After spending a few days in Copenhagen, we wanted to take some time getting back to nature and decided to spend a few days hiking in the Harz Mountains in Northern Germany. The Harz Mountains are the birthplace of many much loved fairytales such as; Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel and The Frog Prince. As a lover of fairytales and aspiring writer, the Harz Mountains were an absolute must visit during our trip.
There are a lot of picturesque villages in the region, but we decided to stay a little off the beaten track in Thale. Thale is a beautiful village that is known for its witches and its mythical tale of Princess Brunhilde. We stayed at Ferienwohungen Wotan, where we had the mountain view apartment. The hosts were unbelievably welcoming and they had a toy lawnmower and football net in the garden for the boys to play with. If you are visiting the region with little ones, I really recommend staying here.
Mythology – The tale of Rostrappe
One of the reasons we decided to stay in Thale was because after hearing the legend of Princess Brunhilde, we wanted to do the Rostrappe hike. The legend tells the story of a brave princess who fled from the giant Bodo on her white stallion after he tried to force her into marry him against her will. Bodo pursued her through the mountains where she came to a deep ravine. Princess Brunhilde and her stallion leapt over the ravine and landed on the other side, but she lost her crown. Bodo didn’t make the jump and instead fell into the ravine, where he is destined to search for Princess Brunhilde’s crown forevermore.
The ‘hoof print’ of Princess Brunhilde’s horse is imprinted into the rock today and can be viewed on the Rostrappe hike.
A few people have said we are ‘brave’ to go hiking with little ones, but the trail itself was incredibly easy to hike. It isn’t suitable for pushchairs because of the jagged rocks and steps, but we took Monkey in the carrier and Bear did a mixture of walking and riding on Mr. C’s back. There is a car park at the top of mountain, but we opted for the cable car. Going up the side of a mountain in a cable car was quite scary to be honest because the only thing securing people into the seat is a metal bar. For older children this is great, but for the entire ride to the top and back down again, I was worried Monkey would decide he wanted to get out. He didn’t and had a great time, but for my own sanity I would either hike or drive if we were to do this trip again. However if you are with older children or going on your own, the cable car is definitely worth doing for the amazing views over Thale.
There are a lot of much easier trails in the region that are completely flat and pushchair friendly, so even if you don’t have a carrier, it is a beautiful place to visit.
I would love to go back to the Harz Mountains for a longer period of time and see some more of the towns and villages in the area. It really is an interesting place to visit, with a variety of different things to see and do. I’d really like to take the steam train up the mountain and take a walk along some of the different hiking trails in the region if we were to go again.