G3VGR NECKARSTEIG     Neckarzimmern - Mosbach      

As I had continued along the trail to Neckarzimmern yesterday, instead of finishing the "official " first stage at Gundelsheim as recommended, today's walk would be much shorter than originally planned. This suited me as I wanted to visit Heilbronn in the afternoon. To lengthen the walk to around 11Km, I decided to take Tobias Kretz's variation by following the Neckar downstream to the confluence with the Elz, then following the Elz upstream to Mosbach. It had been raining overnight but had finished by the time I left the hotel after breakfast and the sky was overcast. Full train services were not running today due to it being a public holiday, so I took a taxi to Neckarzimmern to avoid a big delay in getting started. I arrived outside the Rathaus at Neckarzimmern around 0815. Knowing that today's walk would be all on tarmac paths, I didn't wear my boots, preferring my approach shoes instead. This gave a saving on footwear weight and potentially sore feet caused by incessant walking with stiff soles on hard roads.

The trail was along a cycle track beside the Neckar and there were few people about (Neckarzimern is hardly a booming metropolis as I noticed yesterday). I saw only one jogger, two cyclists and two people walking dogs along the stretch towards Neckarelz. There was plenty of birdlife along the scenic river, so the walk was not boring. As part of this trail is in the Geo-Naturpark Bergstraße-Odenwald, a few information signs were posted along the trail. From the first signs, it appears that a concentration camp was located in the area providing slave labour at the Daimler-Benz aircraft engine plant which had been relocated in 1943 to the gypsum mine in Obrigheim. When I reached Neckarelz at the confluence of the two rivers, another sign informed me that the village school at Neckarelz had been converted into a concentration camp by 500 inmates from Dachau, with it's six schoolrooms housing over 1000 unfortunate inmates. Many died from hunger and sickness, or as the SS phrased it: "Annihilation by Work". It really makes one sad to see beyond the pastoral scenery and be reminded of man's capacity for inhumanity.

The confluence of the two rivers occurred under a concrete road flyover. There were remains of old jetties on the main riverbank, which were are a hangover from the days when chain boats were used along the Neckar. Starting near the Tempelhaus in Neckarelz, the walk along the River Elz was very pleasant and scenic. Many trees overhang the river, providing a refuge for birdlife, which was evidenced by the constant song along the path. I carried on for about 5Km until reaching the Landesgartenschau-Park, a pleasant park in Mosbach, just 100 metres from the vulgarity of the Frühlingsfest, which was now in full swing with many people enjoying the fairground atmosphere. After showering and changing clothes at the hotel, I had time for a bratwurst and beer prior to catching a train to Heilbronn

Neckarzimmern Rathaus

Along the Neckar riverbank

Confluence of the Neckar and Elz

Neckarelz - Tempelhaus

River Elz near Neckarelz

Weir near Mosbach

Fishing on the Elz

River Elz at Mosbach

Landesgartenschau-Park

Mosbach Marktplatz at dusk

Neckarsteig leading to Mosbach Altstadt

Mosbach Rathaus and Palm'sche Haus

Heilbronn - Rathaus

Heilbronn - Kilianskirche


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