How to Spend a Perfect Summer Day in the Erzgebirge // Sponsored

How to Spend a Perfect Summer Day in the Erzgebirge

The Erzgebirge, Ore Mountains. Have you ever heard about them before? At the border between Germany and the Czech Republic on the way to Prague, you can find this stunning mountain range that still hearts ist traditional roots. Most people know the region for its utterly charming Christmas spirit with the iconic German Christmas pyramids and frosted pine wood forests. But what is it like in summer and what should you do, eat and see? I had no idea and so I teamed up with Erzgebirge Tourism and checked exactly that out.

How to Spend a Perfect Summer Day in the Erzgebirge // Sponsored

Racing Down the Slopesinto the Fog

I wasn‘t very lucky with the weather. As usual. It seems this year‘s German summer didn’t very much deserve its name but that didn’t matter. I was scheduled for a ride up with the gondola and a race down on a monster roller – like a bigger kid‘s scooter with giant wheels. As you probably already know from my outdoor adventures in the Harz I can be quite the scaredy cow. A big one. And so I was kinda scared of using a scooter and rolling downhill. Needless to say, I made ample use of the brakes.

But as always, it wasn’t so bad. It was quite fun actually and I loved to start in a sea of fog. At first slow, then racing through the damp Erzgebirge underground with pebbles jumping aside whenever I whizzed along. It was reassuring to know that even though I had a trusty guide by my side and the paths were well maintained, I could take advantage of the complimentary app. It was able to tell the route, show where I was and it could even send a help signal in case I needed it. I didn’t need it. Instead, I enjoyed the views that started to clear half way through the race and presented me with a stunning view over the spa town of Oberwiesenthal.

How to Spend a Perfect Summer Day in the Erzgebirge - hiking

Lost Again – But not Entirely My Fault

Thoroughly refreshed I stopped by the K1 sport hotel and restaurant. This is where I got my monster roller in the first place and where I dined on a big burger. Bonus tip for all those who are lactose intolerant, they even have a big selection of milk free ice cream that was devoured in bunches by the passing school groups. I had already spent too much time with my burger and had to race off to the train station just to get lost halfway through. Consequently and way too confidently I asked a nearby family – obviously tourists like me – for the way and was promptly sent back.

I ended up where I had started and asked a local, who declared that I was already there. I was at the gondola, not the train station. Note: if you are asking for the ‘Bimmelbahn’ (an old fashioned train with a loud bell) in German and people send you to the ‘Schwebebahn’, you have been accidentally fooled. And so I literally waved my train goodbye and stood left at the station. The next one was due in 90 minutes. Blasted. So I had a ride into the village of Neudorf (a popular German name), where I was due for two museum walks.

How to Spend a Perfect Summer Day in the Erzgebirge - candle making and soup museum

Christmas Candles in Summer and Hundred Year Old Soup Stuff

Number one was an incense candle workshop. Based on the traditional way of making these, you can book a session and learn how to DIY your own scented candles. To Germans and especially people from the region, incense candles are a must at every Christmas. But of course, you can get non-Christmasy smells as well and mix them to your liking. (I instantly bought an insect repellent candle for summer!). You then take the small cone shaped candles after a sufficient period for drying. Then you hang them in tiny metal ovens or put them into wooden figurines.

Now that I have seen and learnt how to make these candles myself, I headed across the street to learn more about soup. And general kitchen habits in Germany over the last hundred years. It was unbelievable to see with what DIY kitchen utensils and cool inventions women had to prepare food. Crates filled with straw and hot stones, twirls made from old Christmas trees and stories of how Neudorf received its nickname of ‘Suppenland’, soup town. It is the only of its kind in Germany and genuinely quirky. You can even try your hand at soup bowl wrestling.

