A hike to the Himmelreich ( „Kingdom of heaven“) that sounds tempting to me. The Himmelreichweg is a geological path, which I’d like to extend until Bad Sulza. The destination is not too far away and offers numerous possibilities to explore the region a little bit further. The wonderful autumn weather this year dives both, the landscape and the sights along the path into warm bright sunlight and provides the region with something mystical.
High above the Saale valley
From the starting point Bad Kösen, the spa park, I walk into the direction of Lengefeld. This part of the way is not so nice because you have to follow the street. However soon the sign „Himmelreich 1 km“ is in sight. I turn right and follow the course of the road. There is no traffic today. After about 45 km I reach the Himmelreich with its namesake tavern. Because of the Corona Pandamic the restaurant is closed, however the panoramic view over the Saale valley is available.
It take this opportunity, the panaramic view, the nice temperatures and the wonderful sunshine to let my soul rest for a couple of minutes and enjoy a bit to eat. I try to figure out the further path then. There is a sign to Bad Sulza, why not? I follow the signs. However upon a left turn I realize that the road has been teared open and blocked therefore. Hm, too bad I think to myself. I decide to walk on the fringe of the construction site and reach a country road. I discover two further signs: one leads to Bad Sulza, the other one to Großheringen. I take a look at my hiking map. Okay, Großheringen would lead me back to Bad Kösen.
I choose the direction of Bad Sulaz first, however the signposting is missing here. Moreover it is already two o’clock that’s why I decide to short cut my walk.
Steep descend to Großheringen
Lucky enough a couple comes my way. I learn that the way to Bad Sulza would have been the right one. But due to the sunlight time limit I choose the path to Großheringen, which is a little bit slippery due to the wet leaves. Having reached the bottom I talk to another couple for further directions. After receiving the wanted information I turn left and walk from Großheringen to Stendorf and reach the Falkenpfad.
The Falkenpfad leads from Sonnenburg at Bad Sulza to the ruins of Burg Saaleck. That could be a stimulus for another hike. I leave idyllic Stenforf with its paddocks and reach Saaleck. I reach domestic realms again because I have been to Burg Saaleck and Rudelsburg before.
On the Finne-hike trail
Even though I know the way already I take a different perspective by now because I walk it in reverse order. It is sunday and there is traffic on both castles. I avoid them a little bit and enjoy the blue sky and the clear air before I reach the forest again and turn into the Finne-Wanderweg in direction of Bad Kösen. At the salina of the village I finalise my four-hours hiking tour.