KalPaPruek – Thai-Massage in Maintal-Bischofsheim

KalPaPruek – Thai-Massage in Maintal-Bischofsheim

WERBUNG

Ich weiß nicht, wie es dir geht. Aber ich vermisse Thailand und meine Reisen nach Asien ganz allgemein ganz schön. Da kam es gerade richtig, dass mir eine Freundin sagte, dass ein kürzlich eröffnetes Thai-Massage-Studio in Maintal-Bischofsheim meine Hilfe gebrauchen könnte und ein bisschen Werbung machen möchte. Daher stelle ich dir heute KalPaPruek vor!

Thai-Massage in Maintal-Bischofsheim

Am 1. Februar 2020 eröffnete in Maintal-Bischofsheim ein neues Thai-Massage-Studio. Es trägt den klangvollen Namen KalPaPruek (Thai für die Blüte des Zwergapfelbaumes) – mehr zu den Hintergründen für diesen Namen, erzähle ich dir weiter unten.

Wie so viele Unternehmen musste auch KalPaPruek während der Coronazeit schließen. Aber seit Mitte Mai ist das Team wieder voll da und freut sich auf deinen Besuch!

Sobald du den Laden betrittst, kommt Thailand-Feeling auf: Du schlüpfst gleich aus deinen Schuhen und rein in die Sandalen… Genauso wie in guten Massage-Salons in Thailand!

KalPaPruek – Thai-Massage in Maintal-Bischofsheim

KalpaPruek

Als ich mit der Besitzerin das erste Mal kommuniziere, fragt sie mich, wie alt ich bin. Auf meine Antwort sagt sie, dass ich sie Pi Pu nennen könne, da ich jünger sei als sie. Spannend, wie sich die Anrede in der thailändischen Sprache nach solchen Details richtet.

Pi Pu von KalPaPruek – Thai-Massage in Maintal-Bischofsheim

Ich schaue mich um. Der Salon ist ein wenig anders eingerichtet als die in Thailand. Blumen beherrschen das Bild, nicht Haustempel und Bilder der thailändischen Königsfamilie. Auch wenn es natürlich sehr wohl ein paar Statuen gibt: einen kleinen Buddha, eine Chevakakomaraphat-Statue – das ist der Begründer der traditionellen Thai-Massage – und einen Elefanten. Sie stehen in einer Glasvitrine neben dem Tresen bzw. Buddha thront mit wachsamen Augen über ihr.

Chevakakomaraphat

Elefant KalpaPruek

Blumen KalpaPruek 2

Auf dem Tisch liegt ein Buch über Thailand und direkt daneben das offizielle Thailand Magazin. Witzigerweise habe ich letztes Jahr selbst einen Artikel für diese Zeitschrift geschrieben. Ich blättere darin und finde ihn gleich.

Thailand Magazin

 

Die Massageliegen und Massagen

Vier Massageliegen warten darauf, dass du dich auf ihnen verwöhnen lässt. Liebevoll sind auch sie mit Blumen dekoriert oder mit Handtüchern, die zu Schwänen geformt sind.

KalPaPruek

Handtuchschwäne Thai Massage

Massageliegen Maintal Bischofsheim

Bei KalPaPruek werden drei verschiedene Massagen angeboten:

  • Ganzkörpermassage (mit oder ohne Öl)
  • Traditionelle Thai-Massage bzw. Nuad Phaen Boran (Thai: นวดแผนโบราณ), was soviel bedeutet wie „uralte heilsame Berührung“
  • Anti-Stress Oberkörper-Massage

Die Ganzkörpermassage und die Traditionelle Thai-Massage können entweder 60 oder 90 Minuten gebucht werden. Hot Stone Anwendungen gibt es auf Wunsch und ohne Aufpreis dazu. Die Anti-Stress Oberkörper-Massage dauert 30 Minuten und soll die typischen Verhärtungen im Schulter- und Nackenbereich lösen.

Ich selbst darf eine 60-minütige Ganzkörpermassage mit Hot Stones genießen. Und ich kann dir sagen: Es tut so gut!

Thai Massage Maintal Bischofsheim

 

KalPaPruek – Ein Name mit Bedeutung

KalPaPruek ist der thailändische Name der Blüten des Cassia bakeriana, des Zwergapfelbaumes. Auf Englisch heißt er Pink Shower Tree oder Wishing Tree.

KalPaPruek Maintal Bischofsheim

In Thailand sagt man, dass in jedes Zuhause mit einem KalPapruek-Baum Glück und Erfolg einziehen. Die englische Bezeichnung Wishing Tree, also Baum des Wünschens, führt zurück auf einen thailändischen Glauben: es heißt, wenn man sich etwas wünscht und dabei an diesen Baum denkt, geht der Wunsch in Erfüllung.

 

Matum-Tee

Wer einmal in Thailand eine Thai-Massage mitgemacht hat, kennt die Tradition: Im Anschluss an die Massage gibt es in jedem guten Massage-Salon einen Tee. So werden die Gifte ausgespült, die durch die Massage aus den Muskeln geknetet wurden. Bei KalPaPruek gibt es Matum Tee*.

