This morning we arose in time to ascend the Brocken, the highest point in the Harz Mountains (3745 feet). We took the train at 9:15 and climbing up gradually and passing Schierke on our way, we reached the summit at 12 and stepped out into a cloud, so that we could not see much of the top and nothing of the surrounding country.
We consoled ourselves with a good dinner and took a look at the Tower, which commands an extensive view in clear weather, but we consoled ourselves with the fact that an unclouded horizon is a rare thing up here.
Several grotesque blocks of granite have received the names of Devil’s Pulpit, Witches Altar, etc. Tradition points out this spot as the meeting place of the witches on Walpurgis night (the eve of May day), and they are reported as coming up here riding on brooms. Goethe mentions this in his “Faust.”
We were glad to get under shelter, i.e., into the train, by 2 o’clock and return in time for supper. To bed early, as we intended to arise early tomorrow.