How to Spend a Perfect Summer Day in the Erzgebirge - riding the train

One of a Kind Train Ride and Cake by the Trail

Then something crazy happened. I was the only one to board the train (which I had earlier missed) and the train staff apparently recognised me from taking photos throughout the day. They invited me into the front of the train! I actually stood next to the coal oven and it was a super tiny space for the usual two people who are in it all day. My respect for old timey train drivers has dramatically risen. I spent the rest of the day, walking over the fields, dining at Kiwis for some New Zealand remembering.

The next day, I woke up fresh at my hotel with a view, Schanzenblick, with typical German breakfast before heading off to a hike. That is a must in the Erzgebirge. My choice was the Schwarzwassertal. But I had another intention besides breathing in the sweet forest air: I wanted cake. During weekends, the local legend Kaffee-Kurt sets up tent and sells self baked cakes and cookies along with hot cocoa and coffee. I was sold!

And that was my Erzgebirge adventure. Tell me, have you ever visited this region of Germany? Would you like to and what would you want to see first?

I would like to thank Erzgebirge Tourism for putting together and funding this trip. As always, my opinion is entirely my own.

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Comments

  1. I’ve never been to this part of Germany but I’ve been wanting to plan a trip to the Alps! I’ll pin this for later. Looks lovely!

    1. Reply

      Hi Paige, I hope you get to visit this part, it is sadly very much underrated with foreign tourists. Where in the Alps will you want to go? I have done a post on Vorarlberg in Austria, in case you’re interested.

  2. Reply

    I quite like your story. Normal thing does not attract me much. I like a little bit of chaos an serendipity . You have experienced both. I would love to go Erzgebirge someday.

    1. Reply

      Hi Parnashree, thank you so much. And chaos you can get alot with me. I don’t know how I do it but I attract it. I hope to see your around on my site again. Have a fantastic day!

  3. Reply

    Looks like a perfect day, and it looks like we will still have some summer days this year in Germany! :)

    1. Reply

      Hi Laura, it was quite perfect. The weather could have been better but that meant I had no sunburn on my nose. But finally the summer has arrived and my nose is smeared with sunscreen.^^

  4. Reply

    I had never heard of incense candles before but I would love to participate in workshop. It was also really interesting to know that this is a very important part of German culture!

    1. Reply

      Hi Danielle, the next time you are in Germany, you could maybe buy some incense candles. They really help with the Christmas feeling.

  5. Reply

    This is refreshing for an Asian like me who spent my entire life in Philippines. Love that you’re learning things while traveling, something that I wanna do next time I visit a new place.

  6. Reply

    I’ve been to Germany a few times but never heard of Erzegebirge – it sounds lovely & it looks like you had a nice little adventure :-)

    1. Reply

      Hi Sheena, I am glad that you found out about the Erzgebirge through my post. It rally is a nice place. I hope you get the chance to visit.

  7. Reply

    Nice blog. I always look for activity based travels. So cool, you can make your own candles here.

  8. Reply

    I’ve never heard of Erzgebirge before! I love finding out about amazing off the beaten path places like this. And that candle place looks so cool!

  9. Reply

    What can be better than being close to nature, and getting back to one’s roots!!!

    1. Reply

      Hi Jitaditya, exactly! Nature is amazing and learning about traditions a big bonus.

  10. Reply

    Sounds like missing the first train worked out, especially since you got to ride in the front of the train. I love how things work out that way. Erzgebirge sounds like a cool place to visit.

    1. Reply

      Hi Debra, it certainly did. It’s funny how some things work out in the end.

  11. Reply

    This was a very interesting read and refreshingly different. I was fascinated by the old train. Would have loved the experience of traveling in the engine. Trains are a great source of fascination which carries over from childhood.

    1. Reply

      Hi Vyjay,that certainly was a very unique experience. I would have never expected it and hope you get to do it one day as well. :)

  12. Reply

    I’ve never been to this area of Germany unfortunately. Your photos look so enticing that I might have to change that when I head back home next time!

    1. Reply

      Hi Maria, I hope you can visit the Erzgebirge when you’re back. Especially in winter it will be wonderful and you can bring the perfect Christmas presents back home. :)

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