Matum Tee KalPaPruek

Pu schreibt auf der Facebook-Seite von KalPaPruek:

“Dieser intensiv duftende Tee und nach karamellisierter Orange schmeckende Tee wird aus getrockneten Bael-Früchten hergestellt. Die Bael-Frucht ist eine der gesündesten Obstsorten Thailands. Zum Verzehr schneidet man rohe Bael-Früchte in Scheiben und isst sie mit Zucker. Am häufigsten werden aber geschnittene Scheiben getrocknet und dann wie Tee aufgebrüht. Neben dem wohltuenden Geschmack zeichnet sich der koffeinfreie und Vitaminreiche Matum-Tee durch seine gesundheitsförderlichen Eigenschaften aus. So ist der Tee gut für die Vorbeugung von Erkältungen, wirkt beruhigend auf den Magen, hilft bei Verdauungsbeschwerden und hat eine blutdrucksenkende Wirkung.”

 

Mein Fazit

Es gibt viele Wege, wie du dir ein bisschen Urlaubsstimmung bereiten und die Ferne nach Hause holen kannst. Eine Thai-Massage ist für alle Thailand-Fans eine gute Option, um sich ganz kurz in das Land des Lächelns zu träumen.

Flyer KalPaPruek

Für mich hat mir der Besuch im Thai-Massage-Salon KalPaPruek in Maintal-Bischofsheim mein geliebtes Thailand ein wenig näher gebracht. Ich habe die Massage sehr genossen und habe mit Freude meine wenigen Brocken Thai anwenden können.

Ich gehe bestimmt wieder dorthin! Und du?

In diesem Sinne: Sawatdee kha!

Deine Barbara

PS: Dieser Beitrag ist als Kooperation mit KalPaPruek entstanden. Für die Massagen habe ich nicht gezahlt, jedoch habe ich keine monetäre Vergütung erhalten. Meine Meinung bleibt von dieser Kooperation unberührt.

PPS: Alle mit einem Sternchen (*) markierten Links sind Affiliate Links!

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Monreal in the Eifel – Day Trip to the Romantic Eltz Valley

Monreal in the Eifel – Day Trip to the Romantic Eltz Valley

Monreal in the Eifel – Day Trip to the Romantic Eltz Valley

Last week, I was in the Eifel for the first time. Monreal was the destination – a small village with not even 800 inhabitants, which is both beautiful and enchanting. No wonder: Time seems to have stopped here a few hundred years ago. The old half-timbered houses look like something out of a picture book and not just one, but two castle ruins are enthroned on their hills above the village. I have rarely seen such an idyll. That is why I immediately said yes, when my friend Jan (@jan_wehnert on Instagram) asked me to join him on a photo tour. Our photo buddy Sven (@sky.pix2016 on Instagram) came also with us.

How to Get to Monreal

  • By bus or train: Monreal is located on the RB 23 railway line of the Lahn-Eifel railway. It runs once an hour every day. For ticket prices, it is best to check directly at the website of the Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Mosel (VRM). Coming from Gerolstein, you are faster during the week if you take the regional bus and change in Ulmen. On weekends in the season the Vulkaneifel-Bahn (special ticket necessary, because it’s a private special train, available at the conductor on the trains; if you want to take your bike with you, you have to reserve it upfront).
  • By car: Both the A48 and the A61 are nearby and Monreal is easy to reach from there. Parking spaces are available along the main road.
  • By bike: There are also bike lanes in the area. However, there is a lot of up and down here and you have to expect steep gradients.

We arrived by car and I was enchanted from the first moment! That was my first impression of Monreal and my first view of the Löwenburg – the castle in the background:

Löwenburg im Hintergrund, Monreal im Vordergrund

 

Monreal

Monreal is located in the beautiful volcanic area Eifel. With not even 1000 inhabitants, one can probably speak of a very small community here. The village lies in the Eltz valley and the Eltzbach flows through it.

If you would like to book a guided tour or receive information, you can do so on the Homepage of Monreal. Otherwise, you can simply roam the cute alleys on your own and wander to the two castles that tower above the city.

Alte Brücke Monreal in der Eifel

Stiefmütterchen in Monreal als Dekoration vor einem Haus

Monreal – Dekoration an einem Hauseingang

 

The Almost 1000 Years of History of Monreal

Although the oldest traces of a settlement in Monreal date back to pre-Christian times, the place was not mentioned until the 12th century as Cunisberch (Königsberg – King’s Mountain). In the following century, Monreal became part of the county of Virneburg. The then name Königsberg was translated into French, as was appropriate at the time. Monroial was born and developed over the centuries to the present Monreal.

Around the year 1220, the construction of the Löwenburg (Castle of Lions), which is also called Burg Monreal, began, as it is considerably larger than the Philippsburg, which was built later. Hermann III of Virneburg began the work, although he lacked the necessary permits and rights over the land, as it actually belonged to his brother Philipp. He saw this as a political move to strengthen his count dynasty, as the family’s ancestral seat – the Virneburg – was too far away from economic centers. His plan worked out. In 1306, Monreal was granted town privileges and the rights to organize a market, which could be held every Monday.

Since Monreal belonged to the area of the Trier archbishopric, the property fell to Trier after the death of the last Count of Virneburg in 1545. The Elector of Trier appointed a bailiff instead of reassigning the fief and was later merged with the Obermayen office.

Monreal was destroyed twice in the 17th century: once in 1632 by Swedish troops and then in 1689 by French troops during the Nine Years’ War. At the same time, the cloth industry was discovered in Monreal, which brought prosperity to the small town. The half-timbered houses still bear witness to this today. However, this peak phase came to a serious end in the second half of the 19th century, as the clothiers could no longer keep up with the international competition. As a result, Monreal became impoverished.

