Wednesday, 29 August 2012

The witches ride to the Brocken’s top - "Faust" by Goethe

When I learnt that there's a place in Germany where witches come before sabbath, I knew I had to go there. You know, true nature and stuff ;) Plus we were going to go into the mountains yet again. What's better than that? My nature plus mother nature? Nothing. I thought so too. And so we went.

Harz Mountains. That was our goal. The legend says that witches used to come to Brocken (the highest peak in the Harz Mountains) for a sabbath on the eve of St. Walpurga's Day. That's how Goethe described it in his Faust:

The witches ride to the Brocken’s top,
The stubble is yellow, and green the crop.
There gathers the crowd for carnival:

Sir Urian sits over all.
And so they go over stone and stock;
The witch she——s, and——s the buck.

(translation by Bayard Taylor).

I had to go there, right? Well, I haven't been there yet. Shame on me, I know. Well, we could choose between going there to climb to Brocken (or ride, but Artur would get so impatient and so bored during the ride... And the climb - not difficult, but long... either way, not a good choice) or spend the night in Thale. And Thale it was. You miss the witches? No worries, some more will come!

Thale is a place that plays the role of a host to Hexentanzplatz. Hexen...what? A place where witches gather to dance! There is a mountain, right on the verge of Thale, where witches used to meet before flying off to Brocken. A sort of before party. With lots of dancing (and drinking?) and having fun. I like having fun. So that's where we visited. Hexentanzplatz!

We didn't climb to Hexetanzplatz. Did witches do that? Of course not! They used their brooms to fly up there. We didn't have brooms. Just cars. And they weren't enchanted like the Weasley's car (in Harry Potter series), so they couldn't fly. We took the cable car (I warned you more of these were coming), much to Artur's happiness and excitement.

When we got up there, to that peaceful and quiet place, I started looking for some signs telling me where to go to find that dancefloor. My nature failed me in that area - I totally didn't feel where I should be heading... We found this sign:
And there we go. The distance, of course, wasn't shown... No idea why...
We passed by a few stores selling, of course, witches. And beer.

We were looking and looking for that place. THAT place. We turned right (yeah, that was our mistake... We could've got to the place much sooner) and got to see some beautiful views. And some less beautiful things as well ;)
 Thale as seen from Hexentanzplatz
I even got to dance a little (and make fool of myself a little a lot):
And then I found it we found it!
Climbing up to the rock wasn't that easy...
There was, of course, a playground right next to the dancefloor:

There is quite a lot of things to do up there. Right next to the playground and the dancefloor, there is a car park as well, so you can drive up to the top with your car. That's something I personally think shouldn't take place there, though. Take a car to the top of a mountain? Even a small one? Oh, come on! Take a walk, take a cable car, but not a car! So much spoils the fun of being close to the nature... Mother nature. And your own nature as well ;)

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