Tuesday, 2 July 2019

The Longest Day

As everybody knows, the longest day of the year (i.e. with the longest time of daylight and the shortest time between sunset and sunrise) is June 21st.

O.K. and I chose that day for a hike we've long been wanting to do: To Mummelsee and Hornisgrinde, two famous points of interest in the Black Forest.

The Mummelsee is a small lake, no deeper than 17 m. It used to be a very lonely spot, and people spun all sorts of stories around it, imagining it being inhabited by water fairies, and ghostly appearances were reported throughout the centuries. Now it is packed with tourists, but nonetheless a beautiful spot.

A walk around the lake is quickly done, and we were soon on our way to the highest point of our hike, the Hornisgrinde. At 1,164 m (3,820 ft), is the highest mountain in the Northern Black Forest.
Apart from offering beautiful views across the Black Forest, the mostly flat top of the mountain is covered in moorland, where you are allowed to walk only on designated paths (some are boardwalks, which I love).Rare grasses and other plants grow there, making it an important area for nature conversation.

You can read more about Hornisgrinde here on Wikipedia.

On the way down, we came past the Dreif├╝rstenstein (literally "rock of three princes"), a large natural sandstone slab which marks the border between the old duchies of Baden and Wuerttemberg (OK's and my home counties). It is also the highest point of Wuerttemberg at 1,151 m.

Since its designation as a border marker (and possibly before that) in 1722, people have been engraving upon it. The coats of arms of the bordering duchies are official, but the other markings - such as the heart that is barely visible in one of the photos - were made by tourists of long ago.

It had been a pleasant hike (more of a walk most of the time, actually), and we ended this longest day of 2019 with a barbeque on the balcony and watching the sun set.

10 comments:

  1. Another beautiful walk. Your post reminded me of the Horst Jankowski piece from the 1960s!

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    1. I knew the piece but had no idea who it was by, and that it was called "A Walk in The Black Forest"! Thank you for pointing that out for me.

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  2. This is such a beautiful way to spend the longest day of the year! I love the views from the high points.

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    1. It was perfect, Kristi, and the weather as well.
      We love views such as these - I prefer that over any great city any time.

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  3. OH, how beautiful! When you mentioned that the land on top was bare, it made me think of a "bald" on top of our mountains here and when I went to the link, they also used that word!
    Good to have all that daylight for such a nice day.

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    1. Did you see the heart engraved on the stone slab? I took that photo with you in mind, as I know you detect heart shapes everywhere :-)

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  4. I can't believe you posted pictures of the Black Forest....just a few days ago it was my husband's birthday and I made him the Black Forest Cake. Of course it was nothing like the original ... I have eaten it in America and it was out of this world....but it was ok. I really enjoyed looking at the pictures, I have never seen it. Did I ever tell you that my mom and my father met in Germany during the war? He was an Italian soldier prisoner so he was in the prisoner's camp, while mother was in the worker's camp with her mother. As soon as the war was over they got married and went to Sicily. She was only 19, educated and planning to go to university...you can imagine the shock she got when they arrived in this little Sicilian town in the mountains, in the middle of nowhere. But she managed to endure it all for 16 years. Then we moved to America.

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    1. What a sweet coincidence, that your Black Forest cake would happen at the same time as my Black Forest post :-)
      The Black Forest starts almost right behind O.K.'s village, so it is our nearest and most often visited destination for walks and hikes.
      I didn't know that about your parents! Their story sounds like out of a book or a romantic movie. I hope your mother could achieve some of what she wished for in her life when your family lived in America.

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  5. I'm glad you inserted the Wiki reference because I wondered what the strange tower was and now I know.

    Just for the record I planted lupins for the first time this year and they are the same colour as the ones in your photograph.

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    1. We went up on the tower for even better views, but soon came back down; the air in the top chamber was stuffy, and through the dusty glass panels it was impossible to take good pictures.
      Nice to know about the lupins!

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