We are back from our week long trip. It was looong, fun and full of small adventures, both annoying and funny.

First day leaving Hannover we visited a natural park known as The Harz. It is mountainous and similar to the Black Forrest of southern Germany. The tallest mountain, Brocken, is reachable by foot or by narrow-guage rail car, pulled by a smelly, old-fashioned steam engine. Very cool (very touristy) and worth pursuing. We ran/walked/crawled up a steep road to make the train. Unfortunately the signs indicating a mere „10 minutes“ walk from the parking lot was for meant for Nordic marathon runners. We sadly heard the warning whistle and then the sound of the engine pulling away from the station. (Smelt it too … yuck.) Many emotions flooded through us. The additional hours wait for the next train, compiled with leaving my so-called disability information back in Hannover, cinched the deal to walk back down the hill. (In Germany, many tourists attractions offer reduced rates for the disabled, some as low as free.) That, the cloudy weather and the high cost of the tickets made for plan B – find a bathroom and then ride the alpine coaster.

There are many things to do and see in the Harz. One of them is the longest of its type, suspension foot bridge. It is a bit unnerving to be that high up and swinging a bit. Elke found the only time without out throngs of tourists squeezing by for these pix. Underneath is a bungee swing (no way!) and a tandem zip line. Next time that zip line is ours! (… Or for at least one ride.) Pretty geil (meaning sexy cool in hip german) to watching people fly down via the zip-line to the other side of the dam.

Somewhere along the way we chanced upon a stave church. They are usually ornate and extremely old and rather rare, originated in Norway. This one was a more recent remake, perhaps 19th century. While beautiful, it was fairly dilapidated and going to be relocated and hopefully, renovated.

That evening we arrived at Antjes & Thomas´ dream residence – Castle Tannroda (www.burg-tannroda.de) close to Erfurt.  Had dinner in Erfurt, walked the famous „Krämerbrücke“. First night, we slept in Anke’s car, side by side, snug as a bug in a rug. And never again – squished bugs!