We know the Harz as changeable, often moody – at least as far as the weather is concerned. That was not the case this time. On the contrary – brilliant weather on all 3 tour days. Only the railroad strike threathens to darken our mood. The tour is designed for arrival and departure by train.

But we manage that, too. We start on time in Wernigerode. We discover that it is not so easy to walk quickly through the city as a group. Postcards and the stamping book for the Harzer Wandernadel are tempting.

The temperature is pleasant, and we master the ascent to the Steinernen Renne and stop at the inn. At Ottofelsen and the Leistenklippen – and the detour to Trudenstein – the participants continue to collect stamps. In Schierke, the youth hostel is of course at the other end of the village… But we manage that, too, and have a cozy dinner at the Asian restaurant.

Again, in beautiful weather, we continue to the Eckerlochstieg onto the Brocken. And, what a surprise: the crowds on the ascent are non existent, and there are almost no bicycles on the Brocken road. On the descent, it’s quite different: we’re met by crowds of people. This gets better around Oderbrück, and on the fairy tale path just before Torfhaus we are practically alone. But the youth hostel in Torfhaus is well occupied, and we have a royal dinner. 2nd helpings included.

Breakfast the next morning is also royal. It is still raining and the sky is dark grey. As we set off, the sun suddenly comes out, and we tackle the last stage in a good mood. We walk through blackberries on the Jägersteig to Romkerhall. There the gigant cream puffs are waiting for us in the – admittedly somewhat bizarre – kingdom. The last piece in the Oker valley passes by quickly. And all of a sudden, we are back in the civilization. Too bad actually…

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