Alarm clock at 5.30? No problem, if it turns into a hiking tour! I jump out of bed as easily as I never do on a regular Friday morning and am sitting a little later first in the ICE (the German high speed train), then in the regional train to Wernigerode.

Holger is already waiting on the platform, and together we walk on early spring-like paths towards the Steinerne Renne. And there, at the last, winter catches up with us: in the upper part, where the sun doesn’t reach, winter holds on. The steps down to the terrace of the inn are even deeply covered with ice. However, that does not keep us from having an excellent piece of moss cake (an old Eastern Germany specialty)…

It clears up and the sun comes out. We climb the Ottofelsen and also the Leistenklippe in bright sunshine. The Beerenstieg connecting the two is in the shade – and is the key challenge of today. The way down to Schierke is snow-covered, but easy to walk. Youth hostel and Chinese restaurant await us after a full day of hiking.

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