 

Monreal’s Charming Old Town

The recovery of the city came in the 1930s, when people began to see the charm of the Eifel and Monreal’s romantic old town with its pretty half-timbered buildings became a destination for excursions. I can absolutely understand it, as it really is a beautiful old town. The little town lies in the valley, the Eltzbach flows through it and the two halves are connected by three old bridges.

Blick von der alten Brücke Monreal – Langzeitbelichtung

Blick auf die alte Brücke Monreal

Monreal – Langzeitbelichtung vom Eltzbach Richtung alte Brücke

Not only the fairytale half-timbered houses can be admired here, but also the late Gothic stonemasonry, which is presented on the bridges, among other things. For example on the Elzbrücke: here the Lion Monument awaits you. These four lions first stood at the gates of Monreal Castle to guard it. That is why it got its name – the Castle of Lions. Here is one of them:

Löwe auf der alten Brücke in Monreal

Monreal offers the visitor a small insight into the history described above. These were turbulent centuries and here they come to life. In order to illustrate this, in the years 2003/2004, information boards were installed all over Monreal.

 

The Two Castles – The Löwenburg and the Philippsburg

From Monreal, a path leads up to the two castles, the Löwenburg (Castle of Lions) and the Philippsburg (Castle of Philipp). You can’t actually miss them, firstly because the path signposted, and secondly because Monreal is really small.

Zu den Burgen – Schild in Monreal

Gleise und Löwenburg im Hintergrund

The Löwenburg is on the right and is a so-called spur castle, which is the most common type of high-altitude medieval fortifications in Germany. It means that the castle is not on the summit, but steeply above the valley on a mountain spur. The Löwenburg is the bigger of the two and one of the highlights of the whole trip. This is the view of the Löwenburg when you stand at the Philipsburg:

Loewenburg und Lensball von der Philippsburg aus fotografiert

You can explore them at your leisure and there are also information boards so that you always know what the towers and walls used to be. Because it’s not self-explanatory, unless you happen to be an expert in Medieval Studies.

Auf der Löwenburg Monreal

I particularly liked the fact that the tower is walkable. For this you should either have a flashlight or use your mobile phone as such. But it is not a long way to the top and so I arrived there only slightly out of breath. The walls are quite thick so that I personally found the view rather mediocre. Nevertheless, I love to stand in such places and think about how the people who lived here must have felt. What they thought. What stories the walls would tell me if they could speak.

Blick von der Löwenburg auf Monreal

From the Löwenburg you also have a good view of the Philippsburg. It was also built in the 13th century and was popularly called Rech – which is Middle High German for deer – because of its smaller size.

Philippsburg Monreal – Blick von der Löwenburg

It is not clear why the second castle was built at all: one theory says that it was built as a forework or outer work of the Löwenburg. However, there is also a local legend according to which the castle was a kind of answer from Philip to his brother Heinrich, who had built the Löwenburg illegally on his brother’s property. To me personally, it is not quite clear why this “answer” should be less impressive than the original. But I am not a medieval count… So what do I know? Hah!

In the 14th and 15th centuries, the complex was further extended and served several times as a widow’s seat of the count’s family. In the 16th century, Monreal was already the ancestral castle of the family and had replaced the Virneburg as its ancestral home.

The Philippsburg is especially worth a visit because you have a great view of the entire panorama from it and the tower is open to the top. So you can take cool pictures up to the top.

Loewenburg und Monreal von der Philippsburg aus fotografiert

 

Traumpfade (Dream Paths)

In the Rhine-Moselle-Eifel region, there are the so-called dream paths. These are well-signposted premium hiking trails in this region. Such a dream path also leads through Monreal: The Monrealer Ritterschlag, about which I write more below, even though I, unfortunately, haven’t been able to walk it myself yet.

 

Traumpfade Eifel

The volcanic Eifel is today a green and fertile land. This is how the nickname “green heart of Europe” came into being. Excursions in this region are not only something for nature lovers, but also offer a journey into days long gone by: peaked mountain cones, geological formations, and the crater lake Laacher See bear witness to the past as a volcanic landscape.

Here are a few of the Eifel’s dream paths that invite you to go hiking:

 

Monrealer Ritterschlag – Monreal’s Knighthood

The almost 14-kilometer-long hiking trail is one of the Eifel’s dream paths and goes right through Monreal and the castles. It is definitely on my bucket list and as soon as I have walked it, you will be the first to know about it here on Barbaralicious!

The highlights of Monreal’s Knighthood are:

  • Monreal with its charming old town
  • The Elz and Thürelz river valleys
  • Forest gorges and ridge paths
  • The panorama of the Eifel
  • The Philippsburg and Löwenburg

 

Traumpfädchen Rhein-Mosel-Eifel

If the afore-mentioned tours are too long for you, you can also walk one of the mini dream paths. These are only between three and seven kilometers long and can, therefore, be walked in a maximum of two hours. They are great for exploring other highlights of the region – such as Monreal or Eltz Castle, to name two examples – in addition to the short hike.

 

My Gear

On my tours, I am mainly on the road with clothes and equipment from Decathlon. My hiking boots for example are waterproof half-height hiking boots. In general, if you are a regular hiker or outdoor enthusiast, I recommend that you buy some appropriate clothing and shoes. In the worst case, normal sneakers will do, as long as they give you a good grip and you can handle them if they get dirty. On hikes like the one in the Margarethen Gorge, this can happen faster than you can look.

Wanderschuhe von Decathlon

I would also recommend protection for your phone. I got a nice scratch when I was hiking in Margaret Gorge. And that’s even though my phone didn’t fall off or bump into anything. At least not consciously. Therefore, I have now an outdoor case.

