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06.08.2020 Miniature wonderland. Following the Green Belt south, we cycled through an area called Wendland, which impressed us with its stately farm houses built with pretty timber framing or red bricks or both. We tried the platform 1nitetent for the first time and camped on a farmstead with the main building dating back to the 1600s, surrounded by horses and friendly dogs. Then we finally had to say goodbye to the times of easy cycling across the flats of northern Germany because we found ourselves at the foot of a considerable highland area called Harz. Wanting to seize the occasion and go up all the way to the highest peak, which is Brocken with an elevation of 1,141 metres, we strategically chose a campsite where we could leave our bikes for a day in order to go on a hike and then spend another night there before moving on. On our way to the campsite as well as on the day of the actual hike, it felt a lot like we were moving around in a miniature railway setting. The Harz mountain range and national park are stunningly beautiful, with thick forests, colourful flower fields, idyllic streamlets, picturesque little villages full of pretty wooden houses, neat footpaths covered in fir needles and – to top it all – a steam railway network. We also found Harz to smell very good, which was mostly due to cones opening up in the sunshine and lots of freshly cut wood – some of which needs to be cut down in order to contain pests and diseases, unfortunately. Our excursion to the top of Brocken, a supposedly mystical place where the witches meet for Walpurgis Night, was good for the hiking part – which also gave our bums a rest day – but actually reaching the summit was slightly disappointing because it was really crowded up there and that spoiled the fun a bit – if not the great view. #scoutbound #cycling #worldbycycling #grünesband #harz #nationalparkharz #brocken #brockenbahn #hsb #schierke #schierkerfeuerstein #teufelssteig #camping

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