Ramble On

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Harz Mountains - More from the Wayback Machine

I posted recently on ski trips my friends and I used to take to the Harz Mountains in Germany, along the former border between East and West. This inspired me to dig in to the momento box, where I found a few items - a flier from the little Pension that we often stayed at in Altenau, and some postcards from Torfhaus, which was at the top of a neighboring mountain.

After that recent post, several colleagues on Facebook got a thread going about one little trek we did. It was a cross country route that was between 6 and 10 kilometers that took us right down to what we think was the border. Although there was no fence in view, there was a little stream and I think I remember a no-man's land area, and my friends remember signs similar to the ones shown here.

While we were out on the route, a snow storm started - pretty heavy, and we really didn't have great visibility. I have to admit I was pretty worried because we'd skied downhill, and now were a couple miles out, near the border in unfamiliar territory, with a long way to go in a storm. We made it back of course but there was plenty of drama to go around.

Some friends mentioned the radar installation visible in the resort photo above - it was on a neighboring mountain in East Germany. They say a colleague of ours - a famous defector, ended up working there for a time. I don't recall reading that, but wouldn't be surprised that this location is where he might have been assigned when he went to work for the Stasi.

I have the price list from the little pension hotel we stayed at - seven days, single room with private bath, breakfast included - DM 287 - at the time with those exchange rates - $100. The good ole days!

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