During the break between the terms, we went to visit the Brocken. That is probably Germany’s most famous medium-sized mountain.
It’s famous for hosting the biggest witches’ gathering on May 1, Walpurgisnacht. It was also right on the East-West German border.
As a tourist destination it has the additional draw of UNESOC world heritage site, Quedlinburg nearby, one of the quaintest historical downtowns, anywhere. And a collection of narrow track train lines that run steam engines for tourists like us. How cool!
The full on plume of steam visible ahead as the train takes a turn, the whistle, the wooden benches. We loved it!
It was also very wintery, as you can see in the photos.
Given that Berlin winter has largely been a dud, we were delighted to see lots of snow.
But imagine how surprised we were went we got to the very windy top of the Brocken and found hundreds, literally, of people hiking. Obviously, this drew our attention and we decided to walk down part of the mountain on a lovely well-maintained trail system, through the winter landscape with the occasional train whistle to be heard.
Quedlinburg was a really wonderful surprise of a small city with a stunning old downtown. It was in a somewhat forgotten corner of East Germany, right near the border, so that it was slowly deteriorating, but not covered by new buildings or anything modern. Thus it remains a stunning and very quaint example of an old downtown.