Photos: Lüneburger Heide 2015

Last week, I took advantage of the pleasant and sunny weather to make a day trip to the Lüneburger Heide, a nature preserve with a unique heath landscape approximately 70 kilometers to the East of Bremen. The Lüneburger Heide as well as the related nature park Südheide (Southern Heath) offer plenty of hiking spots.

You can see photos of previous trips to the Lüneburger Heide, namely to the Ober- and Niederhaverbeck region as well as to the Heide am Schillohsberg in the Südheide here.

I got lucky, cause the heath was still in full bloom in all its purple glory, though already slightly fading. The photos were all taken in the so-called Osterheide (Eastern Heath) between the towns of Schneverdingen and Heber.

The Osterheide area has a varied history, since it housed a military airport during WWII, then became a camp for refugees and displaced persons for a few years. After the displaced persons had been re-placed, the British Army took over the area and used it as a closed to the public training ground until 20 years ago. There still are several closed to the public military training grounds in the Lüneburger Heide region – for some reason armies love heath area for training. But thankfully the British Army left in 1994 and Osterheide is now a nature preserve and hiking ground and open to the public at last.

Lüneburger Heide

A look across the Osterheide in full bloom near Schneverdingen.

Lüneburger Heide

Heath panorama with scattered trees. It goes on like that for approx. 13 kilometers all the way to the Wilseder Berg, the highest elevation in the area.

Horse carriage Lüneburger Heide

Horse-drawn carriages like this one carry tourists across the heath. This particular carriage travels along the so-called “Spitzbubenweg”, an old smuggler’s path.

Lüneburger Heide

Rainwater has collected in the ruts left behind by the horse carriages.

Lüneburger Heide

A wilder patch of heath seen through a small forest.

Lüneburger Heide path

A woodland path with a birchtree and a patch of heath in the background.

Lüneburger Heide

A tree-dotted patch of heath seen through the split trunk of a birch tree.

Findling

A so-called “Findling”, a large rock left behind by the retreating glaciers of the last ice age, serves as a signpost.

Woodland path Osterheide

A path through the pine forest adjacent to the heath.

Forest schoolhause

In the middle of the pine tree forest, I came upon this open air classroom complete with a blackboard.

Heide beehives

A collection of beehives. Heide honey is a popular specialty of the area.

Lüneburger Heide

Heath landscape with dramatic clouds. Hard to imagine that tanks were rolling here only 20 years ago.

Lüneburger Heide

Heath panorama. The con trails in the sky originate either at the airports of Hamburg or Hannover.

Lüneburger Heide rowan tree

The heath with the red berries of a rowan tree in the foreground.

Heath path

A narrow footpath through the heath. The white colour is due to sand deposited by the retreating glaciers of the last ice age.

Heather

A close-up look at heather plants in full bloom.

However, the Lüneburger Heide has not just beautiful hiking spots, but there are also charming towns dotted throughout the heath. Here are a few photos of the town of Bispingen, where I stopped for lunch. I had pasta with porcini mushrooms, which grow on the heath and are native to the area.

Bispingen St. Antonius Church

The Neogothic St. Antonius Church in Bispingen. It’s only a little over 100 years old (built in 1908) and replaces an older church.

St. Antonius church Bispingen

The St. Antonius Church viewed head on.

Bispingen Heidschnucken

This statue in the town centre of Bispingen shows a shepherd with the distinctive Heidschnucken sheep native to the area.

The meat of the Heidschnucke is a staple on the menus of restaurants in the Lüneburger Heide region (and there are a lot of restaurants, considering this is a tourist area) and artworks depicting Heidschnucken can be found in many towns in the area, but the actual sheep are surprisingly rare. At any rate, I’ve never come close enough to one to take a photo.

Bispingen is a centre of the tourist industry, probably due to its access to the highway A7. In addition to its charming town centre, it also boasts an indoor tropical resort (not really my thing at all, but plenty of people love them, considering how many of these places have sprung up in the past 25 years), an indoor skiing arena, a go-cart racetrack owned by Ralf Schumacher, younger of the Formula One racing Schumacher brothers, an archery range (to let out your inner Arrow, Hawkeye, Katniss or Merida) as well as the crazy house, a regular house standing upside down. You can see some photos of Bispingen’s crazier attractions at the end of this post from last year.

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4 Responses to Photos: Lüneburger Heide 2015

  1. sherwood smith says:

    Lovely photos!

  2. Beautiful as always, Cora.

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