July 11, 2015
A hike through the Palatinate Forest
I started my hike above Haardt, a subdistrict of Neustadt an der Weinstrasse, because my original destination had been Winzingen Castle and the adjoining Haardt Ruin. Alas, there was a
wedding on that day, therefore I had to improvise and decided to visit the Wolfsburg which is located on a hill above the city.
A church - and the view - from the road that leads toward the castle.
The tracks through the forest are wonderfully quiet and peaceful. The forest itself seems to be - despite its relative closeness to town - pretty much untamed.
During the hike there are often opportunities to catch glimpses of the valley and the neighboring hills.
Shortly after I started the hike I came across this structure - it seems to be a monument that is meant to praise Rhineland-Palatinate and its wine culture.
Someone had painted the Hand of Fatima in one of the pointed archs - the reason for that is unclear. That sign is mostly used as a protection against evil.
Along the trails there are often sandstone blocks with engravings.
Beautiful things can be found in in unexpected places.
Throughout the forest are giant sandstone boulders - some of them can be climbed but due to the steep hills that can be quite dangerous.
Arriving at the Wolfsburg I saw that the flag inside was up - which means that it is open to visitors. Between March 1 and June 30 this is not the case to allow the local fauna a rest period inside the walls of the castle.
Impressions of the castle.
The courtyard is mostly covered in a sea of beautiful wildflowers.
For anyone who wants to follow the trail I took - this is the sign you need to look out for.
On the way back I came across a fountain in a clearing - a welcome chance for refreshment during a hike.
This is just one of many available tours throughout the Palatinate Forest. Even in the summertime it will provide shade and even though a lot of hikers (and mountain bikers) use the trails it still is easy to forget that civilization is very close.
Once again I turned some pics into black and white - I love how the scenery changes with color being absent from it.