Let's face it: the best thing about hiking is a bench by the side of the trail, right? You're trudging up a mountain, your pulse is climbing along with you, sweat is running down your temples...and at that exact moment a bench comes into view. There are hardly more beautiful moments when hiking in the mountains. No matter whether it is high mountain tours or Hiwwelt tours in Rheinhessen acts.
Of course, there are plenty of benches in the Rhine-Hessian hill country, where the network of paths has grown to many, many kilometers. Old and new, designed and simple, comfortable and practical, with views into the distance and over vineyards.
At first glance, the bench we're talking about here is actually years away from its counterparts, the cool, curved, modern resting benches on the Hiwwelt tours, where you can even put your feet up and feel like you're in seventh hiking heaven.
My Favorite bank in Rheinhessen scores more with its inner values. Or, more aptly, with its trappings: location, look and path on which it stands strung, like a raw diamond. A real bank of hearts ; -)
Laurenziberg - a piece of heaven in the hill country
My favorite bench is in the middle of the vineyards of the Laurenziberg. Southeast of the cute mountain village of the same name, only 15 minutes by car from the Rhine.
The Laurenziberg is a characteristic table mountain for Rheinhessen. With about 270 meters an elevation in the terrain, which corresponds to the term Hiwwel, as the mountains in Rheinhessen are called, does all honor.
Not only does it have an expansive plateau vaulted with sky, but it also has a unique location in the middle of a small, fine hilly world on the northern edge of the region.
This terrain owes its undulating ups and downs to three watercourses: Welzbach, Eckelsbach and Dünbach.
The valleys that they have formed in the course of the earth's history make up the charm of the Laurenziberg landscape.
My favorite bench is just above two: the Welzbach Valley and the Dünbach Valley.
Spot earth with distant view
From my favorite bench, you see the geography of Rheinhessen virtually concentrated on one spot: Mountains, valleys, vineyards, pastures, meadows, forests and fields.
A graceful piece of land spreads out at your feet: a gentle, expansive depression covered with a varied patterned blanket of nature that continues up the slopes of the opposite Westerberg on the other side of the Welzbach.
Depending on the season, the diagonally juxtaposed vineyard hatchings stand on their own in a charming light-dark contrast or are interspersed with rapeseed-yellow areas, golden grain patterns, or vine leaves warming with Indian Summer colors. In between, the lines of the willows and poplars lining the banks of the brooks and the spots of the apple, cherry and plum trees in the meadows.
If you look into the distance, let your gaze wander to the sides, you will recognize the neighboring mountains in northern Rheinhessen, directly opposite the slopes of the Westerberg. On the northeastern horizon, even the Taunus and the tops of Feldberg and Hochkönig peek out.
Okay, Heike, enough rambling. Let's get it out there: How do I get to "your" heart bank?
The fastest way to get there by car is to take the narrow, dreamy country road up the Laurenziberg.
It will be more varied, intense and eventful if you hike there on foot.
The hiking trail to the hiking bench
As befits a Rheinhessen hiking bench, my favorite bench is of course on a Rheinhessen hiking trail.
The local Dreibächeweg is an entertaining 11 kilometer hike, around and over the Laurenziberg. This starts and ends in Gau-Algesheim. Its waymark shows three blue curved lines symbolizing its namesakes.
The Dreibächeweg continues the lookout experience on my favorite bench and complements it on both sides with even more unique Rhine-Hessian scenery, further vistas and, above all, cultural-historical sights worth seeing.
The tour starts at the historic Graulturm in Gau-Algesheim. It is the only remaining part of the town wall built around 1350 during the tenure of the then mayor Peter Gruele.
The trail runs through the pretty old town of Gau-Algesheim and passes the Rhinehesse Bicycle Museum. After that he leaves the place.
About halfway up the trail, after a gentle climb up from the Dünbach Valley, my favorite bench awaits you on the outskirts of the mountain village of Laurenziberg.
At the other end of the village stands the Church of St. Lawrence, dedicated to St. Lawrence. The historians mention a church in this place for the first time in 767 AD. Today's baroque pilgrimage church was built from 1707 to 1717 and stands on a beautiful daisy meadow in spring.
Exactly at this point the Rhine-Hessian Way of St. James comes up from the Eckelsbach valley. Here a steep, narrow pilgrimage path, which for centuries has traditionally been used during pilgrimages over the three sacred mountains of Rheinhessen is gone.
The exact Directions to the Dreibächeweg is on the Gau-Algesheim website.
If you ask me now, ...
...in what weather and at what time of year I recommend a hike to my favorite bench on the Laurenziberg, then I answer: The Laurenziberg is a typical rheinhessian weather mountain!
The thousand varieties of Rheinhessen sky blue come across best on a sunny-cloudy day with a light breeze.
Because of the colors, I suggest the seasons of spring, Indian summer and autumn.
...where you can stopthen I recommend you: the Estate tavern and wine tavern "In the old granary in Laurenziberg, Eva Eppards Hundertgulden Mill in Appenheim, a stone's throw away, and the Napolitano ice cream café on the market in Gau-Algesheim.
... where you can still go mountain hiking in northern Rheinhessenthen I spontaneously think of the Hiwweltouren Bismarck Tower and Westerberg a. On both routes, you'll explore the Westerberg in the neighborhood and change perspectives: From both routes, you'll get a whole new view of my favorite bench and of this wonderful patch of earth on the Laurenziberg.
Have fun looking, exploring and discovering!