By the way, I take my pictures with a Sony Alpha 6500*. I usually switch between my two favorite lenses: a 10-18mm wide-angle lens* and a 30mm fixed focal length*. In case you’ve ever wondered how I take pictures of myself even though I’m often on the road alone: I have a Rollei tripod*.

 

My Final Thoughts

To be honest, I had never heard of Monreal. But since I’m always happy about photo tours with my buddy Jan and he has a good hand for choosing cool locations, I didn’t have to think twice about joining him or not. And that was absolutely right! Monreal was just adorable and we had a great tour.

Barbara in Monreal

Have you ever been to Monreal? Or have you ever heard of the romantic place in the Eifel?

 

PS: All links with an asterisk (*) are affiliate links!

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Hiking on the Katzenbuckel – The Path of Crystals

Hiking on the Katzenbuckel – The Path of Crystals

Hiking on the Katzenbuckel – The Path of Crystals

Since I have been drawn to the Odenwald a lot in the last few weeks, it was only a matter of time before I would take a hike on the Katzenbuckel (Katzenbuckel means cat’s hump in German). The Katzenbuckel is the highest mountain in the Odenwald and several hiking trails lead around it or over its summit. There is for example the Katzensteig, a 12-kilometer trail, but today I will first introduce you to the Path of the Crystals. This hike is a quick one but no less beautiful.

The Katzenbuckel

The highest mountain in the Odenwald – the Katzenbuckel – is located in the border triangle between Hesse, Baden-Württemberg, and Bavaria and is actually an extinct volcano. Its vent has a diameter of almost 1000 meters. At 626 meters, it is enthroned in the red sandstone plateau of the Odenwald and stands out from its surroundings due to its easily recognizable shape. It is located near Waldkatzenbach in the far south of the Odenwald. On the summit, there is a tower of the same name, from where you have an amazing view.

Katzenbuckel Infotafel

 

How Has The Katzenbuckel Been Created?

About 60 million years ago, the Katzenbuckel erupted, which was probably very explosive due to a steam explosion when the magma came into contact with the groundwater. This is indicated by tuffs and small volcanic bombs. Today neither collapse funnels nor craters are visible. So the assumption is based purely on geological findings.

Since the end of the 19th century, volcanic rock has been mined in two quarries: Gaffstein and Michelsberg. In the 1920s, however, only one quarry was still visible on the maps: The Gaffstein had fallen victim to mining. In 1970 a blasting led to the fact that the work on the second quarry was also stopped: Groundwater had seeped into the Michelsberg Quarry and the Katzenbuckelsee (the lake of the Katzenbuckel) was created.

 

Where Does The Name Katzenbuckel Come From?

There are various explanations, but none of them is verified.

    1. The most obvious explanation is that the shape of the mountain resembles the back of a cat.
    2. Another assumption is that the name is etymologically derived from the Chatti – a Germanic tribe that lived in this area. They once had their main settlement area in northern and central Hesse and their name lives on in the neighboring state of Hesse, which is only three kilometers away from the Katzenbuckel.

 

The Path of Crystals

For your hike on the nature trail, you should choose a day with good weather if possible, as there is a lookout tower on the top of the Katzenbuckel which gives you an excellent all-round view. But only in good weather. Here are a few facts in brief:

Distance

2,4 Kilometer

Duration

1 Hour

)

Difference in Altitude

144 Meters

Highest Point

626 Meters

The Starting Point: Turmschenke / Villa Katzenbuckel

Until January 1st of 2020, the restaurant at the Katzenbuckel was in the hands of the Geier family. During the 65 years, the Turmschenke became a popular place in the Odenwald. Since May 18th of 2020, it has been reopened under new management and with a new name: The Villa Katzenbuckel awaits guests with Odenwald specialties. The restaurant is also a lounge, bar and hotel.

There is a parking lot from where you can plunge into the short adventure. Two large info boards mark the beginning of the Path of Crystals.

Infotafel Weg der Kristalle

 

Weg der Kristalle

 

The Katzenbuckelsee (Lake Katzenbuckel)

After a short hike, you get to the Katzenbuckelsee. As described above in the section on the formation of the Katzenbuckel, it was created by a blasting in the former quarry. Groundwater had entered the quarry, after which it was abandoned. You can get a glimpse of the lake through the trees, but unfortunately, you can’t get close enough to take a good photo from the Path of Crystals. The trees are also very dense. If you want to get to the lake, you can try it by leaving the path.

As you go halfway around the lake, you will pass several info boards that give information about the formation of the Katzenbuckel and the minerals. In this way, the hike gains an informative aspect and also becomes a journey into the history of the earth. Of course, you can decide how much background information you want to have.

Weg der Kristalle Infotafel

 

The Viewpoint Katzenbuckel

When you leave the lake behind you, it won’t be long before you can see the old tower between the trees. But do not confuse it with the ski jump of the Eberbach Ski Guild, founded in 1949. The ski jump is closed and may not be entered.

Wandern auf dem Katzenbuckel

Aussichtsturm Katzenbuckel

The observation tower, on the other hand, is an 18-meter-high stone tower that was built in 1820. The round tower is made of sandstone – just like this part of the Odenwald. Once you reach the top, you have an excellent view of the Taunus, the Spessart, and even the Rhön.

Panorama Aussichtsturm Katzenbuckel

Auf dem Aussichtsturm des Katzenbuckel

From the observation tower, it is only a stone’s throw back to Villa Katzenbuckel. On the way there you have a great view of Waldkatzenbach and can enjoy the moment on benches at the edge of the forest.

