The rolling foothills of the Harz mountains that surround Quedlinburg feature forested terrain with open, rolling meadows, some hills and plenty of farmland – perfect for those who need to stretch the legs and mind a bit on an easy wander.

View to Quedlingburg from the trail back to town, just after leaving the Watch Tower.

View to Quedlingburg from the trail back to town, just after leaving the Watch Tower.

We’d heard about the Quedlinburg Old Watch Tower (“Altenburgwarte”) that was located approximately 0.5 miles (just under 750 meters) from the southwest edge of town, on a sandstone ridge overlooking the village below.

Craving exercise with our typical added dose of touring, we headed out from just below the Schlossmuseum (“Castle museum”) through a park and then along a picturesque lane (“Huttenweg”).  We really had no idea where we’d end up. But we figured with any luck, we’d find our way along country lanes and footpaths (the signing in Germany for all walking paths is excellent) and we’d eventually arrive at the Altenburgwarte. And, well, if we didn’t, we’d still have an adventure with a few tales to tell.

We jogged past groups of German kids on their way to school, past farmers tending their orchards who waved hello despite our rather alien-to-the-area looks (think tech running gear), and then came upon a sign pointing toward, yes, the sought-after Altenburgwarte. We stopped to poach an apple and a few berries too. Ssssssh!

Cherries on a branch hanging over onto the trail just outside Quedlinburg proved too much for Michael Hodgson to pass up.

Cherries on a branch hanging over onto the trail just outside Quedlinburg proved too much for Michael Hodgson to pass up.

Into the forest we went, along a lovely, cool dirt road – feeling a little bit like Dorothy and her companions entering the dark woods in Wizard of Oz — making turns when the signs said to. Hard to get lost here!

The signing for all walking paths, as you can see, is excellent in Germany. This one points the way to the Altenburg -- the Watch Tower.

The signing for all walking paths, as you can see, is excellent in Germany. This one points the way to the Altenburg — the Old Watch Tower.

The Watch Tower itself is a simple, albeit fun and somewhat quirky destination that you can still climb up – 51 steps through a dark narrow interior (a bit of an adventure sans flashlight which, of course, we forgot to bring). The Harz Club built the current 10-meter-high, restored tower in 1889. It was created from ruins of the original tower, which was five meters in diameter and built in the 14th or 15th century.

Trees blocked the view to town from the top. We’re guessing hundreds of years ago they could still see the bad guys coming to protect the town.

Therese Iknoian standing on the steps at the base of the Altenburgwarte -- Old Watch Tower.

Therese Iknoian standing on the steps at the base of the Altenburgwarte — Watch Tower.

Therese Iknoian wonders if it really is a good idea to go back down the dark steps without a flashlight.

Therese Iknoian wonders if it really is a good idea to go back down the dark steps of the Old Watch Tower without a flashlight.

Wildflowers carpeted the fields we ran through as we followed paths through farmland toward the Watch Tower.

Wildflowers carpeted the fields we ran through as we followed paths through farmland toward the Watch Tower.

HITT TIP: Since you likely burned a few calories on your hike and/or run, it is time to replenish! Do not pass go or miss the Café Käsekuchenbäckerei (Café Cheesecake Bakery – www.kaesekuchenbaeckerei.de), heaven for cheesecake lovers. Worth the sin,” the website says and OH BOY is that right. An ever-changing array of cheesecakes –mango to pineapple to chocolate whiskey, with perhaps a dozen being served at a time — fill the window case. And you can watch more being baked during the day. Being a cheesecake fan, She ordered a piece and got one the size and weight of two bricks – when She gasped at the size, the server shrugged and said, “It was the last piece so it either had to be either too small or too big — and bigger seemed better.” Boy, did heads turn at tables near us. Death by cheesecake! He just smiled and grabbed a fork too– several hours of wandering and running will do that.

Cafe Kasekuchenbackerei is pure, delicious, cheesecake decadence.

Cafe Kasekuchenbackerei is pure, delicious, cheesecake decadence.

