The World Heritage region Wartburg-Hainich in Thuringia – I was on tour to discover the region and was amazed by its variety. It has something for everyone’s ideal holiday.
Action – climbing forest and archery
It had rained during the night. I wake up and it is still raining. I was relieved that nature got the long-awaited rain after it had been dry for too long. However, for our adventure in the climbing forest Hainich this might be detrimental.
On the outskirts of Hainich is one of the biggest climbing forests of Thuringia. I had looked it up before our trip and pondered which of the routes in the trees I wanted to try. All routes were described on the website of the provider with their height, their difficulty, the number of elements to climb and a recommended age. The routes are named after animals. I soon decided I would stay way clear of the extremely difficult wild boar route and the 17 meters high and rather complex lynx route.
It is still raining as we arrive in the forest. The instructor is already waiting for us, the climbing harnesses are prepared. But the inevitable happens, just as I feared it might. The wooden obstacles in the trees are just too slippery and climbing them in this weather is not safe.
So the best we can do is walk beneath the trees and inspect the routes from below. There is the beginner’s route, a gentle path between the trees, 2 meters in height. And then there are the more complex routes with their wonky and moving obstacles, bridges and zip lines. This looks like a lot of fun up in the trees.
I definitely want to come back and climb the routes one day!
Archery was still possible, even in light rain. Fortunately, I am with Ilona from Wandernd. She has mastered this discipline and explains what to do. She said things like “stand more upright” and “shoulder down, elbow up”. She twists my body until she is somewhat happy with my posture. And then I actually hit the target. Thank you Kerstin from “ein zweiter Blick” fo the action shot!
All info around climbing in the Hainich climbing forest can be found on their website.
Relaxing on a hike through Feensteig
The weather got a little better and we were able to leave our umbrellas at home for our hike through Feensteig.
The starting point was the WaldResort (Forest Resort) at the Hainich National Park. Our guide, Frau May, walked us along a circular route through Hainich. I was surprised by all the different plants we saw on the hike: Ambrosia, stinging nettles, wild carrot, wild teasel, mullein, parsnip, different kinds of clover, knotweed…
Many of these plants I would have just passed. Maybe I would have thought about how nice and green everything is. But that many of these plants are edible or that they have medical qualities I wouldn’t have known. How lucky we were that we had Frau May who was able to give us a little insight into this side of our local nature.
We got to experience Hainich in many different ways on our hike. We did some mindfulness exercises at some spots in the woods. We focussed on intentional breathing or listened to the silence. Feensteig with its rich vegetation was very inviting and the perfect space to slow down and step away from the daily rush.
Have a look to our tour:
Culture at the Teuton Festival in Opfermoor
There is no shortness of culture in the World Heritage region Wartburg-Hainich. We were guests at the Teuton Festival which was held in Opfermoor (sacrifice moor) this year.
The pre-historic site Opfermoor is near Niederdorla. Groundwater collects in a dip and formed a lake and the adjacent moorland. The lake was very sallow and moored over time. The peat was extracted from 1947 which gave the lake its current shape.
Excavations revealed a circular fence that was made from hazel twigs. In its centre were alters, cultic sticks and figures of gods. Vast amounts of animal and human bones were found amongst the objects. This led to the conclusion that both animals and humans were sacrificed to the gods.
Further examination of the findings showed that the youngest remains date back to the 6th century before Christ and the oldest remains to about the 11th or 12th century before Christ.
Today, this area is an outdoor museum where visitors can view the old cultic site as well as replicas of stilt houses. During the Teuton Festival which is organised by the friend’s association of the museum, it truly comes to life. Many different activities around the lives of the Teutones attract visitors from near and far. At stalls visitors can learn about traditional craftsmanship or take tours that talk about the secrets of Opfermoor.
A good destination as part of a trip to the World Heritage region Wartburg Hainich.
Accommodation in the World Heritage region Wartbug-Hainich, a tip
We were hosted by the family hotel Rennstieg-Hotel in Rettelbuch as part of our PR trip. Thank you!
Here is a tip: The second hotel of the family, Waldgasthof Hainich Haus (Woodland Inn Hainich House) has an excellent cake buffet in the afternoon. The family’s grandmother bakes the cakes herself and I could hardly decide which one to order after having seen how gorgeous they all look.
In the evening they serve dinner. I had a roulade with a dumpling and red cabbage and it was so tender that it almost fell apart in my mouth.
If you have some time to spare go ahead and ask the staff about the stories they know about the well Klingbrunnen right next to the hotel.
This article was written after a sponsored PR trip to the World Heritage region Wartburg-Hainich. It reflects my own personal opinion.
Oh, this is totally up our alley! We love a little adventure while we travel and it looks like there is a ton to do!
This looks like my kinda weekend afternoon itinerary! Seems like you found a lot of beautiful blooms along the way and I can only imagine how perfect of a place this must’ve been for those mindfulness exercises. Your stay sounds fantastic too. You’re totally making me hungry now!
Kevin | Caffeinated Excursions
Wow, I had never heard of Wartburg before reading your post, but it looks like a beautiful area! It sounds like you were able to learn a lot during the Teuton Festival, and that’s fascinating that it’s suspected of being a site for sacrifices. A cake buffet at the Waldgasthof Hainich Haus sounds amazing, so I’d definitely visit for that!
Oh what a fun and adventurous experience! I would love to go hiking amongst the woods, luckily if I do it India it can combine as a birdwatching experience so it will be amazing. I have never tried archery but it does look fun!
This looks like such a fun experience. And reading about the roulade with a dumpling and red cabbage made me think of my mother’s cooking. Yum!
OH so disappointing you were not able to climb up in the trees! That looks and sounds like so much fun and adventure. At least you got to fire off some arrows for good measure. I am surprised they did not have you wear a wrist guard when shooting as the bow string can leave a nasty welt if you don’t let it go just right. ;-)
Now we talking. This is the sort of thing I like to do at weekends back home in the UK. Go for a hike through woodlands and maybe do some crazy acitivity like Archery. This region looks ideal for that and the best thing I like to do when I finish a hike in Germany (or Austria/Switzerland), have a good meaty meal and a few beers afterwards. :) Also loving the sound of the musuem, if I am in the area I would check it out for sure,.
Love your pics through the forest. I haven’t tried archery, looks like fun!
The Holidaymaker | Renee
This all sounds so heavenly! Being active in the outdoors, especially that hike deep into the woods, and then coming back to kaffee kuchen in the afternoon and a delicious German meal at dinner time. It’s too bad you weren’t able to walk among the trees, I have done this before and it definitely gives you a new perspective. But, it gives you a reason to return and hope you get to try it one day.