Sunday, 2 October 2022

Odenwald Break: Day 4 (Part I)

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.


  1. Looks like a nice spot to explore, well, at least apart from the rain. (I've been reading your previous holiday posts too but may not have got round too commenting on all of them as I've been reading from the Feedly app on my tablet.)

    1. The rain wasn't a problem; it was badly needed and welcome. Also, we don't mind spending time just relaxing in our room or in the spa - that's why we usually choose this type of hotel :-)

  2. The climb to the top of the viewing tower would be tiring after all the hiking! You and OK sure know how to find all of the beautiful views!

    1. It really was only a short walk from the car park to the bottom of the hill, so the climb to the top was easier than what we do on most of our walks :-)

  3. Odenwald has a soul, landscapes like these are like silent music.
    So I know what you mean by the enchantment of stillness: the lake by the quarry.
    *Turning: A Swimming Memoir by Jessica J Lee review.* The Guardian online 2017.
    Ms. Lee is a Canadian who swam 52 lakes in Germany getting over a love affair.

    Views from the tower sublime; the spot where you and O.K. sheltered very romantic.
    Neunkirchen reminds me of Jude Fawley looking out at the spires of Oxford.

    2nd photo has the magic I find in the West Highlands, Scottish Borders & Cotswolds.
    Maybe eternity is in the moment; we believers can think and feel like atheists at times.

    1. Voces8 : Lux Aeterna - Edward Elgar.
      YouTube. November 10 2016.

    2. It is good to know my pictures can convey at least something of the beauty and atmosphere of that area, and of our walks there. Unlike our friend YP, who is very good at choosing the best of many pictures to show on his posts, I find it hard to decide which ones truly show the essence of a particular spot, or the entire walk, and so I simply put them all on, hoping people won't get too bored with them.