Did I say, I finally unpacked our bags the last time? How did I even THINK it was over?
Only one day later I’m getting back into packing because we are going to the Harz Mountains and it dawns on me that this will become my routine for the next year or so. I better start liking packing and unpacking bags!
I’m feeling quite insecure behind mum’s steering wheel of her beloved Mercedes. “Don’t crash it” I keep telling myself! The drive is taking us about 2 hours because I’m driving in snail speed and we actually found ourselves in the middle of a field one time. “Don’t trust navigation systems” I conclude and drive on. As it gets steeper up in the mountains it starts to snow and there are roe-deer running across the street, into the powdered forest. This romantic winter scenery is such a contrast to the hot tropical islands we only saw last week. This world has got so many sides, so many still to see.
Braunlage is a beautiful little mountain village located in the middle of the Harz National Park and at an altitude of 550m. There is a gondola leading up to the top of the Wurmberg (worm mountain) which is an important winter sport ground. Every year there is the ski jumping cup and since 1974 there is also ice hockey cups in the Wurmberg stadion at the bottom of the mountain in Braunlage.
During the past 4 years “Nacktrodeln” (nude sledding) has become so popular that I even found a newspaper article about it in a Brisbane newspaper last year. It didn’t help the German stereotype about us being nude all the time.
Over night 20cm of new snow have fallen and now cover the small town and forest like powder sugar. From the window of our unit we can overlook all of Braunlage and can’t wait to go out and play in the snow. Logan is holding out his hands and stares at the snow flakes falling onto his gloves. In the forest at the bottom of the Wurmberg a deer is flying past us, so quickly, Logan didn’t even see it at first. I’m pointing into the forest but once he discovers it, it already runs deeper into the forest. The snow is bending the tree branches down and everything seems to be in a peaceful winter sleep.
The fairy tale mood is being reflected in the town’s shops and cafés. You can buy witches, trolls and gnomes everywhere. We enter a café called “Kleine Zauberwelt” (little fairytale world) which is decorated from the outside and inside with fairytale figures, gingerbread houses, fairytale books and much more.
Logan had an extra large German meal with a beer and I enjoy pork medallions with red cabbage and potato croquettes. There are even cookies stuck to the wall with Nutella which we take off and nibble on a few times. The sign says: “For small and big children” !
Unfortunately the gondola to the Wurmberg hasn’t opened yet as it is only the first snow fall this year. Next time we are back here, we will definitely go up there for some skiing!