Auf dem Katzenbuckel

Aussicht Katzenbuckel

In the Villa Katzenbuckel, you can stop by if you wish and let the day end quietly.

 

Ideas For Nearby Activities

The Horse Farm Pan Perdu

Close to the Katzenbuckel, there is a horse farm called Hof Pan Perdu. I recently spent a whole weekend here (a separate post will follow!) and I can highly recommend it to you if you love animals as much as I do and would like to explore the Odenwald from horseback. The four-legged friends are elegant and gentle and will certainly give you unique experiences if you are open to them.

 

The Katzenbuckel Spa

Alternatively, you can also give your body a break: In the local spa Katzenbuckeltherme there are several swimming pools, a relaxation area, and a sauna are waiting for you. A visit here can be perfectly combined with a hike. But make sure that it is open! While I am writing these lines, it is still closed because of Corona.

 

Hiking in the Region

About hiking in the Odenwald, I have already written an own article. I have also written a blog post about the Felsenmeer and the Gorge of Margaret.

If you like hiking and want to explore the surrounding regions, I can recommend having a look at the Palatinate Forest, the Spessart, or the Taunus. Blog posts will follow for these regions. So far, I can only refer you to my blog post about Staufen in the Taunus outside the Odenwald.

 

City Trips in the Region

If you want to make a city trip in this part of Germany, I recommend the following cities:

  • Aschaffenburg: Aschaffenburg is nicknamed the gate to the Spessart. Besides the (partly very photogenic) sights like the Aschaffenburg castle, which the town itself has to offer, you can also reach the forest quickly from here and can let off steam on many hiking trails.
  • Heidelberg: Heidelberg is located directly at the Neckar and offers a picturesque backdrop with the river, the old town and the castle on the mountain. Here you will also find the ideal mixture of town and countryside.
  • Lohr am Main: Lohr am Main was first mentioned in a document in 1295 and is generally known as Snow White town. Although this is not documented, it is quite possible, since the Brothers Grimm lived in Hanau and passed through the Spessart on their way to Bremen.
  • Mannheim: The square city is worth a visit at any time. Whether inside or outside, there is always something to do or experience here.
  • Michelstadt: The historical old town with the famous town hall and the half-timbered houses is simply enchanting. My tip: Take a photo tour at sunrise when you have the cobblestone streets all to yourself! Near Michelstadt there are a lot of hiking trails so that you won’t get bored.
  • Miltenberg: The small town in Lower Franconia is located between Odenwald and Spessart and is a real gem. The old town is picturesque and even the starting point of several hiking trails. The Mildenburg and the museum of the city of Miltenberg offer the culturally interested among us the opportunity to quench their thirst for knowledge.

 

My Gear

On my tours, I am mainly on the road with clothes and equipment from Decathlon. My hiking boots for example are waterproof half-height hiking boots. In general, if you are a regular hiker or outdoor enthusiast, I recommend that you buy some appropriate clothing and shoes. In the worst case, normal sneakers will do, as long as they give you a good grip and you can handle them if they get dirty. On hikes like the one in the Margarethen Gorge, this can happen faster than you can look.

Wanderschuhe von Decathlon

I would also recommend protection for your phone. I got a nice scratch when I was hiking in Margaret Gorge. And that’s even though my phone didn’t fall off or bump into anything. At least not consciously. Therefore, I have now an outdoor case.

By the way, I take my pictures with a Sony Alpha 6500*. I usually switch between my two favorite lenses: a 10-18mm wide-angle lens* and a 30mm fixed focal length*. In case you’ve ever wondered how I take pictures of myself even though I’m often on the road alone: I have a Rollei tripod*.

 

My Final Thoughts

I love being out in nature, but for me, it doesn’t have to be a day hike every time I go out. Therefore I liked the Path of Crystals on the Katzenbuckel very much. The hike is not long but with the tower and the view, it is still a lot of fun. Also, like this you have more time to enjoy the view, the restaurant, the horse farm, or the spa…

Have you ever been on the Katzenbuckel?

 

PS: All links with an asterisk (*) are affiliate links!

Did you like this blog post?

Share it in your social networks!

Subscribe to my newsletter so I can keep you posted about my life of travels and as a digital nomad! You will never miss a new blog post, a new ebook or where my next adventure is going to bring us. Because it’s never going to be boring!

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The Gorge of Margaret – The Highest Waterfall of the Odenwald

The Gorge of Margaret – The Highest Waterfall of the Odenwald

The Gorge of Margaret – The Highest Waterfall of the Odenwald

If Corona had anything positive for me, it was that I am now getting to know my own home country better! While I had not done a single hike in Germany until a few months ago, I think I’m now doing quite well with about 20 of them. Of course, I would like to share these hikes with you. I started with my blog post about the Felsenmeer a few weeks ago, then I continued with my blog post about hiking in the Odenwald and today my third post comes about a hike in this beautiful region: to the Gorge of Margaret where the highest waterfall of the Odenwald is waiting for me.

The Gorge of Margaret

The hiking trail in the Gorge of Margaret is a journey through the history of the earth. Information boards are placed along the trail to tell about the background of the formation of the gorge and to draw attention to special features of the flora and fauna. For example, it is explained that the humid climate ensures that many fern plants can be found here and that fire salamanders live in the area around the stream called Flursbach. Unfortunately, I did not see any, although I was particularly attentive after I saw the sign. But I advise you to look down – no matter if you are on the “hunt” for fire salamanders or not. Because there is quite a danger of stumbling in the partly narrow gorge.

