Palatinate Forest, Germany.

The Palatinate Region in the South West of Germany is designated a Nature Park, and along with an adjacent area of Vosges Mountains in France was designated as a UNESCO Biosphere reserve in 1998.

When Maria and Mike invited me to visit and hike in the area I gladly accepted. We camped in Dahn and spent three days hiking in the surrounding forests.

There is a legend that a young lady was walking alone in the forest when she was chased by a man. In her haste to elude the unwelcome attentions she fell off this cliff. Fortunately  her large dress opened and acted as a parachute  and allowed her to reach the  valley safely. The cross was erected in her memory.

Castle Ruin Altdahn.
A Tread-wheel crane in the Altdahn Castle. A man would get into the wheel and walk. As the wheel turned bricks and other items would be lifted up to the castle.
Jungfernsprung Castle.
ladders have been installed to allow hikers to get to the view points.
Neuscharfeneck Castle.

These Castles were built on top of the sandstone cliffs that commanded a good view of the surrounding country and were easy to defend. This area is close to France and over the past hundreds of years the border moved back and forth. Some of the ridges have stone markers that show the previous border.

St. Anna Hutte.

The Palatine Forest Club  looks after 12000 Km of trails and  over 100 walking huts . They also organize walks  for anyone wishing to join. The huts cater to hungry and thirsty walkers who enjoy the solitude of the forests. Some of the huts are hostels.  I enjoyed the local food like Flammkuchen and Bratwurst with Kraut.  This is a wine producing region so there is also very good grape juice.

This memorial is in honour of those who fought in WW1. It is still used for remembrance services.
The Rhine Valley has the right conditions to produce high quality grapes and The Palatinate region is famous for producing  many good wines.
Many of the trails follow ridges allowing for good views on either side.

Walking in the Palatinate region passes many rock formations and the paths follow the ridges so  the views are constantly changing.  I was very lucky to go with someone who loves and feels at home in the forest. We  visited many locations that most hikers would not get to.  It was a very enjoyable 3 days and it will not be my last.

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