Who is still thinking about deep winter and lots of snow in northern Germany at the beginning of March? When I planned the three-day tour in the Luneburg Heath for the DAV in October, I was actually thinking more of spring bloomers, chirping birds and heather .

We got… almost half a meter of snow, heavy snowfall and winter wonderland – and a lot of preparation for the summer in the mountains. But one thing at a time…

It was already snowing Thursday night, and not just a couple of snow flakes. The roads are slippery and I start an hour early towards Schneverdingen – when I’m finally done digging my car out of the snow. In Schneverdingen I meet 3 participants of the hike, and together we get on the train to Buchholz. Unfortunately, the ride is already over in Handeloh. A tree has fallen on the tracks due to the heavy snow load. After some back and forth, we manage to find a cab whose driver takes us to Buchholz – driving like a mad(wo)man. We pick up the participants arriving by train , and then we set off with only a short delay.

It snows and snows – and it only stops at Büsenbachtal. Until then, we are amazed at how many children use the hills in the heath for tobogganing – and how beautiful the heath can be even when it snows. After a total of about 15 k we reach Handeloh, make ourselves comfortable in the Hotel Fuchs and have an excellent dinner.

With an equally good breakfast, we continue the next morning. Everyone is fit, and we set off in bright sunshine over glistening snowfields and through snow-covered forests. We reach Wesel first and then continue on to Undeloh. There, a large free table awaits us at the Heath Educational Center. And we also get excellent buckwheat cake and coffee. Well strengthened, we continue to Döhle. Over 22 k are on the meter today, and hot showers and a good dinner help with regeneration.

The last tour day starts cloudy, but dry. Overnight it has frozen and it is partly slippery. We turn onto the Pastor-Bode-Weg and enjoy the trail through the heath to Wilsede. We have the whole trail for ourselves, and surprisingly enough we get a bit of sun going up to the Wilsede mountain. At the top (although not particularly steep compared to Alpine conditions) the heath is literally at our feet. Because of the stiff breeze we take a break further down, but quickly continue… and stop for coffee and (too) well cooled cake at about noon time.

A few pair of legs are already getting a little tired and it starts to snow and rain. With this, the long straight trail into Schneverdingen seems even longer than it actually is. After 23 k we reach the station of Schneverdingen – with a broad smile on our faces, having just mastered a total of more than 60k over the course of the weekend..

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