In the gorge, you will also find the highest waterfall of the Odenwald, which is one of the highest in Germany! Over 110 meters the water of the Flursbach falls down in smaller cascades. The highest is 10 meters. The mountain is called Gickelberg by the way.

 

The Starting Point in Neckargerach

Neckargerach is a state-approved resort in a wonderful location, namely in the Neckartal-Odenwald Nature Park and the Bergstrasse-Odenwald Geo-Nature Park. Here – between Heidelberg and Heilbronn – those seeking recreation will find an ideal mixture of water, meadows, and forests.

The starting point itself is the train station of this pearl. This is super practical because you can either arrive by car and park there (like me coming from Frankfurt and having a relatively long journey) or, if you come from the surrounding area, by train. However, I found the station a bit hard to find: I had only entered the Bahnstraße in my navigation system. But since it’s around a corner again and the sign for the station is very faded, I went straight twice. Alternatively, you can also find a Park & Ride on the side where I was first – going straight instead of turning right.

On whichever of the two P&R you park, there are signs everywhere that are in better shape than the ones to the station. Finding the way to the canyon is therefore definitely no problem.

Margarethenschlucht Beschilderung

 

The Hike

For your hike, you should choose a dry day if possible, as it can get slippery in the gorge. But still, you might want to choose a day after some rain because otherwise, the waterfall is going to be very thin. Here are a few facts in a brief and concise overview:

Distance

4 Kilometers

Duration

2 Hours

)

Difference in Altitude

281 Meters

Highest Point

291 Meters

After ten or fifteen minutes walking you will have a fantastic view of the Neckar valley. The river Neckar winds in a pretty perfect loop around the Zwerrenberg. This is an excellent first photo spot!

Ausblick ins Neckartal

Then you reach the entrance to the gorge. A sign warns you that entering the gorge is at your own risk, that there is a danger of slipping and also that especially now in the time of Corona, the minimum distance is difficult to keep. Therefore, I would like to ask you at this point to act calmly and definitely not to push during this time. You should never do that, of course, but at the moment, even more, solidarity is needed than usual.

It won’t take long, you can see a first view of the highest part of the waterfall.

Der Wasserfall in der Margarethenschlucht

The waterfall is really a breathtaking sight. You should definitely have a camera with you to capture the tour. It is impressive how the water makes its way down into the valley and splashes on the rocks in front of my eyes.

Der Wasserfall in der Margarethenschlucht

I almost thought that was it, but then it turned out that the Margarethenschlucht path really does run through the gorge and over and over again over the Flursbach. So it goes back and forth for a while. On the rocks, there are partly wire ropes to which you can hold on to when the “step” is a bit high. Again and again, the above-mentioned information boards explain different things and so the hike becomes even more entertaining.

Farngewächs in der Margarethenschlucht

Der Wasserfall in der Margarethenschlucht

Except for a place at the very beginning, where you have to turn left to follow the course of the stream, you really can’t miss the path.

But to be sure, I would still recommend that you download Outdooractive or Komoot. Both are available as an app and there you can download the gpx data. Then, you really can’t get lost. You can also follow my tour here:

My Tour on Outdooractive

Basically, I think you should be able to cross the stream on dry feet. At least as long as you have shoes with good grip and don’t slip. But that probably also depends on how much water the creek carries. Further down, I recommend hiking boots, which are even waterproof in case you do slip or step next to a stone.

The gorge itself is about two kilometers long. Once you reach the top, it’s a short detour back to Neckargerach. You will pass a wild animal enclosure and another enclosure with goats.

Ziegen nahe der Margarethenschlucht

After about 1.5 kilometers the path then meets the path you came from again. Turn right and you will return straight to your starting point – the train station of Neckargerach.

 

Other Destinations in the Area

If you like hiking and want to explore other regions, I can recommend you to visit the Pfälzerwald, the Spessart or the Taunus. Blog posts will follow for these regions. So far, I can only refer you to my blog post about the Staufen in the Taunus.

If you want to make a city trip in this part of Germany, I recommend the following cities:

  • Aschaffenburg: Aschaffenburg is nicknamed the gate to the Spessart. Besides the (partly very photogenic) sights like the Aschaffenburg castle, which the town itself has to offer, you can also reach the forest quickly from here and can let off steam on many hiking trails.
  • Heidelberg: Heidelberg is located directly at the Neckar and offers a picturesque backdrop with the river, the old town and the castle on the mountain. Here you will also find the ideal mixture of town and countryside.
  • Lohr am Main: Lohr am Main was first mentioned in a document in 1295 and is generally known as Snow White town. Although this is not documented, it is quite possible, since the Brothers Grimm lived in Hanau and passed through the Spessart on their way to Bremen.
  • Mannheim: The square city is worth a visit at any time. Whether inside or outside, there is always something to do or experience here.
  • Michelstadt: The historical old town with the famous town hall and the half-timbered houses is simply enchanting. My tip: Take a photo tour at sunrise when you have the cobblestone streets all to yourself! Near Michelstadt there are a lot of hiking trails so that you won’t get bored.
  • Miltenberg: The small town in Lower Franconia is located between Odenwald and Spessart and is a real gem. The old town is picturesque and even the starting point of several hiking trails. The Mildenburg and the museum of the city of Miltenberg offer the culturally interested among us the opportunity to quench their thirst for knowledge.

