One day, all alone. During some time off from family duties while camping near Lake Constance, I took the chance and tackled a hiking tour round the Gehrenberg. It had been classified as difficult, required advanced fitness levels to complete the 468 metres difference in altitude on a 14,6 km circuit. So – what was it like?
The name of that one day tour round the Gehrenberg, “Guck ins Land”, translates to something like “peek into land”. There are, in fact, some view points where not only the remaining German territory towards Lake Constance can be seen but also glimpses of Switzerland and Austria. One brief tour, three countries. Or, if you were to believe Bavarian folks with their understanding of Bavarian independence, four countries.
The tour around the Gehrenberg
A slow and steady climb was an ideal warm-up to get from the camping-site to the GuckinsLand-tour. The sun gave its best to make me wonder whether it was indeed a good idea to go hiking. As the track seemed to not only start but also continue among the wonderfully cooling shades of trees I just kept going – pretty good decision.
I would have loved to take more pictures of countryside, long distance shots of Lake Constance and so on. It was, however, a rather hazy day, so most pics outside the forest did not really look that good.
After a bit of very enjoyable walking I reached the so-called “slide”. An earthquake on 16. November 1911 ripped off a fair amount of the hill. Now an abyss of approximately 30 metres is one of the attractions at the Gehrenberg. Quite a few warning signs emphasize to not get too close to the edge as the top edges can still break off and take you down with them. Not a pleasant way to end a hiking tour, I guess.
On the altitude-wise highest point of that tour the Gehrenbergturm offers not only the chance of a rest but also some spectacular views. At least it does jus that once you have climbed that 30 metre tall object. This look-out has been built in 1903 and used to be called “Großherzog-Friedrich-Warte”. On fine and clear days (hence not on my tour) you can enjoy a more than fantastic view towards Lake Constance. The Bavarian, Austrian and Swiss Alps seem to be very close indeed.
Eerie three minutes
A lonely farm with two buildings came into sight. I had to walk right between those buildings to continue on my way. This all was a tiny bit scary. Why?
I grew up in a small farmer’s village. So I know which kind of dogs farmers tend to keep. Especially when their farm is a bit off the beaten track.
Anyway, I was not able to see anyone, could hear no noises whatsoever. This made it not really any better. However, there was no way I was going to turn back. So I had to bite the bullet and pass the farm. It was all fine and good, no dogs, cats, birds, rats, mice or humans whatsoever. All good, but my ears as well as leg-muscles were at full attention.
Although I toured around the Gehrenberg in rather boiling weather conditions (35 Celsius), I would not classify it as being a difficult hike. Most of the time you can enjoy the cooling shadows of the forest, and there are lots of possibilities for having a break. The same is true for the wonderful views of the countryside around the Gehrenberg – there are lots of spots where you can have a rest. If you would like to take your kids along they should better be used to walking longer distances and climbing up some hills.
As long as you don’t turn up barefoot or wearing flip-flops the terrain is easy to handle. If you walk clockwise you’ll have a very steep climb of round about 400 metres (altitude), which could very seriously take away quite a bit of fun. The remainder of the tour might sound a bit easier then, however, I would always opt for the anti-clockwise direction (also with kids).
Just one minor piece of moaning: If you stick to the official route, there won’t be any café, bar, pub or wine tavern to spoil and nourish you. So take lots of water and food with you! The GuckinsLand tour around the Gehrenberg will take something like 4-5 hours minimum, so liquid intake is important.
And a few more (hazy) pics: