Because we took two shorter instead of one long walk on Tuesday, Sept. 20, I am splitting this day into two posts.
|View from our balcony across Neunkirchen that morning.|
For our first walk of the day, we used the car for the first (and only) time since arriving here. O.K. drove us the short distance to the village of Waldkatzenbach, less than 20 km but too far to walk there AND back AND do the walk we actually wanted to do all in one day.
Our goal was the Katzenbuckel ("cat's arched back"), the Odenwald's highest point; click here for the wikipedia entry if you are interested in some facts. It isn't very high and appears even less so as one approaches from the car park just outside the village, as we did.
The path from the car park leads across fields and orchards before reaching the woodland of the hill. It is not far to the steps leading to the top of the hill and the viewing tower:
Although not very high, the views from up there were great and gave us a good idea of the entire area:
No rain at all was forecast for the day, but you can see from the pictures that there were quite a few clouds gathering, and we were indeed caught in a brief shower on our way down. But of course it wasn't a problem - we simply waited for a little while, sheltering under the trees, before we continued our circuit of the Katzenbuckel.
|View from the spot where we sheltered from the shower|
We came across this hut, called Freya-Hütte. It is the same age as I - built in 1968. The hut is usually locked but can be rented from the community of Waldbronn. There is generous space for seating and BBQs, and even a tiny outbuilding at the back with toilets, and the stone well on the other side of the hut must be a welcome spot on a hot day.
Coming out of the woods, we took a left turn to find the small lake we'd heard about, the Katzenbuckelsee.
And there it was - totally quiet, with no people and no cars about. The lake is at the site of an abandoned quarry, and similar to the Reihersee we explored on our first walk in this area, it is protected: no swimming or fishing allowed, and the rocky path around it is forbidden for visitors. Only the part leading from the lane to the lake is accessible.
It was quite enchanting in its stillness, and had we needed or wanted to rest and eat, I would have wanted it to be there.
We decided that we wanted to look around the village a little more before going back to the car park and driving back to the hotel, and so we extend our walk a little, which otherwise would have been just about 5 km.
Part II of this post will cover the afternoon of that day, and the second walk.