Last Sunday I got the feeling that the next James Bond movie will be shot in the Harz Mountains – more precisely between Hahnenklee and Bockswiese. What makes me think that? Because of secret “M”. What secret „M“ is all about and why a hike on the so called Liebesbankweg (love bench trail) brought us a new business idea can be learned from this week’s hiking adventure.

Family-run business, located at a central point

When H., my chauffeur, and me, arrive at the parking lot agreed upon, we still have some time to look around. I discover the Bocksberg Alm. Even if the house looks a little bit run-down, I still can imagine that even this object could score with the phrase: “family-run business, located at a central point, offered at a good price.” The location was closed upon our visit. Hot spiced wine, grog and hot chocolate are not really asked for at 30 degrees above zero.

Love bench leaves you lovesick?

Before we step onto the trail of love, we make a shot of the stave church at Hahnenklee – a mandatory motif I guess. Allegedly the church is a popular wedding chapel. Presumably you can pledge loyalty directly after the hook-up in this stave church. Amen.
We take the love bench trail, which is absolutely tacky-whacky in my mind, which basically comprises of benches with heart-shaped back rests. That’s why we were pleased to see some “normal” benches at the end of the way. According to the Hahnenklee Tourism Agency the visitor can expect “an individual circular route with lovingly decorated benches, rest and adventure areas and fantastic views”. We definitely got our share in the adventure part in terms of MTB-drivers gone wild, whose downhill-trails crosses partly the love bench path – rather unromantic to be overrun by a MTB-horde upon kissing. Well, to each his own. Strictly speaking, the organizer promises “an extraordinary experience [only] for lovers, fiancées and married people or families” – no mention of single-hiking groups.

Singletrails newly defined

We thereby develop our own business plan. Inspired by the MTB-drivers we want to erect a single-trail, upstream to the love bench path. If everything goes according to schedule, then the pairing-off continues on the love bench path and ends in the wedding chapel in Hahnenklee. We actually sell the “from-single-to-double” package for 299 € p.p. including palm-reading by Madam “Rendez-vous” and hot spiced-wine party at the Bocksberg Alm.

Secret “M” and a question of reputation

It gets really interesting at the Upper Harz Lakes. I am still pondering over the dried-up water-course when I hear about secret “M” for the first time. I am instantly alarmed, the name only gives me the chills. It’s neck or nothing, I am sure. And who knows whether the guys with the black helmets and the black thoroughbreds are not a part of the secret cult which strikes terror in the people’s hearts around Hahnenklee. And chop, there it is. Just three minutes later at a point which has not been dried up completely yet there stands the guillotine of secret “M”. This is the place where traitors and renegades lose their heads. But: torture and beheading are just business, a question of reputation.

Longchen Nyingthig Ngöndro intensive, but in a good mood and with a lot of fun!

Awestruck we carry on. We can only relax again when see the red roof of the Kathok Sang Ngag Ling center at Hahnenklee-Bockswiese. We know that we are safe again. Unfortunately, we are running out of time for a visit but the aura of the Venerable Logha Rinpoche gives us confidence for the rest of the way.

Via the Grumbacher Lake, a further oasis of peace, we start our return path. Then we experience the surprise of the day, when we meat a dear hiking friend near the Kuttelbacher Lake who accompanies us back to Hahnenklee.

Farmer’s pride on the way back

Inspired by the bloomer “Zucchini instead of flowers” U. shouts some vegetables from his garden. Hopeful there is more to come!