Thursday 13 December 2018
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.theguardian - 30 days ago

Five wheelie good cycling (and hiking!) routes in Thuringia

From mountain peaks to Unesco-listed woodlands, castles and medieval villages, the German region boasts some of Europe’s most dramatic and enchanting landscapes1 The Rennsteig – Germany’s oldest hiking trail
Thuringia’s most famous hiking path is steeped in tradition, and known across Europe for its superb scenery. Hundreds of historic boundary stones – the symbol of the Rennsteig – mark the route and tell their own story about how this path was for years a border between the Franconian and Thuringian provinces.The 105-mile route winds down from the town of Eisenach (home of Wartburg Castle), via Suhl, and ends at Blankenstein, right on the current border between Thuringia and Bavaria. Today, there’s also a 120-mile cycle path that runs almost parallel to the walking route, but with longer deviations to avoid too many buttock-bashing hill climbs. But while the cycle path is still a teenager, the classic hiking route is nearly 700 years old. You can sense the souls that have trodden this famous path over the years, along the historic ridgeline above the forests. Some 100,000 walkers come every year to explore this evocative slice of countryside. And deep below your feet a plethora of tunnels carry some of Germany’s most important road and rail routes – including the tubes carrying the brand new Erfurt to Nuremberg high-speed railway. Continue reading...

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