The Treisberg Tower

Treisberg ist a small part of the town of Schmitten and is located in the Taunus area to the north of the Feldberg. With less than 200 inhabitants at the time of writing, it is very much off the beaten track and only consists of a few roads.

However the area is a popular destination of walking and that may have something to do with what is just outside the centre of the village. On a hill known as the “Pferdskopf” or horse’s head, there is a viewing tower that is open to the public.

The track leading up to the tower

The track leading up to the tower

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Walking on Hiddensee

My first visit to the island of Hiddensee had been an organised visit with a strict timetable of things to see within the few hours that I had on the island.  Wishing to see more, I returned to the island later the same year with my daughter for a more relaxed view of things.

Since motorised vehicles are not allowed on Hiddensee, we parked at the large car park at Schaprode and walked down to the harbour.  Parking at the harbour itself is only allowed for very short periods.  For those not wanting to walk so far, there is also a shuttle transfer from the car park down to the quayside.

We had decided to take the same crossings as I had done previously and took the ferry to Neuendorf.  In Neuendorf there are several ways for visitors to see the island.  One of the most popular is by bicycle, but in the middle of the summer holidays the chances of hiring a bicycle on the spot are very slim and this really needs to be planned in advance.  There is also an island bus and the horse-drawn wagons.  But we wanted to walk, and our aim was to get to Kloster at the northern end of the island to take the ferry back from there in the evening.
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Vilm Island

Rügen may be the largest of the German islands, but there are several interesting smaller islands dotted around it. One of these islands is called Vilm, and it is part of the South-Eastern Biosphere. As such, the island has special protection. Boats are not allowed within 100m without permission. Swimming is not allowed in that area either.

The eastern side of Vilm, once the place where the GDR leadership bathed.The eastern side of Vilm, once the place where the GDR leadership bathed.

One part of the island is completely out of bounds to visitors, the other is used by a national government agency for nature conservation (Bundesamt für Naturschutz). Visitors here are limited to 30 at any one time, only in organised groups and only along a set path. Even the number of tours each year is limited, so when the Biosphere held a press tour on the island, they had to get special permission to exceed that number! [Read more…]

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