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Harz Highlights 1

Christopher has school vacation, and we took a few days off and spent four nights in the Harz, the German mountain range between Niedersachsen and Sachsen-Anhalt. It's popular for short trips, but doesn't seem to be as well known for foreign tourists.

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Our first highlight was taking the HSB narrow-guage steam engine train to the top of the Brocken, the highest mountain in the Harz.

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Legend has is that the Brocken was a meeting place for witches, and more recently it was a closed military installation during DDR days. Today it's again open to the public, and the witches are used to market every little hotel, shop and restaurant in the region.

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Once on the Brocken, Christopher had the chance to fly around the mountain on a witch's broomstick!

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Alas, as with most magic is was only smoke and mirrors, or in this case a video camera with a blue-screen background. In fact, the weather was foggy and just above freezing during our visit. We couldn't even see the TV tower from right below it, much less any view from the mountain.

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Being cheap and mean parents, we only bought one-way train tickets, thus forcing Christopher to hike with us 7 km down the mountain back to our car. Strangely enough, Christopher found the flat portions of the trail boring and exhausting, but thought it was great fun to crawl over boulders on the middle portion of the trail. We'll remember to take him only on difficult trails in the future.

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