 

My Gear

On my tours, I am mainly on the road with clothes and equipment from Decathlon. My hiking boots for example are waterproof half-height hiking boots. In general, if you are a regular hiker or outdoor enthusiast, I recommend that you buy some appropriate clothing and shoes. In the worst case, normal sneakers will do, as long as they give you a good grip and you can handle them if they get dirty. On hikes like the one in the Margarethen Gorge, this can happen faster than you can look.

Wanderschuhe von Decathlon

I would also recommend protection for your phone. I got a nice scratch when I was hiking in Margaret Gorge. And that’s even though my phone didn’t fall off or bump into anything. At least not consciously. Therefore, I have now an outdoor case.

By the way, I take my pictures with a Sony Alpha 6500*. I usually switch between my two favorite lenses: a 10-18mm wide-angle lens* and a 30mm fixed focal length*. In case you’ve ever wondered how I take pictures of myself even though I’m often on the road alone: I have a Rollei tripod*.

 

Final Thoughts

The Gorge of Margaret is a really lovely destination! The waterfall is a great motive for amazing photos and through the signage, you can learn a lot about the (earth’s) history, the formation of the gorge, and its flora and fauna. The path is also not very difficult to walk. Personally, I didn’t have sore muscles at all, but that depends on how regularly you go on hikes.

All in all, I loved the trip.

Have you ever been to the Gorge of Margaret?

 

PS: All links marked with an asterisk (*) are affiliate links!​

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Hiking in the Odenwald – Discover Your Home And Have Fun in the Outdoors

Hiking in the Odenwald – Discover Your Home And Have Fun in the Outdoors

Hiking in the Odenwald – Discover Your Home And Have Fun in the Outdoors

The Odenwald is so close to my home town Frankfurt, but apart from a single excursion with my primary school class – about 25 years ago – I have never really made it to this area in the past. Now I’m changing that, because of the new situation with Corona I want to get to know the region better where I grew up. In addition, a possibility has opened up for me, because of which I am traveling a lot in the region of Odenwald and Spessart.

So, these are my favorite places and routes for hiking in the Odenwald!

The Odenwald

The Odenwald is a low mountain range in southern Hesse, Lower Franconia, and northern Baden, which offers a fabulous landscape. Castles and palaces offer the perfect basis for numerous legends and stories that entwine around the places. Rough rocky landscapes alternate with wide, romantic valleys and gentle hills with peacefully rippling streams… The small towns in the Odenwald such as Michelstadt and Erbach are no less idyllic and live from the picturesque old towns, which are known nationwide with their colorful half-timbered houses.

Blick auf Schloss Lichtenberg

Altstadt Miltenberg

You will find all this in the Odenwald, making the area interesting and exciting for holidaymakers, day-trippers, and photographers alike.

 

Hiking in the Odenwald

In this idyll, the UNESCO Geo-Nature Park Bergstraße-Odenwald awaits you. Fresh air, great photo spots, and marked trails are the best conditions for hiking in the Odenwald or for outdoor enthusiasts who come to this part of Germany. There are three long-distance hiking trails that have been awarded the title “Qualitätsweg Wanderbares Deutschland” (Quality Trail Hikable Germany) by the German Hiking Association: the Alemannenweg, the Nibelungensteig, and the Burgensteig Bergstrasse. They are over 100 kilometers long. But of course, there are also short hiking trails and excursions for a few hours or a day. Now I would like to introduce you to ten of them:

 

 

The Felsenmeer

The Felsenmeer (German for Sea of Rocks) is probably the best-known spot for hiking in the Odenwald. It is located directly at the Nibelungensteig, a well-known long-distance hiking trail over 130 kilometers, and offers you an insight into the history of the earth, the history of the last 2000 years, and the world of legends and myths. Sore muscles are guaranteed, making the day trip perfect.

You can either walk up once and then walk back the same way, or you can take the hiking trails around the sea of rocks for one stretch. You can plan about 1.5 hours for the hike one way.

Wandern im Odenwald: Das Felsenmeer in Lautertal im Odenwald

This is my blog post with a detailed description of the hike: The Felsenmeer – The Sea of Rocks in the Odenwald.

 

The Himbächel-Viadukt

The Himbächel-Viadukt is a 250-meter-long stone arch bridge in Oberzent-Hetzbach, which was inaugurated in 1882 and is still in use today. So you can watch the Odenwaldbahn ride along here once an hour. Around the viaduct, there is a beautiful hiking trail. This leads on a short detour through Hetzbach and then, after an underpass, under the tracks. On the other side, you are almost in the field. Following a footpath, you then walk in an arc away from the viaduct and then towards it. Depending on your speed, it will take you about 1.5 hours to complete the loop.

Wandern im Odenwald: Das Himbächel-Viadukt

 

The Marbach-Stausee

Although the Marbach reservoir was built at the beginning of the 1980s to protect against flooding, it has also been officially used as a local recreation area since 1986. It is the largest still water of the Odenwald. A hydroelectric power station with a capacity of 80 kW was attached to the reservoir.

A hiking trail has been created around the reservoir. You can plan about one hour for the tour itself. But the lake offers even more: It is suitable for swimming and from May to September there are even lifeguards. Outside this time, you can go swimming at your own risk. In the bathing area, there is also a lawn with tables and benches. There is also a bird sanctuary and an area where you can surf and sail.

Wandern im Odenwald: Barbara im Sonnenuntergang am Marbach-Stausee

 

The Margarethenschlucht

And now we’re taking a trip to Thailand… Oh, no, wait! We’re in the Odenwald. In this place, you can easily forget where you are.

