The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Wednesday 8 August - Wasserfallsteig

During a visit to the town of Bad Urach yesterday, we popped into the Tourist Office and picked up some information, including a booklet of local walking routes (in English!).

A panoramic (i.e. bent out of shape) shot of part of the market square in Bad Urach - an attractive little town of half-timbered houses.

We had moved on from Bad Urach by the time I perused the walking options, but they sold them so well that we resolved to return today to sample one of them. The Wasserfallsteig trail looked the joint most interesting, but it won on the basis of having been awarded first place in one of the categories of Wander Magazine's 'Germany's Best Walking Routes 2016'. I have no idea what the quality of that magazine is, but it seemed like a reasonable recommendation.

It must be a popular choice too, as the car park where we left Bertie (€3 per day - the leaflet didn't mention that!) was huge. It was also completely deserted at 10am, although a smaller car park slightly nearer the falls was filling up.

I had to nip back and change my footwear at this point ;-)

To give the first set of falls the benefit of the doubt, this dry summer may not have been the best time to view them. That said, it did rain yesterday afternoon and again before we set off this morning, so maybe they are never impressive. They were more 'dripping moss' than 'impressive fall':

I'm sure a lot of people only walk as far as the falls, and if I'd paid €3 for that, I would have felt a little cheated. Happily, we still had other features to see and they made up for the disappointing falls.

Limestone cliffs, across the top of which we were later to walk

Beyond the falls, the path lost its surface and became a narrow dirt line, clinging to the side of the steep hillside, as it cut through the trees. It seemed for a while as if trees were going to obscure all views, but we did find a couple of viewpoints along this section, including one that required a small out-and-back detour:

Mick caught me edging my way cautiously to peer over the edge

Whereas Mick just had a sit down, with his legs swinging over the abyss

We only had a bit more ascending to do from there, before we found outselves at the top of those impressive limestone cliffs. Viewpoints abounded along that section of path...

...all of them bearing some type of bench:

I've mentioned before the number of benches we have found on all of our walks in Germany, and this paragraph in the walks booklet clarifies that they (along with picnic areas and Grillplatz) are officially essential ingredients for a good walk:

A zig-zagging descent through another patch of forest took us to the second waterfall of the outing. This one was even more 'drippy moss' in its nature than the first - so much so that I couldn't even get a photograph that shows anything that looks remotely like a waterfall.

The leaflet didn't make it look like there was anything to see bar one more viewpoint on the rest of the route, so we chose to take a short cut, to take us past something marked as a point of interest on the map:

A grand farm of half-timbered buildings

We weren't entirely sure whether we trespassed a few paces to get onto their driveway, which we followed along its avenue of apple trees, back to our start point.

Our version of the route came in at 8km with 300m of ascent, and it certainly was attractive and worthwhile, even if it was not, even in our limited experience, the best Germany has to offer.


  1. Good to hear from you. I'm chilling out a bit after returning from two weeks of suffering in the heat and I'm putting off cutting the beech hedge and grass.

  2. I assume Mick’s injury is all but healed. €3 sounds OK to me when set against the new Cairngorm parking fees. You’d have paid £8 for Bertie, although I suspect you, like me, would say ‘no thanks’ to that.