The Harz mountains are one of our favorite places to hike. We go a few times per year, partially (OK, mostly) because it’s less than an hour away from where we live. In total, I think I’ve been on about ten hikes in the Harz, including three times up the highest peak, The Brocken.
Funny thing about Der Brocken; I recently found out its name translates to The Chunk. Isn’t that adorable? Yes, yes; I know they mean a chunk of rock. It’s infinitely more fun, though, to pretend some guy in the Middle Ages looked up at it and said, “it looks fat,” to which his friend defensively replied, “it’s not fat; it’s just chunky!”
So, this wasn’t my third hike, as the title might imply, but it is my third time writing about one of our hikes through the Harz. Previously, I wrote about a Harz hike that included lynxes and lizards, and a Winter hike up The Chunk.
For this hike, we started in Bodetal and made our way to the peak of the Wurmberg. The first part of our hike was spent dodging other tourists as they rolled past us on oversized rental scooters.
You can rent the scooters at the peak and roll down the Wurmberg. On one hand, it looked fun, but on the other hand…the scooters (and the people riding them) looked so dumb. So, so dumb. I didn’t take any photos, so here’s their website. Judge for yourself.
We watched more than a few riders fall off their scooters, and some wiped out worse than others. I’m also 95% sure we witnessed a scooter-related breakup at the peak. A couple was fighting because the girlfriend/wife was too afraid to use the scooter. Eventually, the concession stand lady ran over to intervene.
One might think that’s not really the best PR for the scooter business, but business was booming. Part of that might have been because they made it so easy to cut out the strenuous hiking part, and get right to the fun, injury-filled bit. If you’re just there to scoot, you can take a cable car up to the peak.
We chose to hike both ways. Why? Well. One, I wanted (well, needed) the exercise. Two, we’re both cheap. And three? Cable cars and ski lifts terrify me.
Anything hanging by a wire scares me, actually. To this day, the swing ride and gondola at Cedar Point give me more anxiety than any of the rollercoasters.
There was also a fourth reason, actually; we were there to take photos. I’m still learning how to use my “new” camera correctly. My husband, who is actually good at photography, recently got a new camera. I got his old one, which means I no longer have any excuse to use my camera phone instead of a real camera when we travel. I’m still struggling with getting the settings right, as you can see from the photos, but I’m hoping I’ll improve with time.
The hike to the peak of the Wurmberg took us about three hours, including a break at the top. On the way down, we “cheated” and took some stairs down part of the mountain. It looked like it was an old ski jump area that had been abandoned. It was overgrown with wildflowers and there were butterflies everywhere.
This was a very lovely hike, and a nice change of pace from being cooped up at home all day. Maybe we’ll go back to the Wurmberg someday and rent the goofy scooters. More accurately, I will rent a goofy scooter; I’m sure my husband will prefer to bring his mountain bike.