German is a funny language if not so much fun to learn. While some things can be infuriating, other things are so simple in their logic they’re hard to not like. Compound nouns can be daunting when too long but others are so perfect, you wonder why they aren’t used in English. Mittagstisch is one. The middle of the day meal and meals are served on a table, right? Tisch is one word that has taken over from the English for me. I guess months of the Rossetta Stone with cats jumping off or lying on one seeped in. I couldn’t get this out of my head when doing a hike called the Teufelstisch recently. The Devil’s Table had eluded me for a couple years. Home to the Fünf Seidla Steig®, it’s an area I work regularly but as is often the case, when you’re working you don’t have time to explore.
(Fünf-Seidla-Steig® is a registered trademark of the breweries Elchbräu, Brauerei Hofmann, Lindenbräu, Brauerei Friedmann and Klosterbrauerei Weißenohe)
the Devil’s Table
A Seidla is Franconian for a mug with a handle and since there are five brewpubs in this area, you’re supposed to drink one in each. I tend to drink the same ones when working but a Tempest in a Tankard, a friend from the US who’d been there last summer waxed poetically about their Echarius Märzen and I hadn’t drunk that beer since my very first trip into the area. I decided to do a quick mid-week trip up and see what all the fuss was about, Teufel- and Märzen-wise.
a pre-hike meal and Märzen
Ideally, I’d have been able to do the hike before going to the Klosterbrauerei Wirtshaus but with a three-hour journey and an after 9:00 am restriction on a reduced-price ticket, I arrived right at lunch. I tucked into a great Schweinebraten and their Märzen like there was no tomorrow. Well, like there was no forthcoming hike anyway. I thought about just hanging out there and trying all their beers but I knew that would be the sign of someone with a problem or at least someone with an angry wife. I pried myself away and hit the hills only to find the temperature had risen in the hour I’d spent inside. If that Biergarten had been open, I’d have headed back and claimed sun-induced temporary insanity.
some new for me views of a familiar sight
The initial part was exposed and hot but provided some very nice and quite different views of the monastery. I’m generally above it from the other side so I enjoyed this. It also passed some hop fields I hadn’t known about. Still, I was happy to leave all that behind and enter the lush forest in search of the Devil’s Table.
made in the shade
The route partially followed Jakobsweg, better known to English speakers as the Way of St. James. It’s always a good sign as it’s well-posted though a route to the Devil on this trail did seem a bit incongruous. I did a side trail to the Finger which involved a bit of a drop and obviously a climb back up. You can decide from the photo if it’s worth your time and effort.
I’ll have to admit, the initial view of the “famed” rock formation was a bit disappointing but it was a cool little spot and of course there were other rock formations that the Devil might need like the Devil’s Kitchen. Hey, how’s a devil supposed to eat?
great route back with lots of motivational sights
The walk back was quick and steeply downhill. I was glad I’d foregone this hill on the way up and did the route in the opposite of what I’d planned. It made for great views of the monastery en route and there is little more motivation to the beerwanderer than beer itself. In this part of the world, monasteries and beer are synonymous.
a beery reward after the hike
I sadly walked by the closed Biergarten but happily back into the pub. I didn’t have a lot of time before my train but I did have enough for a couple little beers. I found out there’s more than one trail in the area and a lot more than five beers on that Devil’s table too. I won’t let that happen again and I hope you won’t let this area go uncharted much longer.