This has been a great day for us. We arose at 5 o’clock and took breakfast at 6, and at 6:30 the park wagon called for us and the united Stroeter family. We had a pleasant ride to Rübeland, a Brunswich valley lying in the valley of the Bode.
We here went into the Hermann’s Höhle (cavern) where we saw some wonderful formations of stalactite. It took us 3/4s of an hour to go through this cavern, which is illuminated by electric light.
After a cup of Bouillon, we rode on to Treseburg, a village beautifully situated at the confluence of the Bode and the Luppbode. We selected a nice spot on the banks of the Bode and had a regular American picnic lunch.
We left Mama and Mrs. Stroeter with the wagon to follow us by another road, while we took the foot path along the Bode. This is, without doubt, the finest road in the Harz Mountains as far as scenery is concerned. It is strikingly wild and picturesque.We ascended and descended for about two and a half hours when we crossed the Bode and ascended a steep strong slope by a zig zag path. On our road, we had a fine view of the Taufeks Brucks, which we had just crossed and the Bode-kessel, a wild basin of granite rocks and, after a stiff climb of half an hour, we reached the Rosstrappe, a granite rock projecting like a bastion into the stream.
The name (horse’s hoof point) is derived from an impression in the rock resembling a gigantic hoof print, left there by the horse of a princess, who, when pursued by a giant, is said to have leaped across the valley.
Of course, there is a restaurant near by and, although I would have loved to linger on this spot which I remembered well from my last visit 41 years ago, the inner man had to be refreshed, and the weary limbs called for a rest.
From the veranda of the Inn, we had a grand view of the beautiful village of Thale and the fertile country surrounding it. We found Mrs. S. and Mama on the spot and ready to join us in taking refreshments.
At 6 o’clock we left for home. We passed through beautiful beech woods which look as if they had been swept clean. All brush and broken wood is removed by poor people, who are allowed to enter the woods on a certain day in the week to gather the broken and decayed wood which they take home and save for winter use.
Along the roads are cherry trees which belong to the community, and the cherries are sold on the trees to an enterprising dealer who has them picked and ships them. Little booths are erected along the road where the pickers bring the fruit and where we could buy them “fresh from the tree.” Of course, we bought.
The Linden trees are now in full bloom, and the air is scented with the delicate odor. The Linden is a beautiful tree. We admired the fields, which are laid out in parcels and look like a huge quilt, no weeds, for the labor is cheap enough to allow them to keep the fields clean by pulling the weeds. Just think of it! You can see rows of women working their way along a field pulling weeds, and I have never seen such fine wheat, oats, barley, rye potatoes, beets, in long strips, in even rows and free of weeds, as I saw here.
We passed through Blankenburg, a town of about 10,000 inhabitants, situated on the slope of the hills and commanded by the lofty ducal Schloss.
North of this town, we could see the Regenstein, a precipitous sandstone cliff, 245 ft. above the plain, on the side of which a castle was erected by Emperor Henry the Fowler in 919. It was captured by Wallenstein in the Thirty Years War and demolished by Frederick the Great. You can still see the vaults and embrasures which were hewn in the rock.
Passing through several other villages, we reached home at 9:30 and tired enough to go to bed.