The Harz is beautiful. But it is also massively overcrowded, especially during the Wintertime. And that Mass Tourism brings its very own Problems with it.
And it can be really bad. I really do not think that it can stay that Way, not just because of the Pandemic, but because Nature is Hurting. And a lot of those People streaming into the Harz really do not treat it very well.
The biggest Problem definitely is the Overcrowding. Parking Lots are Full, and some People even Park on the Streets. It is absolute Madness.
On some Days, Traffic is so bad that it takes you hours to drive from Bad Harzburg to Torfhaus. And that is usually a mere 12 Minute Drive. And I am not exaggerating, it really gets that bad.
But instead of going somewhere else or just driving on, People still come here, completely messing up Traffic.
Off Course, all those People bring a lot of Garbage with them. And that would not be a Problem. If they would only take it back Home with them to dispose of it Properly.
I would like to think that most People would actually do that, but they do not. No matter where you look, there is always some amount of Garbage everywhere. It is so bad, you can even get a special Wandernadel if you help to clean up.
There are no Trash Bins in the Harz, so that Animals can not Feed on our Refuse and get Sick or even Die. Off Course, that Idea is kind of negated when People just leave everything everywhere. Please do not be that Person.
A lot of those People also do not really care about Nature. Either they do not know the Rules, or they just decide to ignore them.
But those Rules where put in Place for a Reason. They Work, but only if everyone sticks to them. So here is a Refresher:
Do not break any Plants, stay on the Paths and try not to disturb the local Wildlife. That also means no Drone Photography in the Harz. And no unleashed Dogs. Both are a Threat to wild Animals in their own Way, either through Noise, or through their animalistic Background.
Dogs were bread for Hunting, and it is still in them. Especially ground breeding Animals can Suffer from that.
Other Areas of the Harz are completely empty on the other Hand. You do not need to visit the well known Tourist Attractions to Experience the real Harz. In Fact, I would advise you to stay away from those Places.
The real beauty of the Harz lies in the less well known Areas, where you can still see Nature at its finest, without Trash and without all the Crowds. I will not tell you where to go, you will have to find out yourself.
Just stay away from the Torfhaus- Braunlage – Sonnenberg Triangle. It is bad. And especially during this Pandemic, the Conditions are plainly unacceptable.
The Overcrowding, its accompanying Traffic and all the Garbage are not only unacceptable, they make me furious. Sometimes, it makes me question my Faith in Humanity.
Disrespect towards Nature is another Thing that is awful. Not knowing the Damage that one does can be blissful, but it does not Change the Fact that Damage has been done. It kinda makes it worse in my Opinion.
Just saying Things can not Change be a it always had been that Way is a lazy Excuse. We can not fall back to our old Ways. And yes, I know Change is Hard.
But Change is also very much necessary. We all need to treat Nature better. Together. No Matter where we might live or how small our Part may be. Every little Thing can help.
And you can start by not visiting the Hotspots an staying on the Paths where you belong. And the easiest Thing you can do is to always take your Trash with you and to leave Nature in Nature.*
Please be a Part of the Solution, not of the Problem. I know that is easier to say than to do, but at least I’ve it a Try.
*Nature is not your Public Restroom or your Private Pantry. Do not treat it that Way. All Actions have Consequences.