You wouldn't be here if you weren't curious.*

Hi! I'm Elena! Welcome to my travel blog Creativelena.com.
For me, it is all about “life-seeing instead of sightseeing”: Join me as I create, eat & live my way around the world. Curious?

*Check out my book, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”, for learning more about what we mean by creative travel. Travelling means the world to me, makes me fit for everday life and sometimes, I trust, also calmer on the inside. Read this blog with a smile, share what you love and remember to check back regularly: After all, when was the last time you did something for the first time?

Hiking the German Harz: Weekend getaway in Eastern Germany

There’s an old saying in German: Alles neu macht der Mai. (“April showers bring May flowers.”) In my case, it’s a flourishing of fresh ideas about the range of hiking options in Eastern Germany. Spoiled as can be, you don’t easily expect to impress an Austrian by suggesting a hiking trip in (Eastern) Germany. However, the hiking destination around “Harzer Brocken” is well over 1.100 metres above sea level, and the surrounding timbered towns account for some delight in the local cultural landscape, too.

Janett Schindler, and Monique Hasselbach, of course knew. Both of my friends, who each blog on Teilzeitreisender.de, were born in this area but have now been living in “Western Germany” for many years: “Elena, let’s take a trip where we’ll show you our homeland! What do you think? You’ll really like it here. Let’s rent an apartment, and we’ll take you out exploring for a few days.” Why, yes. Of course, my dear!


“And on the last day of April, let’s go and celebrate Walpurgisnacht ok?!”

Walpurgisnacht, a night of celebrating witches. Magical. Can’t wait! I have always been a fan of tales involving witches and fairies. The more, the better. The area of the Eastern Germany is home to countless such tales and legends, and the night before the first of May is their main spring festival date. Must love an experience of the Walpurgisnacht in Stolberg, something I definitely recommend you to go and live for yourself!

Hexen bei der Walpurgisnacht im Harz ...

Witches celebrating Walpurgisnacht in the German Harz district


... spielen Theater ...

… performing in a theatre


... tanzen um’s Feuer ...

dancing around the bonfire 


... und sind in jedweder Form, allgegenwärtig hier ...

… and rather to be found everywhere …


... dazu gehört tagsüber die Erkundung des mittelalterlich anmutenden Stolberg ...

as we go exploring the old town of Stolberg


... dessen Fachwerkbauten uns beeindrucken ...

their late medieval building period, famous for their timbered houses, enchant us 


... und dessen Burg den Aufstieg mit Blick über das Tal wahrlich lohnt.

… and Stolberg historic castle truly merits the climb for this spectacular view over the lush green valley.


If you really want to experience the nature of the Harz district, try the Flying Fox at Rappodetalsperre, and climb Harz mountain itself: It’s higher than you think!

Not far from the small town of Stolberg, we discover the so-called Rappodetalsperre dam whose adjoining swing bridge is over half a kilometre long! If crossing the wobbly bridge is not in your immediate plans, you can shorten your experience of the valley by taking the Flying Fox: “Harzdrenalin” time it is! And yes, it’s comforting to hear parents mumble to their children: “Don’t you worry dear, the bridge is certainly TÜV approved, you won’t crash, it’s 100% safe …!” Love how TÜV accounts for the ultimate feeling of safety in Germany. Way we go!

Sven fliegt ...

Sven decides to fly …


... und Monique weist uns den Weg über die "längste Hängebrücke ihrer Art", in deren Mitte bei Wind & Schaukelgefühl selbst mir ein bisschen mulmig wird ...

and Monique shows us the way across the “longest swing bridge of its kind” 


... wie gut, dass der Harz auch die "Pensionisten-Option", sprich die Reise mit der alten Dampflokomotive bietet !

… there is also the easy option of taking the train!


If, like us, you are willing to walk, consider doing the 10 kilometre hike, 500 metres up the highest peak of the Harz, called Harzer Brocken. You can start from Drei-Annen-Höhe and cross plenty of forests, open spaces, and windier, more exposed parts as you near the top at well over 1.100 metres above sea level. It’s a gently undulating landscape with lots of lush forests around, so definitely worth the while even for us Austrians: The similarity to some of our very own landscapes back home is striking! Check this out …

... hinein in die frühlingshafte Waldlandschaft ...

and follow us into the forest


... mit traumhaften Aussichtspunkten ...

featuring beautiful vantage points


... (noch) mehr Hexen ...

(even) more witches


... sowie ganz oben am Harzer Brocken ...

as well as all the way up top, at the Harzer Brocken summit


... auf exakt 1.142 Meter über dem Meer dann dieser "außerirdische Fluglandeplatz", der uns magisch in seinen Bann zieht. Respekt, liebes Ostdeutschland: An klaren Tagen kann man von hier bis an die Ostsee, auf jeden Fall aber Hunderte Kilometer weit in alle Richtungen sehen!

… this kind of extra-terrestrial landing pit: The view from the vantage tower right by the summit sometimes runs all the way to the Baltic Sea!


And if you are still looking for accommodation ahead of your next Harz hiking trip …

… I can recommend you to stay at the so-called “Klostermühle” in Walkenried, a tiny village centred around a large church ruin straight out of a historic novel. My friends and I just love our self-contained units, breakfast on the sunny terrace, and planning the days ahead exploring the area. I would definitely come back here any time!

Die Klostermühle Walkenried: Nomen est omen, sind wir hier doch ganz nah dran ...

Klostermühle Walkenried: Nomen est omen,  as we are really close …


... an dem vormaligen Zisterzienser-Kloster Walkenried, dessen Ruine heute zum UNESCO-Welterbe zählt und das sich direkt gegenüber der Ferienwohnung befindet.

… to the former Cistercian monastery Walkenried, which today is part of UNESCO World Heritage located right opposite from our holiday home.


And you, have you ever thought about visiting this part of Germany?



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Written by Elena

Elena writes about creative destinations, shares her personal travel stories and brings inspiring photography & interesting news updates home to you. Her mission is: "Continue to be amazed at this world, one creative travel experience at a time."

Ready for learning even more about creative travel?

Elena has recently published "The Creative Traveler's Handbook". Chock full of inspiratinal stories, travel tips and advice, it offers everything you need for planning and managing your next creative escape, addressing beginners and experienced travelers alike. Here's how to get your hands on it now!
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