Oh Dear, It's September Already
And I have done only one post in August. Bad blogger, no cookies.
But at least I did some hiking tours with my father to collect more photos. Our latest hangout has been the Nature Reservation Meissner and Kaufunger Wald, halfway between Göttingen and Kassel and thus an easy target for day tours.
Karst formations in the Meissner mountains
The foothills of the Meissner mountain are another of those dolomite karst mountain areas (like the southern Harz) that developed out of the Zechstein Sea some 250 million years ago. The karst makes for picturesque formations and nice photos.
One of the dolines
Since water is still washing out the rocks, it's not safe outside the marked paths because the ground may give way. You don't want to fall into a a sink hole in the karst. Those thingies last swallowed an ox cart back in the 60ies.
The Meissner itself consists mostly of basalt with layers of brown coal inclused. The Kalbe Lake was caused by coal mining. After the mine had been abandoned, the pit filled partly with water. There is still coal in the mountains and it's still burning, so the air smells of sulphur around the lake.
View from the Kalbe
Besides the main top, the Hoher Meissner
, there are several other ones that offer a nice view over the surrounding landsape, like the Kalbe
(719 metres above NN). The Meissner also draws lightning storms as we learned a few days prior to this visit when we were forced to turn back, though the weather was fine all around
Mother Hulda's Lake
At the foot of the Kalbe (but still 623 metres above NN) there's a much older lake, or rather a pond; Mother Hulda's Lake (Frau Holle Teich
), a natural standing lake on a layer of clay. A casual mention of Roman coin finds in the lake made me wonder if it was a sacrifical lake in Germanic times, but I need to find out more about that.
The Romanesque church in Reichenbach
We also got a bit of culture, mostly Romanesque churches. There were several monasteries and nunneries who after the secularization left behind quite impressive churches; and the villages got stuck with the big things. The above one is in Reichenbach (not to be confused with the falls Sherlock Holmes fell into) - it was stripped of its apses at some point, but the church itself is still beautiful.
Germerode church, interior seen from the organ platform
Another such example is Germerode, also minus its transepts, but it still has two beautiful crypts. Several of the buildings belonging to the former monastery are today used as hotel, exhibition rooms and other such purposes, so that the entire place is still pretty much intact.
And finally a castle in the mists, the Boyneburg. Today the weather didn't play so nice but we had a plan, drizzle be damned. The few remains don't give the impression that the castle once was important, but it did play a considerable role in Mediaeval times.
I'll leave you with another view from the Kalbe.
Another view from the Kalbe
So that's fodder for some posts once I'll get back to being a good little blogger again.
But first we have at least two more day tours planned, and a longer trip to Naumburg and Memleben; important places of Medieaval (esp. Ottonian and Salian) history.