During our Harz vacation, we are staying three days in Schierke so decided today to visit the top of the Brocken: me running to the top and the rest of the family taking the train. We took off out of the door at the same time, I started up the mountain and they had a 20-minute walk to the local train station to catch the train to the top of the mountain. The path up the mountain was surprisingly easy to follow, parallel to the train for about 5K and then I found a paved road for the last 5K up. There was light fog and on-and-off rain the whole way, and all around the smell of fresh pine, but every 30 minutes the train would pass and fill your lungs with coal-burning smoke. I passed dozens of hikers, two horse carriages, and four bikes passed me going up. Racing the family up to the top, I made it to the summit train station 10 minutes before their train arrived. Afterward we visited the Brocken museum, had a wonderfully warm pea soup with bockwurst, then I took off back down the mountain, their train left 20 minutes after I did, but at the bottom of the mountain I found a shortcut back to Schierke and beat them to the hotel. A very fun and adventurous run today!
passed the train station where the rest of the family later caught their train to the top of the mountain:
after the train went by, you had a couple minutes of breathing in coal smoke:
talked to this man for a bit, very friendly but his Sachsen-Anhalt accent was hard to understand
I was the first to the top, beat the family in the train by 10 minutes
waited for the family to arrive
it being a bit cold and windy, found a warm corner and had a snack
in Brocken museum, saw 3D model of the area, here superimposed with my run route
wonderfully warm pea soup with Bockwurst
family photo atop the Brocken before I took off on my run back down the mountain
one last picture with Heinrich Heine
and back down the mountain!
was trying to run to the point where the train crossed the road to see the family ride past
but just missed them
found 2K shortcut back to Schierke and beat the family home as well