Westweg Day 5: Ruhestein – Hark
It was another day of pleasant walking, mix of forest and ridge lines with views. Similar scenery we saw during previews days on the trail but the terrain around us was now progressively more hilly.
Starting early in the morning, we arrived to civilization before anything opened. There was not much here to start with, except a visitor center and a restaurant, so we found a picnic table and made our own quick breakfast before setting our feet on the trail again.
There were forest roads to walk but significant part of the day was done on trails. And while the roads offered an easy stroll when one merely had to put one foot in front of the other, it felt good to navigate the trails, to deal with rocks and roots, the uneven surface, and often times the steepness.
At 10:45 a.m. one of the trails led us to Zuflucht, hotel with a restaurant sitting by a meadow where several tents were perched. Sign in front of the door informed us the restaurant would not open for next 45 minutes. Hoping to be able to at least fill our water bottles, we walked in. The breakfast was being cleaned up and it made us jealous to see all the salami, cheese, and watermelon.
We could not get any food but they offered us coffee which we gladly accepted.
It was noon when we crossed another gate and started stage 6 of the trek. It started off beautifully- on a narrow trail sloping gently downhill with deciduous trees lining both sides of the path.
The trail crossed several huts today. We liked Hilda Hütte where we stopped for lunch. It was one of the smaller huts, not fully enclosed but the area seemed very peaceful.
We finished our day at Hark where Harkof hotel sat in the middle of beautiful green meadows, cowbells ringing through the air. For €22.00 they offered a bed in a dorm, and breakfast the next morning. It was a deal we could not pass on. We showered, we ate dinner and we drank sweet Riesling until the sky turned into a black canvas dotted with sky.
NOTES: August 23, 2019
There were no opportunities to buy groceries along this stage. Plan accordingly.
Meals can be purchased from Zuflucht hotel after 11:30 a.m. and at Harkof Hotel.
Dorms at Harkof Hotel were €22.00 per person, breakfast included. Dorms were for 6 people, very clean and comfortable. Nice hot shower too.