After leaving Goslar, we made our way towards the Harz National Park, an area popular with walkers, cyclists and skiers. The mountains are by no means Alpine but the area is attractive and hilly. The highest point in the area is the Brocken, at 1,142m. This can be reached in various ways – the most interesting (and expensive) route is to take the Brockenbahn, a 1950s-era narrow gauge steam railway. The Brockenbahn is one of three narrow gauge railways that operate in the Harz region; the majority of the locomotives in use are steam-powered, making it popular with historic train enthusiasts.
Although the Harz region was undoubtedly scenic, don’t go there expecting big mountains. There aren’t any. Instead, expect winding gorges, forests, rocky, rolling landscapes and just the tiniest hint that you are in the former East Germany. There are plenty of attractive, well preserved historic towns – including at least two UNESCO World Heritage Sites (Goslar and Quedlinburg) and the area is conveniently close to northern Germany and the Netherlands, if you are coming from that direction.
Our overnight stop was just outside the Harz Mountains, at Harzgerode. The Stellplatz in this pleasant town was in a designated section of the public car park. Although there were no motorhome facilities, there were some immaculate public toilets in the car park.