Saturday, August 9, 2008

Germany - Wald-Michelbach im Odenwald (DE-191746)

After a short break I'm here with you again :)))
This postcard shows a German town Wald-Michelbach im Odenwald. To be honest, I haven't heard anything of Odenwald before, but now I already know a bit more ;)

The Odenwald is a mountain chain in southern Hesse, northern Bavaria and northern Baden-Württemberg. The name may have been derived from Odins Wald ("Odin's wood"). However, "Forest of Odes" appears to be a more accurate translation.

The Odenwald is bounded by the Neckar River in the south and the Main River in the east, while it gradually slopes away to the north and the west. The highest peak is the Katzenbuckel (literally "cat's hump") at 626 m (2,054 feet). The Odenwald is known as a leisure destination easily accessible from the urban areas of Mannheim and Frankfurt. It is known for its clean thin air and was once known for its health sanitariums. There are many marked hiking paths through the rural areas. Wild blueberries, strawberries and mushrooms are to be found in the forests.

Several small towns are particularly picturesque with Weinheim on the Bergstraße and Michelstadt in the center of the Odenwald being particularly good examples. Its cobbled streets and medieval architecture create an idyllic atmosphere. The region is relatively unknown to mass-market tour companies, though the mild climate of the area is well known. Urban sprawl and pollution have become problems at some fringes as small local service train networks (DB Schienenbus) have been abandoned and more people commute to the Mannheim / Frankfurt metropolitan areas by car.


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