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Went for a long hike on a nice (fairly nice) November day to work off Thanksgiving dinner and to see what I see. I started off at the Nature Park parking lot in Brensbach and took the blue square trail to the north and ended up in Otzberg (about 4 miles). The Vesta Otzberg is located at the top of the hill but fairly easy to get there.
The Vesta which means fortress in German is worth a quick visit. It's free to wonder around and you can climb the keep (Bergfried) for a nice view of the surrounding area. I'm thinking you could probably see Frankfurt on a clear day. There is a museum within the grounds that was currently displaying an exhibition about bats. Probably not worth the 2.50 Euro they were asking as a donation. There was also a cafe on site that I didn't visit but from the sounds of laughter within seemed to be a good place to be on a cold fall day.
From there I returned to the blue square trail and continued on it until I found the red cross trail which I took back to the south for another 4 miles. This trail meets up with the white equal signs (or two parallel lines) trail which I took to the west back to the parking lot. The total distance was a little over 11 miles and took me almost 4 hours to complete. This didn't include the time I spent wondering around the fortress and museum.
Overall it was a trip well worth it. You can use the same parking lot and head west to Lichtenberg to see their palace and turrent. Or you want to can start out at the parking lot in Otzberg and head east to the castle in Breuberg. In fact, I think I may do that the next time I'm hiking in the Odenwald.
Written Nov 26, 2011
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This was a recent lovely find thanks to Carolina who wrote about it on her website. In the northern part of Odenwald, very near the famous Frankenstein Castle which is said to have inspired Mary Shelley to write the famous story about Mr. Frankenstein, is a group of stones which are magnetic. They are of the same rock formation as the surrounding part of Odenwald, but only the ones which are on top of this small hill are magnetic. Scientists believe that this was caused by lightning stroke somewhere on this hill. It is fascinating to watch the compass needle go wild when you walk around these stones. Well, it does not go extremely wild but enough to know that these stones have a bit of a mysterious magnetism. Apart from that the forest here is mysterious as well. It is quite dense, not much light arrives and it has a bit of a magic atmosphere.
Drive south from Darmstadt on B3. After having passed Eberstadt (southern suburb), drive east, direction Mühltal (B 426). Approx. 300 m later, a signed road leads south to Burg Frankenstein (Frankenstein Castle). Drive up to the castle, park there and walk south = the opposite direction as to the castle. It is a 20 min walk, follow the signs with a yellow circled 2 (= number 2).
Nearest airport: Frankfurt International (code FRA).
Magnetic stones on Google Maps
© Ingrid D., June 2009 (just in case, RickS or others come along and think they can steal texts).
Updated Mar 9, 2011
I came across this little fairy tale path when I looked up hiking paths near where I live. The moment I saw these cute little buildings and monuments I knew that I had to find them and walk through that little gulch. It was difficult though because it is not well signposted in the nearby town of Höchst (im Odenwald). But with the help of a map I made it and... what can I say: despite it was already late afternoon and photo conditions not the best but it was almost like being transported into my childhood searching princesses and knights.
I was amazed to find out that these little structures have been built already mid of last century, as an initiative of lovers of Odenwald, the region. Many of the little buildings are just fantasy houses but some are copies of existing monuments such as the Mouse Tower in Bingen. And since it was intended to be a fairy tale path, castles of Sleeping Beauty and other fairy tale figures are not missed. There are statues of Rübezahl and the Wild Hunter, a swan castle and several little churches with reference to the surroundings. A little mill is running with the help of Obrunn creek’s water. It is amazing how solid these little structures have been built, given the fact that they sit there without any protection during rainy and snowy days. But obviously a heavy storm back in 1953 destroyed some of the buildings and only a few have been restored afterwards.
When I was there it was late afternoon in the middle of the week, but I assume that many families with kids come here on weekends. On the other side of the street, next to the entrance to this fairy tale path, is a rather large parking, but I doubt that busses will stop here. I didn’t see bus stop signs.
The path itself is approx 3 km one way. And there is no entrance fee. I even didn't saw a box for donations! So much for devotion for this cute path by the locals.
From the town of Höchst im Odenwald at the roundabout in the southern part of town turn left (east), direction Rimhorn. The number of the road should be L 3106 although I doubt that it is marked as such. Drive until you see a tiny sign for parking on the left hand side. The entrance is to the right, the sign very small.
Obrunnschlucht on Google Maps
Obrunnschlucht – more photos of the tiny structures: look at "Gallerie" and make sure you scroll down until it says "Historisch". These are the photos before the storm in 1953. Or have a look at the albums I made in the meantime on my Höchst page.
Nearest airport: Frankfurt International (code FRA).
© Ingrid D., March 2011 (just in case, RickS or others come along and think they can steal texts).
Updated Mar 8, 2011