Four nice days spent in Altenau, Harz...We came here with Schwastik and stayed at the lovely B&B Orchidee run by two Dutch ladies, very hospitable and broadminded...

Below is Hüttenteich, where we went hiking with Schwa on August 2.

Though Schwa doesn't make a good hiker at all..

The day before we went to so-called Oberharzer Heimatabend or 17. Altenauer Lichterfest am Okerteich (musikalisch gestaltet von den "Bruchbergsänger" und der "Janitscharen Kapelle" ). There we heard Tyrolean yodelling (or Tiroler Jodeln in German), which was pretty awesome...At the same time, Schwa was the point of interest for all children round the place, which we didn't expect. It all ended up pretty late with a lot of loud music, so that we watched the fireworks from a hill already on the way home.

cf. to yodel - to sing in the traditional Swiss way, changing your voice frequency between its normal level and a very high level.

Every day I went to the Kristall Saunatherme "Heißer Brocken“, thermal spa resort, where I bathed in salty water in various pools outside and inside, had a few massages (like hot stone and garshan, which are not worth it, to say the truth; the foot zone massage was pretty good though) and got to know the German culture of going to sauna, which is quite different from Russian sauna or banya. A bit awkward at first, but then I felt more at ease :)

One interesting thing about the place is that wherever you go, you are likely to come across a witch - as a souvenir doll or as a street, cafe, or shop decoration. The reasons for this is that witches are said to have congregated annually at the Brocken. There is a famous hiking trail called "Harzer-Hexen-Stieg," which can be translated as “witches trail".

Last but not the least, I got to a guided tour in the Altenauer Brauerei and tried the local Altenauer bier). And Schwa has dug quite a number of holes.