Liebesbankweg: Hiking in Harz Mountains, Germany
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How much life and amazement can happen between 11 am and 4pm ( travel time included ;) ) on a mildly sunny lockdown day? Featuring my latest Day Trip: Mid-April 2021 :)
We started with a scrumptious brunch of a warm spinach and cheese omelette, fresh strawberries (yeah its season:)), juicy blackberries, crispy buttered toast and some thick hot chocolate :)
Getting There : Liebesbankweg
The hiking route we chose ''Liebesbankweg'' (Love-Bench-Route) was recommended by many of my local friends.
It is located in the state of Lower Saxony, approachable by car.
I personally found the drive extremely scenic, as we glided from the flat North-German landscape lined by yellow fields of blooming canola (spring is here..yeeeee!), onto the up and down stretch of the autobahn (expressway), finally reaching the winding roads of national park Harz, lined with dense coniferous trees.
*For those of you who want to come by public transport, you can get to Goslar by train. Then take a bus to Bockswiese. Which will also help you get on the hiking route. Please check the last paragraph in the link below.
As a general tip, when unsure of how to get to a place in Germany, please google 'Anfahrt' (approach) and 'name of the place/ towns in near vicinity'.
Starting point of the Round-Hike
I live in Braunschweig, about an hour's drive to the starting point of Liebesbankweg called 'Auerhahn', located between the towns of 'Goslar and Clausthal-Zellerfeld. There are two other parking places called Bockswiese, another called 'Bocksbergweg'. The latter is a little demotivating to start according to me, as here you embark on a steeper climb compared to the other two starting points.
So you can get on the hiking route any of the above starting-points, but I recommend starting at parking place Auerhahn, which is on other side of the road.
An approx. 7 km round-hike, 2/3rd of it is quite even ground, which felt like more of a chilled walk amidst the many shades of green and the last 1/3rd, the part of Bocksberg (Berg means mountain) is a mostly hiking up and then down at the end route :). It took us about 2 hours (including many a breaks for photos and just soaking in the wonderful views)
Don't judge the route by its cheesy start-point ;) or the heart shaped benches that line the route. The post boxes along the route hold stamps for your hiking passport ( you an collect one at the tourist info. On successful completion of which, you receive a certificate :). I am not sure if the tourist offices are open right now due to lockdown. So please check in on it, if you are interested ).
I am placing the photos in chronological order. So many lakes on this route!!!
Camping place at Kreuzeck
Just a look at the camping vans lining this serene lake and we could understand the charm of choosing this destination for a chilled vacation. The still waters, the dense green surrounding forest and the access to many a hiking routes in the near vicinity is idyllic!
Is a famous Photo-Spot with the gondolas placed on banks of the lake. It had either rained heavily the day before we reached, or the snow had melted. So these Gondolas were not that attractive for me, amidst the sinking mud.
My highlight was the view over this beautiful lake from above and even on reaching the lake. It felt like an extraordinary opening into nature. Way more beautiful in person, than a camera lens can capture. I was enthralled!
The Gustav Adolf Stave Church
Is a pristine wooden church located not far away from lake Krancher Teich. We did not know of this before, else we would have taken a small detour for it. Here, also starts the actual mountain path 'Bocksberg' on Liebesbankweg. You will come across rope-ways, ski-lifts, biker routes and views of the valley. Keep some water with you :)
So that was our mid-noon adventure. We would halt at the bakery Wolf (in REWE Supermarket) in Goslar to pick up some yummy cake and snacks to go. They had yummy creative combinations :) We chose this bakery, as we did need to search for an extra parking to walk into the inner-city area for the next café.
There are many more surprises on the hiking route than mentioned in this post. Those, I let you discover for yourself!! :) Wishing everyone great spring moments!!