G3VGR ALTMÜHLTAL PANORAMAWEG     Enkering – Beilngries     

From Enkering, it was just a 2Km walk though some fields and under the A9 Autobahn to rejoin the Panoramaweg at Kinding. Again it was going to be an extremely hot and sunny day. I was hoping to buy some brötchen for lunch, but as it was a Sunday morning, no bakeries were open. Kinding is a pretty village despite offering little of cultural interest, apart from the Kirchenburg, a fortified church originally built in the Middle Ages. After leaving Kinding and crossing the Altmühl, I walked through some fields then started another steep climb through another beech forest. There were many rocks, all covered with moss which made for a very enjoyable walk. Unfortunately, the experience was marred by the (illegal) incursion onto the trail of some mountain bikers. Inconsiderate cyclists are high on the list of things I hate most in this life (mosquitoes, truck drivers, slugs and people who wear waistcoats are close seconds), so I was not overly amused by their presence. Near the top of the climb, I followed some signs to the right to visit the Kindinger Klause. Stone tools, ceramic shards, bones and jewellery have been discovered at this rock overhang, indicating it served as a shelter for prehistoric man. After reaching the top, the trail continued along a forestry track and led past some Bronze Age burial mounds. I reached a lookout point where I met a lady with a small dog who complained vociferously to me about being almost run down by mountain bikers. From the lookout point, there was a superb view of the Altmühltal all the way to Beilngries. The trail carried on through more beautiful mixed forest until reaching the Felsentor, a rocky gate about five meters wide and eight meters high, created by a cave collapse. Now the Panoramaweg zig-zagged steeply down to the little village of Unteremmendorf. Just like Böhming, Unteremmendorf is another nondescript village, so after walking through its one and only street, I turned right and began the worst section of the trail so far. I was now on a long, mainly straight Schotterweg with farm fields on both sides. If there's one surface I dislike more than tarmac for walking on, it's definitely loose gravel. The sharp stony gravel hurt my feet as I trudged along in the excessive midday heat for over 2Km until eventually reaching the Campingplatz Kratzmühle. This is a large leisure complex built around the Pfraundorfer See, an artificial lake with 2Km of shoreline. It was very busy here as everyone was enjoying the unusually hot weather. As well as the campsite, the holiday centre includes a Technical Museum, pub and restaurant. The pub served mainly pizza and pasta, so I settled for a Salad/Hefeweizen combination at the Seerestaurant Kratzmühle which is located directly at the lakeshore.

The afternoon was getting even hotter. My cold was still causing me problems and I was extremely tired due the lack of sleep and the very hot weather. So I decided not to walk the extra few Km to Beilngries, which didn't look too inspiring, and caught a bus from Pfraundorf to Beilngries instead. The bus dropped me off not far from the Pension Merbald, my stay for the night. My accommodation was just a short walk from the Altstadt and after freshening up, I made my way into the town centre.
Beilngries was very busy and all of the restaurants were doing a good trade as many people were out and about, enjoying the warm, sunny evening. I really enjoyed the Altstadt with its old buildings, squares and narrow alleyways and was impressed by the old towers and town wall which ringed the centre. There were more than 35 breweries in Beilngries in earlier times but only two survived: Brauerei Gutmann and Brauerei Schattenhofer. Schattenhofer do not brew any weizenbier, only Helles and Pils, but fortunately the Schattenhofer Brauereigasthof also serve Gutmann's Hefeweizen. Their brewery food is also good. I ate a tasty Lendenschnitte.  This had been a mixed day. I really enjoyed the walk from Kinding to Unteremmendorf, but was fairly unimpressed by what followed. However, ending the day in the beautiful town of Beilngries was ample compensation.

Heading towards Kindinger Leite
Through the forest to Kindinger Klause
Kindinger Klause
Bronze Age burial mounds
Lookout point
View back towards Kinding
View over Unteremmendorf towards Beilngries
Felsentor near Unteremmendorf
The awful road to Kratzmühle
The Mill at Kratzmühle
Beilngries Frauenkirche
Beilngries Altstadt
Beilngries - town wall
Stadtpfarrkirche St. Walburga
Beilngries - Flurerturm

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