Diemelsee-Adorf (51.366116 | 8.793568)


Peculiar deciduous forest on a slate mine abandoned over 300 years ago.

Two men stood on a rock face, the skeleton of a cow at their feet, talking about their lives as good-for-nothings. Are about the same age. The two had met only an hour ago. Now they wondered how they had come up with this topic. They actually just wanted to visit the slate quarry near Adorf. But obviously the place was not only interesting from a geological point of view. It gave them some unusual ideas. The men realized that their two fathers had not thought much of their sons. They were called good-for-nothings. One of them learned various trades and later made a career in business. He said, "I didn't realize until I was older that it was always about sticking it to my father." The other became a journalist, he too discovered late that his father was always breathing down his neck when he wrote; he raked in honors for his reportage - to the point of total exhaustion.

I relate this episode because it shows that places of the soul can inspire unusual thoughts and conversations. In this case, was it the unusual growth of the trees around that made us think of such existential themes? The branches of the surrounding spruces have turned light brown after the last hot and dry summers. Because they form only shallow roots, they cannot reach deeper, moist soil layers during dry periods. They die of thirst. A species on the dying branch. This tree species was never actually native to the Sauerland. It was planted in the hope of making a quick buck. Now it turns out that one had thought too short.

Weiße Knochen auf dem Waldboden

Even the pines, used to drought and thirst, are visibly suffering. They claw their way into the southern slope at the edge of the slate quarry. Crippled, crouched, twisted. Each year of hardship has dealt them a blow, and they duck and writhe like a child being beaten. But they hold their own in this extreme location, which is dust-dry and high winds test their tenacity. True survivors. You might get the idea that they have something to prove to someone. Look here, nothing with nothing, I hold out!

I enter the ditch, the actual shale pit. A few years ago, a cow must have crashed. White bones lie scattered at the foot of the rock face, the skull is already covered with a fine layer of green moss. How short the lives of cows, humans and spruce trees are compared to geological time spans! The gray-brown, very tough rock we are looking at testifies to the long breath of the earth's history. Flint shale, which has its origin in the ocean that existed here eons ago. Corals built underground mountains with their limestone skeletons over many centuries: Reefs, the largest structures on Earth created by living things. 380 million years ago, the water warmed, the corals died en masse, and the reef disintegrated. Its limestone layers were compressed under great pressure and caked in the fire of volcanic eruptions.


In the Middle Ages, this slate was mined. But the slates were thick and heavy, and only in times of need were house roofs covered with them. Around the year 1600 the mine was abandoned.

Before I go, I would like to visit a soul mate. He has been living at the slate quarry for 200 years. No wimp, this hornbeam. And it is not a beech either, but a member of the birch family. Its bark has developed a net-like surface, as if it were woven from thick, greenish ropes. The two main trunks branch out many times. What at first glance seems stubborn and vital is actually a survival strategy. The tree has been repeatedly nibbled by sheep and has had to grow new branches in order to be able to reach out to the life-giving sunlight. Another one of those that, contrary to expectations, has turned into something after all. I have to laugh - dissolved, liberated. A good place to meet the old constraints of proof with humor.

Author: Michael Gleich

A good place to meet the old constraints of proof with humor.

Michael Gleich

You can reach the Schieferkuhle best from:

Start: Hiking parking lot village center Adorf

Follow the signs Diemelsteig

For further information please contact the Tourist-Information Diemelsee: Tel: 05633-91133, E-Mail: info@diemelsee.de

Seelenort Adorfer Klippen
Soul place hike at Diemelsee: Adorfer Klippen - The inner child
Difficulty: Medium | Distance: 5.9km | Duration: 1:35h | Ascent: 203m | Descent: 203m
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