexually active. Even while walking, the amphibian pressures its object of desire from behind and wants to proceed to action. Oh la la! Unfortunately, today we don’t encounter any toads and frogs, nor grass snakes or kingfishers. Instead, we spot three cranes engaged in a territorial dispute.

On Königsallee
Our hiking trail initially follows along the Aller Canal. Despite the sunshine illuminating the spring greenery of the trees and shrubs, the route becomes somewhat dull after a few kilometers. However, that changes when the path merges into a narrow trail. Shortly after, we find ourselves on the dam of the Elbe-Seitenkanal. We follow this for a while before turning right for the return journey. At this point, we improvise a bit. We depart from the described route and follow Königsallee.

It quickly becomes apparent that this was a good decision. Finally, some action and adventure come into play. We are tracing the footsteps of Duchess Clara of the House of Welf. The information boards for the “AllerHoheit” themed cycle path provide us with information about Königsallee in Barnbruch and the Aller Floodplain Experience Trail near Osloß. The swamp landscape of Barnbruch in the Aller Glacial Valley reconciles us. With a bit of imagination, one might feel like they’re in the Everglades here.

Back on the main route, we see something approaching in the distance. At first, I can’t make out what it is. Gradually, it becomes clear that it’s a huge flock of sheep. A gnarled shepherd leads the way with two sheepdogs. The sheep obediently trot alongside. At the end, there’s a car following the group. Although the path is quite wide, it might get a bit crowded with so many sheep ahead. However, our concern proves to be unfounded. We simply stand on a grassy strip at the edge and let the sheep and lambs pass by with their usual “baa.” Although the animals are rather shy, they are also curious. I can’t help but smile as they curiously eye us. Their gaze seems to ask, “Who are you?”

After a few minutes, the whole show is over. All that remains of the sheep are a few droppings and traces of urine. Oh well, that was a nice ending. It couldn’t have been staged better.

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