today I want to give you some general information about Hiking in Upper Franconia, Germany.
For the start it's funny for me, that there's no real translation of the german word "Wandern" in english. I knew the common translations "hiking" and "rambling" out of other contexts. Especially the meaning of to "to ramble on" is surprisingly negative for something as positive like "Wandern". But in other languages it's even worse. I asked once, if there is a good translation for "Wandern" into Italian. First I had to describe what "Wandern" is and then I got the answer: There is no good translation, because nobody in Italy is doing "Wandern". So when I try to explain it to Italians (especially southern Italians) with "I'm walking through the land to enjoy the nature", I always get a look as if I'm crazy =p
But let's get to the topic. I was born and still live in Upper Franconia, a region in the north of Bavaria. It has many forests, hills and even some mountains in the Spruce Mountains. There is a lot to discover and because of this Franconia is full of trekking trails like the Franconian Trail for example. You may find some informations to this trail here: Franconian Trail
But there is not only nature to discover, but medieval castles, chateaus, old villages and cities and other great places, too. For example Chateau Seehof near Bamberg, castle Giechburg near Schesslitz or Castle Neideck. You can find more informations to the Franconian Castle Trail with its more than 150 castles and palaces and the Franconian Switzerland here: Franconian Switzerland
In spring and summer you may find rare wild orchids, if you know the places or join a group of orchid friends, which travel to the orchid spots. There are many different sorts of orchids here, like the bee and spider orchids and even some hybrid orchids, or the famous lady's slipper orchid in June. Sadly there are people, that dig up orchids and try to plant them in their garden. Since orchids depend on their natural spot, they rarely survive outside their natural habitat. So, when you find orchids, take care that nobody learns of their spots, who doesn't really need to.
In autumn, the forests start glowing golden and you may find nice autumn flowers like gentians and meadow saffrons. And the autumn forests are full of mushrooms. But if you want to eat mushrooms pay close attention, that you don't catch a poisonous mushroom. If you want to go climbing, you may look for climbing rocks in the Jura Mountains of the Franconian Switzerland. But since I'm a bit afraid of heights, I don't have a huge interest in leaving the ground if I don't really have to ;-)
There is only one real danger in the nature, you have to look for. There are no dangerous animals here (only one mildly poisonous snake and some boars, which never show themselves to hikers), except for the wooden tick, which can transmit bad diseases like the Lyme disease. My advice is to always wear long trousers, full shoes and shower often after going to the forests and meadows in Franconia. Especially the meadows are full of wooden ticks, who clip to blades of grass and get taken off, when you touch the grass.
But despite that Franconia has a lot to offer and more to show and is always worth a visit.
Cheers and till the next time,
when I go a bit more into detail,