Thursday, 19 July 2012

The Heysen Trail, a picnic and the German Arms Hotel, Hahndorf

The other week my eating and walking companion, Alan and I ate and walked our way around Hahndorf. We arrived in Hahndorf and headed off on the Heysen Trail to Bridgewater. It was through this walk that we would earn ourselves a German feast for tea. The 1,200km Heysen Trail stretches from the coast at Cape Jervis in the south to the Flinders Ranges in the north. It passes through some very picturesque areas including native bushland, gorges, pine forests, vineyards and historic towns. The entire trail would take between 50 and 60 days to complete. The Friends of the Heysen Trail group offer a walking program in which you can complete the whole walk over a series of sixty walks over six years.

The section of the trail Alan and I completed was around 20km in length. The recommended fitness level was 'high degree of physical fittness'. We completed the walk, not in the recommended five to six hours, but in three and a half. Are you impressed?

No walk is complete without a hearty picnic:) We first ventured to the Adelaide Central Market to pick up some supplies.

Tasting cheeses at the Smelly Cheese Shop

Purchasing meats at Seven Hill Fine Food

If you are a local, you may have heard that the owners of Seven Hill Fine Food, Elizabeth and Waldemar have retired. I was sad to hear this, thinking the shop would close down completely. The couple had been running the characteristic store which sold Polish, German, Dutch and Scandinavian foods since 1983 and had built up a strong customer base. Fortunately, the new owners (who make San Jose small goods) will continue to stock the most popular product lines which were offered by Elizabeth and Waldemar. I do not think they will sell that tasty Sauerkraut though:(

Mmmmm proper meat - we purchased some tasty Kassler Schinken and some smoked Dutch beef 

Supplies in the backpack, tea in the amazing German thermos which keeps water warm FOREVER, cucumbers in a plastic container and ear warmer over my ears, we drove to Hahndorf.

In Hahndorf, I referred to my hand drawn, not to scale map which would show us the way to Bridgewater. Alan then pulled out his phone and made fun of my map!

In Sydney, where Alan lives, they use a futuristic method of navigation known as GPS on phone. In Adelaide...well, I just draw on a piece of scrap paper with pencils

And we walked...

Hello sweet cows:)

Lunch time! But where? We were hoping we would pass a picnic table, but this never happened. We did however, find a Telstra thing on the side of a road....

I am sure this Telstra thing was put here for walkers, so they can sit on it while taking a break

Please note, Telstra things are very hard as they are made of cement. I sat on my jacket but was in pain when I got up after the break.

Oooo picnic:)

For picnic consisted of: sliced cucumber, sliced tomato, avocado, Kassler ham, Dutch smoked beef and a beautiful creamy French sheep cheese, Ossau-Irtay. This type of cheese is still made in the old way and the happy sheep graze in mountain pastures Oooooo:)

After lunch we walked back to Hahndorf. We noticed, upon getting up off the Telstra thing, a big Rottweiler about 50 metres from us, just staring at us...and staring. We quickly walked away! We think it must have smelled the sliced meats and then planned to ROB US! I am so scared of dogs, especially mean looking ones like this one. We have no idea where it came from!

Alan had never crossed a rail way line before and was so amazed when doing so (the trail actually crosses this rail way line, we weren't playing on it for fun in case you were wondering if we're idiots:))

There were some pretty flowers on the way back including jonquils and violets:) I like jonquils:) Arriving in Hahndorf, having completed the long walk, we walked some more. We walked in and out of chocolate and sweet shops and bought chocolates and sweets:)

We then decided it was time for some tea, as in evening meal.

The Hahndorf Inn

Unfortunately all tables at the Hahndorf Inn were reserved for the night. So, up the street we went to the German Arms Hotel.

The German Arms Hotel

It was pretty quiet at the German Arms Hotel, as it was still very early. I like to eat my tea early though as it allows me suitable time for digestion. If you get your digestion wrong, well, it can have bad consequences. The girl who served us was very young and must have still been at school. I think she did a great job as our waitress as she was friendly, cheerful and acted in a very professional manner:)

 Alan's Bavarian Mixed Grill (Kassler chop, Leberkaese, venison Bratwurst, red cabbage, Rhine potatoes and Beerenberg Bavarian mustard) $25.90. Some German beer, $11.00

Alan enjoyed his meal so much. He was so happy, pretending to be German and saying the new word I had taught him, 'genau', which means 'exactly'. He even ordered a German beer which was served in a German beer drinking glass called a Stein. Alan is so crazy; $11.00 for a beer! WHAAA. Ok, they had to ship it from Germany blah blah blah. Alan expected the Leberkaese to taste like Spam and to be very salty, but it was nothing like this. I however thought the Leberkaese looked more like a ham steak and not leberkaese...Meh, doesn't matter as it tasted good.

Sauerbrauten (German pot roast) with some sort of tomato-ey relish, Sauerkraut and Rhine potatoes, $18.50

This was hearty and tasty. The roast was soft, much nicer than a pork roast I had at a work lunch previously in the week. The potatoes. Wow. How do they make these potatoes? I know they contained potato and mustard...cream? I don't know ahhhh! They were so good! I ATE THEM ALLL:)

A side of Sauerkraut, $3.50

The Sauerkraut wasn't the best I have tasted but I still enjoyed it:) If you're after some nice Sauerkraut to cook at home, you can buy it from Barossa Valley Fine Foods. It is real Sauerkraut; after you have eaten it, you'll know what I mean :P


Umm...ok:) All the desserts are only $7.90! :)

Hot apple Strudel with cream chantilly and ice cream, $7.90

The apple Strudel was above our expectations. The apples were soft and warm and the pastry was soft yet a little flaky. Then you mix the warm apple Strudel with the cold cream and ice cream. Classic combination!

Re-living my childhood and my childhood obesity; Arms super sundae with chocolate topping, crushed nuts and Smarties, $7.90

Remember chocolate topping? I do! I used to have it all the time with ice cream each night and that was probably why I was fat:( Anyway, this brought back good memories and not fat memories. The only thing I did not like were the Smarties. The cold ice cream had somehow frozen them and they were very hard.

After the ice cream, I was SO COLD BRRRRRR:(

In conclusion, the day in Hahndorf was lots of fun. Although we had a hearty tea with a sugary dessert, we had burnt a lot of energy, absorbed vitamin D, used our muscles, inhale fresh air, gotten scared by a big scary killer looking dog and walked and walked and walked like my heroes, the cave men.

Where would we be today, if cave men didn't exist? No where, that's where. If it wasn't for cave men, you wouldn't have the Flinstones. Alan wouldn't even have his fancy pants phone! And, all your favourites such as SPAM and fairy bread would never have been invented. So next time you're out and about, say thank you to your ancestors, the cave men.

German Arms Hotel
Where: 69 Main Street, Hahndorf SA
When: Cannot find on website
Other: There is a really nice wood fire in the restaurant:)
Website <-Click

German Arms Hotel on Urbanspoon

*All dining/product reviews are based on my experience at the time of dining/consumption. 


  1. Cheese, picnic and followed by hearty German food! so much fun eating

    1. Hehe until you get to the Ahhh I am too full part!

  2. I am totally impressed. :) Nice picnic and dinner - hearty German food rocks.

    And - thanks cavemen!

    1. It is great to see you appreciate the cave men:)

  3. I think after such a long walk an ice cream sundae topped with smarties is totally legitimate. And your picnic lunch looks lovely even though you were minus a picnic table. So glad that menacing looking dog left you alone! xx

    1. Oh me too. I would like to know where that dog came from! I am so scared of them that if it came closer to us I probably would have cried.