From Clausthal-Zellerfeld we drove to Altenau for a short visit to friends and once again took advantage of the wonderful autumn weather for a short walk in the surrounding area, knowing full well that there is a circular hiking trail around the village.
The image of the town of Altenau is still shaped by old miners' houses, which date back to the time when Altenau was a free mining town. There is even a small stream of the same name, which should be our companion for a part of the way.
In the center of the mountain town are the wooden church of St. Nikolai from 1669 and the former town hall from 1673. The houses have a style typical of the Harz Mountains.
The use of wood as a building material is typical for the region, at least the facades are covered with wood.
Numerous hiking trails pass through the mountain town and lead, for example, to the Kellwassertal at the Vorsperre to the Okertalsperre and the Goetheweg to Torfhaus and to the Brocken in the Harz National Park.
A first section of the Goetheweg is also our goal, which first takes us from the town center to the largest herb park in Germany, which is still open in mid-October. We will report specifically on this later.
It goes a little further and we come to a first small pond, the so-called water lily pond, in which the surrounding trees are reflected.
Cut out on a panel according to the contours of Goethe, visitors have immortalized themselves and left many a saying that can once again be traced back to Goethe himself.
The design of the miniature library on the lake shore is very imaginative and invites you to linger and read a few lines in the beautiful autumn sun. A little gem by the wayside.
Then it goes up a field path continuously uphill to a high meadow and we have landed on a section of the circular hiking trail around Altenau.
The view is fantastic even if it burns in the soul when you look at the once completely green surroundings, which today only show dead trees or bare areas.
It's a shame that the overexploitation of nature has to lead to such results before people finally wake up, stand up and put a stop to it. Perhaps one should make visits to the bald areas a compulsory program for every citizen, so that it is finally clear that things cannot go on like this!
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