Hiking up Kickelhahn

Friday was another day spent making the connections to get on the several trains that would take us from Zurich, Switzerland, to Ilmenau, Germany. All went well and we arrived on time at Ilmenau station where we were greeted by my uncle and his wife. It was dark when we got there so we had to wait until the next morning to get a look at the area around the village of Manebach where my uncle had made reservations for us at a small hotel on the outskirts of the village.

Our hotel in Manebach. “Teichmuhle” in German means “Pond Mill”.

Although Germany has many attractive villages, Manebach is special to our family. It is where my mother’s father was born and raised. My mother shared memories of the vacations she enjoyed as a child when her family would come from the city of Leipzig to visit her grandparents at their house in Manebach.

“Downtown” Manebach.

Manebach is in Thuringia Wald (“Wald” in German means “Forest”) and it is a popular destination for hiking. So, of course, our first day there was spent hiking one of the nearby trails.

“Zum Dorf” means “To the village”

The hike started by walking through the woods behind the hotel on a path to the village. In the middle of the village some stairs led up into the woods where we continued to climb the trail to the summit of Kickelhahn Mountain. There we found Kickelhahnturm (means Kickelhahn Tower), which required more climbing up the stairs inside the tower. It was all well worth it for the views and then for the refreshments that awaited us at the small cafe next to the tower.

Walk through Manebach to start the hike.
Getting to the trail.
Finding the right trail.
Viewpoint part of the way to the top.
View of Manebach.
Tower at Kickelhahn summit.
View of Ilmenau, town where we arrived on the train.
Refreshments before heading back down the mountain.

A Day of Climbing

Today, instead of hustling after 2 boys on scooters, we got our exercise by climbing up 2 of Zurich’s viewpoint attractions. The Uetliberg mountain is visible from the city and easily accessible by train or by walking from one of several tram stops. We chose the tram and walking option and enjoyed the steep but pleasant trail that climbed through the woods to the top of the ridge. After enjoying the view from the top, we walked further along the ridge for a hike back down on a different trail.

Enjoying our walk in the woods.
View of Zurich from Uetliberg
Alps visible in the distance.

Another opportunity to get a bird’s eye view of Zurich is available within the city. The Grossmuenster church is a distinctive landmark with its double towers. One of the towers has a viewing platform that can be reached by climbing 187 steps (I counted them) up a winding staircase inside the tower.

Grossmuenster Church
View upriver. Small blue and white striped tent is the roof of the carousel where we were yesterday.
Looking south towards Zurichsee (the lake)

After hiking and climbing stairs it felt good to sit by the lakeshore for a while to relax and watch the swans. Another beautiful day in Zurich.