In the North-Eastern corner of Germany you can find the beautiful Jasmund national park. This ancient natural area still has forest that have stood her since the ice age and has dramatic cliffs diving into the sea. It’s the perfect area for nice long walk in the shade of the beech trees.
While I stayed in Prora, I went on a hike along the Hochuferweg in the national park. I bought a Königsstuhl bus ticket, which would allow me to take buses all day, as well as enter the national park. The bus took me to Lohme via Sassnitz. I got off in the quiet town and made my way to the coast. I descended a whole bunch of stairs to the harbour and made my way in the direction of the Königsstuhl. The beach was beautiful, full of rocks that seemed to roll into the sea like marbles. It just wasn’t that clear where I was meant to go and then I found a sign saying the bottom path towards Königsstuhl was closed and I had to climb all the way up to the higher path again.
From Lohme I entered the forest and didn’t see anyone for ages. It was a 30-something degree day and the tall trees provided much needed shade. The path winded up and down through the dramatic forest. I loved the way the light came in through the trees and how the deep blue water contrasted with the green of the leaves. Every now and then you could see down towards the sea, where the waves hit the rocky beach and swans were bobbing on the water.
It wasn’t until I hit the bigger road at Königsstuhl that I saw other people. Königsstuhl is a rock that sticks out of the coastline and provides views over the water. It’s been turned into a tourist attraction, but I honestly thought the ‘Kings chair’ itself was quite disappointing. It’s also very fragile and there are plans to make a manmade lookout point to avoid the risks of the crumbling current lookout. However, the information center was absolutely amazing and worth the entry fee!
First I watched a film about the ancient beech forest and the Jasmund national park. It had beautiful images and explained how the forest was formed and why it’s one of the few pieces of original forest that still grow in Europe. Then you are taken into the museum. You get some headphones and can choose the audio tour of your choice. Do you want the narrative to be adventurous, or rather romantic? The museum is super interactive and provides some great information about the natural history, flora and fauna of the region. I spent at least an hour wandering around, but then realised I still had quite a distance to cover to finish my walk to Sassnitz.
A short stroll from the info center was the Viktoriasicht, a beautiful viewpoint which shows you more of the chalk coast than the Königsstuhl. The scene has been painted by many romantic artists and it doesn’t seem to fit in my idea of Germany at all. This is what I’d expect to see in Australia or New Zealand. With the warm sun, the spectacular scenery and the many colours of the water, I truly feel like I’m in some exotic corner of the world.
I keep walking and it keeps getting better. The walk is a good workout, going up and down past beautiful views. Sometimes there are stairs to help me cross streams and eventually there is the chance to go down to the beach. Some people take this chance to go for a dip. The sun is burning on my skin, the white surfaces of the cliffs only reflecting the heat, so I dive back into the forest instead of in the water. It is much busier here and I come across many other walkers. Almost every bench with a view is taken.
When I arrive in Sassnitz I reward myself with some ice cream and a cold drink. There is a nice walkway along the water with several restaurants offering seafood. After a while I climb back up to the bus station and make my way back to Prora. I could not have imagined a better day.