Stories from my life and travels as an American immigrant in Germany!

Hiking in the Lüneburger Heide

Hiking in the Lüneburger Heide

Lüneburg, Germany is best known for its fields of heath, which bloom from early August to mid-September. Heath, which is called Heide in German, is a big tourism draw for the city. Not only can visitors enjoy numerous hiking trails, they can also buy heath-infused products like liquor and soap. Earlier this month, my husband and I hiked two trails in the Lüneburger Heide.

The first trail was through a wetland area. There wasn’t much Heide to be seen, but we did find some four-legged friends.

Towards the start of our hike, a shepherd was leading his flock from one field to another. Helping the shepherd were two adorable border collies. They zoomed past us and other hikers, inches from our legs, guiding the herd to the next field. The goats were more interested in eating the trees along the road, but they eventually reached their destination.

One we were inside the wetland area itself, there weren’t really any other animals to see; just (a lot of) dragon flies and a few ducks.

Our second hike was fifteen minutes away by car, in a drier area made up of gently rolling hills dusted with Heide.

We also came across several old, creepy barns. I think they are part of the local preservation effort; they didn’t look stable enough to still be in use. I would have loved to have gotten a closer look, but there were threatening “keep out” signs tacked to their fences.

Lüneburger Heide barn

Instead of dragon flies, this part of our hike was full of bees. The honey bee keepers of the Lüneburger Heide once used a unique method of beekeeping involving woven baskets; this made it easier to transport honey bee hives from field-to-field. Modern, man-made hives are much more common these days. However, you can see both the old and new styles on your hike through the Lüneburger Heide.

I was hoping to be posting about a summer trip to Denmark or Scotland this year, but was fully expecting to be writing about a visit to the German North Sea coast. My husband kept dropping subtle hints, you see, that he wanted to go to the North; like putting on a documentary about the region at least once per month.

Unfortunately, due to the Coronavirus, neither of us were able to go where we wanted. Instead of a longer vacation in one or two places, we opted for one (socially distanced) weekend trip to Berlin and two hiking day trips.

This wasn’t the vacation either of us expected, but we still had fun. Most importantly, it felt like the safer choice. I’ll write about our trip to Berlin and our hike in the Harz (a favorite hiking spot of ours) in the coming weeks. If you want to read my husband’s post about our hike through the Lüneburger Heide, head over to Jan’s Blog.

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