Saturday, August 13, 2016

Barfuss in the park...



The BarfussPark is open daily from 9:00am until 8:00pm.  

Some time ago, there was talk in one of the local Facebook groups about "barefoot" parks in Germany.  Apparently, walking barefoot on trails is a thing in Deutschland.  I was immediately interested because I love walking barefoot.  I never wear shoes unless I have to.  I don't even put on shoes when I have to take the trash out in the snow.

Anyway, the idea of visiting the BarfussPark in Dornstetten stayed in the back of my mind for some time.  Then, two weeks ago, Bill and I took an overnight trip to France and passed signs for the BarfussPark on the way there.  I decided then and there that it was time to try out walking barefoot in the park.  A bonus is that the park is not even thirty minutes from where I live, as long as there aren't any farm vehicles on the road!

We were blessed with beautiful sunny weather and agreeable temperatures this morning as we set off for our outing.  We left the dogs at home, having read that they aren't welcome in the park.  And really, if you think about it, that makes perfect sense.  While you will likely get dirty walking barefoot in the park, no one wants to get dirty by stepping on what comes out of Fido during a good walk.  ;-)  We did see one dog at the park today, though, and no one seemed too upset about it.

We arrived at the park at about 11:30 or so; it's pretty much right off B28 heading west.  The parking lot wasn't full at that point.  In retrospect, it was a good idea to get to the park somewhat early because by the time we left at a little after 1:00, the lot was full and some people had parked on the side of the road coming into the park.  We took advantage of the handy WC near what appeared to be the bigger of the two parking lots we encountered.  Then, after Bill paid for three hours of parking, we headed down a trail toward the start of the barefoot trail.


It is forbidden to wash your feet in the bathroom!


The big sign before the park... there are ads for restaurants and a map of what's on the trail.


These handy little "foot" markers show you where to go.  The trail can run as long as 60 minutes if you go the long way or 30 minutes if you take a shortcut.


There are lockers for those who want to lock up their stuff.  We opted to just carry ours.


But it's there if you need it!

I was really enjoying walking on the grass toward the first part of the park, which appeared to be an area geared toward children.  There was a cold little puddle to walk through, then a few other water related activities.  Only one of the activities appeared to get people wet.  I didn't try it because I didn't come prepared with a change of clothes.  And actually, after what happened on our walk, I would definitely recommend bringing something to change into, just in case.  ;-)





This water was frigid!  But it felt really good after we stepped out of it.

Probably my favorite part of the trail was the trampoline.  I could see it was very popular with others, too.  I watched several little kids gleefully bounce the length of it.  For once, I didn't let Bill discourage me from indulging my inner child.  I gave him my purse and hopped across.  Then I goaded Bill into it.  


We were both smiling after bouncing on the trampoline!

We encountered many different walking surfaces.  There were rocks, sand pits, wooden beams, and even a couple of glass beds.  We encountered a rope bridge, a pinecone pit, and a surface comprised of nail heads.  Although I did see some glass shards on the trail, the glass wasn't sharp and didn't cut my feet.  The rocks, on the other hand, were a little painful, even for someone like me, who isn't a tenderfoot.  You always have the option of walking around or skipping an activity you don't want to do.


Here's a video of us... the last part is pretty much why I recommend bringing at least a towel and perhaps even a spare pair of shorts!


After we walked through the mud, we stopped by this bed of straw...  it kind of helped get the mud off, but you're going to have to rinse off at the end!  A bunch of German ladies laughed at me as I tried to shake off the very sticky mud.



Some people wiped off on the tree.


Pinecones.


Bill helped me across these logs, due to my honkin' big purse full of shoes and stuff...



Rope bridge!



Nail heads!


Glass!

Rocks (these were the most painful for me).


Those who have upper body strength can make like a monkey and swing on the bars!


All through the park, there are cool wood carvings.  I saw totem poles, an owl, and the gnome above.  


At the end of our walk, it was definitely time to rinse off...  


And beer...


What's the wurst that could happen?


Well deserved suds!

All told, this was a very cheap activity.  We spent a total of about twenty euros including the two euro donation (on your honor), parking, and wursts and beers.  The snack bar has ice cream and other beverages.  I'm thinking this would be the perfect place for our next Vents BBQ.  :D  As long as it's not too cold, anyway.  

We had a great time at the BarfussPark and I'd love to go again.  Bill and I were both grinning ear to ear at the end of it and the walk was just long enough to get our juices going.  Next time, we'll bring another pair of pants in case of a fall.  At the very least, don't forget to bring a towel!  I would say I enjoyed this activity even more than the famed "Tree Walk", which we did last year.  The Tree Walk is also a lot of fun, but I think you get more bang for your buck at the BarfussPark.  


My feet handled all of this very well!




Helpful facilities for those who can't wait for the WC...  I always get a kick of the illustrations on these portapotties...  Pretty much the universal sign of people who need to pee!


Bees!













If you want to grill, there are facilities.  We saw one group enjoying a picnic lunch at a nice table out in the woods.



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