The first thing folks will ask you to do when you get to Freisen in the Saarland is to take your shoes off. Take your shoes off? Walk around barefoot? Oh, yes, that might ruin your pedicure.
You see, that’s the whole point of the Freisen Barefoot Path. So, off come the shoes and for over a kilometer and a half you slosh around the mud, feel sand between the toes, and let cool water make you realize you are getting another pedicure.
The Barefoot Path is open daily from early May to October — and this pedicure is free of charge.
After invigorating your feet, go out to conquer (I mean sightsee) Freisen. The Nature Reserve is a good start with its meadows and forests (with shoes).
Shoes are also required to hike Freisen’s trails, do the Nordic Walking paths, go horseback riding, and to play tennis. You CAN take your shoes off once again to go swimming, though.
Freisen isn’t all about what you can do outside — it’s also about what’s inside your head. There is the Mineral Museum with all sorts of gems and even petrified wood. It’s open the first Sunday of the month and admission is free.
Not too far away is the Mineralogical Museum in Oberkirchen with more than a thousand pieces of crystals, quartz, topaz, and even aquamarines.
What’s with the obsession with rocks and gems? I’m not sure exactly — maybe it started when someone realized the area of Freisen was created from volcanic rock?
Your kids might not like the gem museums. Chances are though they’ll love the Tierpark Freisen. It’s home to one of the most endangered bird species and has free-roaming animals. All the better for them to eat right out of your hand.
FYI, those will be the “farm animals” because the wild boars certainly aren’t gonna do it. And I don’t think I would take my shoes off here, would you? ;-)