Bad Neualbenreuth has only recently been recognised as a spa and now offers further interesting offers in addition to the existing programme. I experienced the forest health training with trainer Beate Ott and got to know a completely new forest experience.
But before arriving at our morning meeting point, I made a quick stop at the village’s parish church.
Parish Church of St.Laurentius
The foundation stone for the construction of the present church was laid in 1730, and construction was completed three years later. The construction of the church tower took a little longer to complete. It was not built until 1782, 50 years later.
The Catholic church stands on a small hill in Bad Neualbenreuth. What is very unusual about it is that it has an unusual north-south orientation. This is because the church building was able to stand so completely on a plot of land owned by the town of Eger. In the region around Bad Neualbenreuth, it was customary between 1591 and 1864 for the citizenship to change annually between the town of Eger and the monastery of Waldsassen. The so-called Fraisch-Rezess thus ended disputes that had previously burdened the region for years.
A visit to the nave is definitely worthwhile. The church is bright and inviting. The ceiling is beautifully designed, my gaze could hardly tear itself away from the pictures. But the main altar and the baroque side altars also attract the gaze of every visitor.
At the main entrance to the church grounds is a small chapel, the Lourdes Grotto. I was very surprised to read that Protestant services are held here on the grounds of the Catholic church in the grotto chapel.
After I had finished the small tour of the church, I went to the starting point of the first smaller hike.
Forest health training through the Gedankental
The “Forest and Health” project of the Bavarian Spas Association began training forest health trainers in 2020. 14 Bavarian spas and health resorts want to expand their offer with forest health training in the future. In Bad Neualbenreuth, Beate Ott and Michael Rückl took part in the training and so I was able to learn more about the topic on a short hike of about 4 kilometres.
What is forest health training?
Beate Ott not only guided us from Bad Neualbenreuth through the Gedankental, but also led various small exercises explaining the principle of forest health training.
The forest, and this has been scientifically proven, has a positive effect on people’s health. One’s own well-being is strengthened, positive emotions are evoked and the mood rises during a visit to the forest.
During our little hike, we started by training our senses: listening to the forest and its sounds, breathing in the scent of the forest, letting our eyes wander through the forest and feeling the forest. And so we walked small sections of our path and focused entirely on one of our senses. I always find it amazing what you can hear when you switch off all your other senses. Yes, the tactile perception (feeling) also impresses me again and again. Feeling the damp grass on my hands, sensing the different surfaces when walking and feeling the bark of a tree shows me again and again how inattentively we sometimes go through life.
The central theme throughout our journey was mindfulness. Concentrating on oneself and nature, letting go of everyday life – all topics that are neglected in today’s society, often even forgotten.
Shortly before reaching our destination, we passed the small waterfall of the Mugelbach. Another place where you can enjoy and relax with all your senses.
During this little session to get to know the forest health training, I learned again for myself that I had neglected some things I already knew far too much recently. How much nature helps to reduce stress and how much I should be more aware of my life was brought back to my mind. Thank you very much!
Guest at the Adamhof
We concluded our forest health training with a hearty snack at the Adamhof in Hardeck.
In the family-run business, you can not only eat excellently in the restaurant. Here you also know where the meat comes from. A butcher’s shop is part of the business, which also processes the freshly hunted game. In the farm shop you can also stock up on great products from the region.
The snack with a plate of sausages, which I have never eaten in this quality, was simply outstanding. I was really glad that I was allowed to eat here again in the evening. The wild boar dish simply blew me away in terms of taste. The meat was tender, excellently seasoned and the sauce was superbly flavoured. A successful end to an eventful day!
Our tour through the Gedankental
Disclosure: This wonderful experience and the food were part of a blogger trip. This report is based on my experience and was written independently of the trip.