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.
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.
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.