In the 300-meter long Margarethen Gorge, the highest waterfall of the Odenwald is waiting for you. Here the waterfall plunges ten meters into the depth. But it’s not only the waterfall, the Margarethenschlucht itself is also worth the tour: the rough and exotic surroundings give the impression as if you had been beamed to another country. The hike takes about 2.5 hours, depending on how many photos you take.

Wandern im Odenwald: Der 10 Meter hohe Wasserfall in der Margarethenschlucht

 

The Obrunnschlucht

Situated between Höchst in the Odenwald and Rimhorn, the Obrunn Gorge is home to a hiking and fairy-tale trail that has been attracting hikers from the surrounding area and even from the Rhine-Main region for many decades. The gorge is about three kilometers long and lies up to 17 meters below the road that runs parallel to the hiking trail. You have to cross the peacefully rippling stream several times over wooden bridges. Along the way and on small islands in the course of the stream, miniature models have been lovingly built, depicting figures and buildings from the world of legends and fairytales.

Die Obrunnschlucht – Märchenweg und Wanderpfad im Odenwald

 

The Meditationsweg

The Meditationsweg (German for Meditation Trail) runs for five kilometers between the Michelstadt districts of Steinbach and Rehbach. Along the way, there are ten stations where the verses of St. Francis’ Canticle of the Sun are presented. The path invites us to reflect. Awe and gratitude are in the focus. The Einhards Basilica, where the walk begins, is a great photo spot and worth a detour.

 

The Hubenweg

Follow in the footsteps of the Romans at the Odenwaldlimes on the 17-kilometer long Hubenweg loop. It runs on the high plateau of Michelstadt-Würzberg and therefore has hardly any ascending slopes. The loop leads over fields, along the forest, and through woodland. A Roman fort is on the way as well as the ruins of a bath from Roman times.

 

The Weg der Kristalle (Path of Crystals)

This geological theme trail is located on the Katzenbuckel – with 626 meters the highest mountain in the Odenwald. The hike is easy and only two kilometers long. Therefore it is also well suited to experience it with the whole family. The observation tower with a fantastic view is the highlight of the tour.

 

The Römerweg (Path of Romans)

The Römerweg in Miltenberg is a medium-difficult hiking trail with a length of 17 kilometers. It runs for a large part along a Celtic ring wall on which the Romans had built a temple of Mercury. Unfortunately, you can only see the remains in the museum. Otherwise, the two highlights of the tour are the viewpoints. One is right at the beginning of the trail after you have left the main road of Miltenberg. The other one is the Haagsausicht after some three-quarters of the way. Both times you have a fantastic view of the Main valley.

Die Haagsaussicht auf dem Römerweg in Miltenberg

 

The Pfad der Vielfalt (Path of Diversity)

The (Pfad der Vielfalt) is located in Fischbachtal and is an easy but varied hiking trail of about five kilometers. My highlights were the flowering orchards, the view of Lichtenberg Castle, and the old quarry where a lake has formed. Not only fish live there, but also freshwater jellyfish. I think I should take another trip there and try to get one of them in front of the camera.

Blühende Streuobstwiese mit Schafen auf dem Pfad der Vielfalt

 

 

Other Destinations in the Area

If you like hiking and want to explore other regions, I can recommend you to visit the Pfälzerwald, the Spessart or the Taunus. Blog posts will follow for these regions. So far, I can only refer you to my blog post about the Staufen in the Taunus.

If you want to make a city trip in this part of Germany, I recommend the following cities:

  • Aschaffenburg: Aschaffenburg is nicknamed the gate to the Spessart. Besides the (partly very photogenic) sights like the Aschaffenburg castle, which the town itself has to offer, you can also reach the forest quickly from here and can let off steam on many hiking trails.
  • Heidelberg: Heidelberg is located directly at the Neckar and offers a picturesque backdrop with the river, the old town and the castle on the mountain. Here you will also find the ideal mixture of town and countryside.
  • Lohr am Main: Lohr am Main was first mentioned in a document in 1295 and is generally known as Snow White town. Although this is not documented, it is quite possible, since the Brothers Grimm lived in Hanau and passed through the Spessart on their way to Bremen.
  • Mannheim: The square city is worth a visit at any time. Whether inside or outside, there is always something to do or experience here.
  • Michelstadt: The historical old town with the famous town hall and the half-timbered houses is simply enchanting. My tip: Take a photo tour at sunrise when you have the cobblestone streets all to yourself! Near Michelstadt there are a lot of hiking trails so that you won’t get bored.
  • Miltenberg: The small town in Lower Franconia is located between Odenwald and Spessart and is a real gem. The old town is picturesque and even the starting point of several hiking trails. The Mildenburg and the museum of the city of Miltenberg offer the culturally interested among us the opportunity to quench their thirst for knowledge.

 

My Final Thoughts

The Odenwald is versatile and varied. My personal highlights were the Felsenmeer, the Himbächel Viaduct, the Marbach Reservoir, and the Margarethen Gorge. These places are so much more than just hiking trails. They offer a great opportunity for extraordinary photos and give an insight into history in different ways. Whether the history of the earth or the history of modern times … For me, such backgrounds make a place special!

If you like to be outside, go hiking or if you enjoy visiting castles, palaces or viaducts, this region offers you a lot of possibilities. It certainly won’t get boring that quickly.

What is your favorite trail for hiking in the Odenwald?

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Share it in your social networks!

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