Schiffshebewerk Niederfinow

The Schiffshebewerk Niederfinow was completed in 1934 and is part of the Haavel-Oder waterway connecting the Elbe and Oder river basins. The waterway begins in Berlin at the Spandau lock and opens into the West Oder at the border area between Poland and Germany. Watching ships being raised and lowered in this ship elevator is amazing. A true engineering marvel.

Marienklause Chapel

Bigger is not always better. Sometime small, like a historic Munich chapel, can be a travel must-see. It’s easy when traveling through big European cities to follow the throngs to the large churches or cathedrals in town. Huge European cathedrals can be very impressive, of course. But the Marienklause Chapel, about 3-4 miles south of the city center of Munich, Germany, is certainly worth a close look.

Kleinhesselhoer See, Englischer Garten

Created at the behest of Prince Carl Theodor in 1789, the Englischer Garten in Munich, Germany, is one of the largest city parks in the world. And, we can attest, it provides for a magical and wondrous escape from the clamor and bustle of Munich’s busy urban streets.

Sophie Scholl Memorial

Easily missed, the Sophie Scholl memorial looks like loose pieces of paper scattered on the ground in front of the university building. In actuality, they are attached permanently to the ground in front of the main entrance on the so-called “Geschwister Scholl Platz.”

Planten Un Blomen Garden

A visit to the Planten un Blomen Garden on your Hamburg tour is a must, whether you are a flower and garden lover, adore open spaces, enjoy dancing water fountains, or just want a nice place for a stroll or picnic.

St Nikolai Kirche

The  St Nikolai Kirche (St. Nicholas Church) has been a part of the Hamburg skyline since the 12th century. Now in ruins from World War II bombings, just its spire remains standing. No longer a place of worship, the spire (thought until 1876 to be the tallest building in the world) and its restored crypt below serve as a haunting and moving memorial to the horror of war’s devastation.

International Donaufest in Ulm

The International Donaufest (Danube) Festival has been held since 1998 and occurs every other year. Ulm city center and the banks of the Danube river are turned into a sort of international festival to celebrate the coming together of regions and countries along the Danube that rely on the river — Bavaria, Austria, Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania. The festival last 10 days and includes a massive fireworks display.International Donaufest Fireworks in Ulm 2016

Drei Annen Hohne

https://hitraveltales.com/harz-mountain-brockenbahn-railway-narrow-gauge-wonder/

Wernigerode Train Station - Brockenbahn

https://hitraveltales.com/harz-mountain-brockenbahn-railway-narrow-gauge-wonder/

The Brocken

https://hitraveltales.com/harz-mountain-brockenbahn-railway-narrow-gauge-wonder/

Quedlinburg Old Watch Tower

The rolling foothills of the Harz mountains that surround Quedlinburg feature forested terrain with open, rolling meadows, some hills and plenty of farmland – perfect for those who need to stretch the legs and mind a bit on an easy wander. We’d heard about the Quedlinburg Old Watch Tower (“Altenburgwarte”) that was located approximately 0.5 miles (just under 750 meters) from the southwest edge of town, on a sandstone ridge overlooking the village below.

Kellerwald Forchheim beer gardens

“Off to the cellar” is what you’ll hear from Forchheim locals when they disappear into the forest on trails (“auf die Keller”). What that means in local slang is that they are headed to a beehive of popular beer gardens nestled deep in the forest of Franconian Switzerland in Upper Bavaria – the Kellerwald Forchheim beer gardens.

Berlin

Berlin is one of our favorite cities in the world. It is cosmopolitan, worldly, quirky, exotic, bohemian, evolving, vibrant and so very, very alive — there is something to do or see or experience 24 hours a day if you are so inclined. Little wonder so many tourists, wanderers, artists, authors, musicians, actors and creative minds discover and fall in love with Berlin. Whether you are visiting for one day, two days, a week or more, the best way to begin your quest to find what to do in Berlin is here. Our What to do in Berlin resource guide and links, map, as well as numerous articles highlighting insider travel tips for you will ensure your visit to Berlin is memorable.

Heads up! This information on Quedlinburg Old Watch Tower was accurate when we published it on HI Travel Tales, but, as we know, traveling is all about changes (and inflation, sadly). Please be sure to confirm prices, transportation schedules, hours of operation, safety and health considerations, request for perfect weather during your entire visit, and any other important details before your adventure.