We’re off - from London on the lunchtime Eurostar to Brussels and then THALYS to Cologne for an overnight stay at the superb 4* Marriot Hotel enabling us to hit the Harz by lunchtime tomorrow.
Our journey to the Harz is completed using both ICE and Regional Express trains to arrive in the area about lunchtime. Here we meet up with our private coach that will accompany each day providing exciting lineside opportunities for photographers and spectators throughout the holiday. In a scenic introduction we ascend the Wurmberg Mountain which overlooks the Brocken – how about a glühwein in the log cabin at the summit? We’ll arrive in Wernigerode by steam train and check in.
We’re off to explore the lesser visited Selketalbahn (Selke Valley Railway) today. This “quieter” part of the network has steep gradients and sharp curves within the rocky, forested, landscape. The pound up the branch-line to Harzgerode is a certain highlight whether sat in one of the comfortable heated carriages or hanging off the balcony.
The Harz is great for railways of course but there is so much more to see. Expect some sightseeing in charming towns (Quedlinburg has UNESCO world heritage status), a witch’s hideout, photo opportunities in the woods and maybe even a ramble and a snowball fight – great variety and great fun!
The longest journey one can take across the Eastern Harz by train is from Wernigerode to Nordhausen on the Harzquerbahn (Trans-Harz Railway). In Nordhausen we have time to play with the trams before heading to Klostermansfeld for a privately hired train on the Mansfelder Bergwerksbahn. Photo’s, friendly fun with our pal Thomas and perhaps a Gherkin or two!
As highlights go today’s is quite literal. We’re off to the summit of The Brocken, completing our explorations of the entire Harz network. We’ll devise a flexible itinerary that will allow for independent travel downhill so that one can make best use of the timetable. We’ll even throw in a “behind the scenes” railway experience late afternoon.
Our return journey to the UK is achieved in one day via Hanover & Cologne to Brussels and then Eurostar to London arriving in the evening – all very relaxed.
So, a steamy wintry holiday to start the new continental season, bed & breakfast at “top notch” hotels, Inside Track planning at it’s very best, a blizzard of hospitality, and guaranteed fun and frolics. At €1.1 to the £ the price is £1549.00 per person with a £200.00 single supplement. Be warned, there are no truly “twin” rooms at the main hotel, just two singles pushed together to accommodate such requirements – two mattresses though!
Situated in the vibrant city center of Cologne, Germany, Marriott Hotel offers stylish accommodations near celebrated attractions. A plush 4 star, close to the station and Cathedral.
Our base when we are in the Harz is the excellent Weisser Hirsch Hotel in the heart of medieval Wernigerode. This four-star has beautifully appointed rooms, welcoming staff, a pleasant bar and fine restaurant. It is among the very best hotels we use, anywhere. The town is an absolute joy in which to stay as well, brimming with half-timbered buildings, cosy restaurants, and our hotel overlooks the stunning town square with its imposing town hall.