G3VGR SAAR-HUNSRÜCK-STEIG     Kempfeld - Idar Oberstein      

I woke up to a beautiful sunny morning for the first time on this trip. The hotel owner advised me of a path I could take up through the woods to rejoin the trail instead of using the main road. I made very slow progress up the path, as on even a mild incline, I now appeared to be hardly able to breathe. Despite this, it was a pleasant walk through the woods with the additional reward of seeing two deer. I rejoined the trail near Wildburger Kopf, where it was a level walk along a very rocky path through the trees until I reached Mörschieder Burr, another Celtic Ring Fort. The panoramic view from a lookout point amongst the quartzite rocks was breathtaking with expanses of forest, farm fields and small villages. After sitting a while enjoying the warm sunshine and the view over the Idartal, I made my way down through the pretty forest which is home to some impressive large conifers. The trail exited the forest near the village of Herborn into rolling agricultural countryside.

It was now time to pack away the Lekis and break out the RayBans. I felt compelled to linger and sunbathe at every suitable bench. As today's stage is shorter, I had plenty of time to enjoy the nice weather. Just past Herborn, I entered a small glade which is the home of the "Steinernes Gästebuch". The stone guestbook commemorates prominent visitors to the German Gemstone Road since 1976. The stones, signed by the guests from politics, the economy, and culture are displayed along the trail. I only a recognised one name. There are some spare boulders available for additional visitors. Leaving this extremely cheesy attraction, the trail followed a stream through the woods opposite Veitsrodt. After crossing the main road, I followed a farm track which went up through some large fields with impressive views across the area. I was nearing the end of the trail now as I followed a path down through some woods, past a dried-up spring, the Andreasquelle. After one last climb over a ridge, totally exhausted from the effects of my bronchitis, I was on a path following the Idar. Shortly afterwards, I reached the Historische Weiherschleife, a gemstone cutting mill built in 1634 and end of the Saar-Hunsrück-Steig.

After completing the trail, I caught a bus to Oberstein Altstadt. Idar-Oberstein is the gem centre of Germany and the Altstadt has numerous gemstones workshops, jewellers and craftsmen’s shops. The Altstadt is overlooked by the Felsenkirche, a church built between 1482 and 1484, which sits in a natural niche in the rocks, rising high above the houses of Oberstein. Due to its prominent location, the church has become the most well-known symbol of the city and holds artistic treasures from past centuries. After a beer and bratwurst in the Altstadt, I caught a train to Saarbrücken to stay overnight in the B&B Hotel next door to the Hauptbahnhof. Next morning after completing some shopping in the city centre, I caught the bus to Luxembourg where another dilapidated Intercity train took me to Brussels to connect with a Eurostar train back to London.

View from bedroom window shows promising weather

Definitely a great morning for hiking

The Mörschieder Burr

View to the south from Mörschieder Burr

I could actually see the places on this map

Some very big conifers in the Mörschiederwald

Last forest trail of the Saar-Hunsrück-Steig

Out in the open near Herborn

Entrance to the Steinernes Gästebuch

Some of the stone guestbooks

The only name I recognized

Pond at Veitsrodt

View across to Veitsrodt

Last panorama of the trail

The Weiherschleife - end of the Saar-Hunsrück-Steig

Felsenkirche, Idar-Oberstein

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