Van life with the family

Family Moser On-Tour

As a photographer and camera man, Aaron Moser has been on adventurous expeditions throughout the world. Now he has discovered the natural beauties of Thuringia in a camper van with his family.

On the move, always following the road that stretches out in front of us, sometimes in a straight line, sometimes full of curves. We drive at a leisurely pace past lush meadows with grazing cows, through dense forest or over extensive ridges with wonderful views. In this varied natural landscape, we want to relax as a little family, discover new things and have adventures. We are on the move in the Thuringian Forest Nature Park.

Elena, my partner, is sitting behind the wheel and driving the camper van up a steep road. “If I am driving, I can decide where we’re going,” she said when we set off in Hamburg, taking the keys from me. Our almost two-year-old son Emil has made himself comfortable in his booster seat and is having a nap. Our dog Kalle is lying right next to him, looking curiously out of the window. I am sitting in the front passenger seat, holding my mobile phone with a navigation app, which is showing us the way to our first destination: the Ebertswiese holiday park in Floh-Seligenthal.

(Image: Green as far as the eye can see: the young family enjoys time in nature).

When we arrive, the hostess Margreet comes up to us, beaming, and welcomes us with the words: “Welcome to the Thuringian Forest”. Together with her husband, she purchased the large property in 2019. Bit by bit, a new space for holidaymakers is emerging here. In addition to the holiday homes, there is also a large meadow where people can park camper vans. Is there a fixed space allocation? Not at all! “Park wherever you feel it is most beautiful,” says Margreet. There is undoubtedly more comfort in other places, but here we are in the midst of nature, surrounded by large trees, whilst the air is full of whirring dragonflies and butterflies. We like it! After just five minutes on foot, we reach the Ebertswiese mountain lake. The inviting bathing lake was once a quarry and is now a popular excursion destination for the whole family. For us, the temperature of more than 30 degrees means “Out of our clothes and into the water.”

We see out the evening in comfort in front of our camper van. On our Skotti grill, we fry sausages, corn on the cob and other treats, whilst our child and our dog go to sleep slightly exhausted, but happy. Our busy diary and the stress of our everyday life are already forgotten. We have arrived in the here and now. Wonderful.

The next day, we are up early and take a bike trip to the Falkenstein. The read leads through unspoilt nature and along the Schmalwasser dam. From the Brandfelsen, there is a fantastic view. “It is as if we were in the middle of the wilderness in Canada,” marvels Elena, and Emil points into the distance with shining eyes. Then we leave our bikes for a short time and take a walk through the “Röllchen” gorge. Under our boots is a springy floor of earth, leaves and moss.

Above us is the mighty canopy of leaves provided by the trees, through which the sun shimmers, whilst the babble of the Röllchen brook is our constant companion. Pure wild romance.
Finally, we reach the imposing Falkenstein. With a height of 96 metres, it is Thuringia’s highest free-standing climbing rock. The difficulty of the climbs ranges from level three to level ten. “But only people who have already gained experience on a mountain should climb here,” says Toni, the leader of the Tambach-Dietharz mountain rescue team. However, the Falkenstein is also worth a visit for “non-climbers”, as the mountain rescue hut, which is in an idyllic location, offers little snacks and drinks for visitors on certain weekends. And whilst Elena, Emil and Kalle make themselves comfortable in a meadow with a picnic, I put on my climbing harness and and climb up the rock with Toni and his colleague Philipp. The slow ascent requires my full concentration. I feel a kick of adrenaline as I hang over a deep bluff. But also pure joie de vivre when I reach the top. Thuringia really does offer real adventures.

(Image: Emil is left speechless: father & son enjoy the alpaca hike).

In the early evening, we fortify ourselves in the Wechmarer Hütte forest restaurant. There, the hearty “Thüringer Hüttenteller” gives us new energy. Emil samples the children’s menu. A lot of fresh air makes us hungry. For a few days after this, we relax and enjoy the peace in the Thuringian Forest before getting active again – to round off our holiday. At the Tambach-Dietharz outdoor event centre, we book a llama and alpaca walk. On a custom-tailored tour, we are on the move with the proprietor Ralf and three beautiful animals. Emil can’t stop marvelling at the sight of the llamas; sitting on my shoulders, he even sometimes holds the lead rope for the llama “Amadeo”. I have never seen the little man so proud. Elena and I are delighted. Then we continue, at the even walking pace of the animals – on foot, of course, whilst the landscape rolls past us like a film.



Well refreshed, we will drive back home tomorrow. Before that, we sit in front of the camper van until late into the night on our last evening, looking at the starry sky. We enjoy this special moment. At some point, Elena says thoughtfully: “I am curious to see how quickly the hectic pace of everyday life will catch up with us again.” With a laugh, I say: “Probably more quickly than we want it to!” One thing is certain, however: we will be left with a rucksack full of fantastic memories.

(Image: The starry sky is simply something special. It can be observed particularly well in the Rhön Star Park.)

Fotos & Story: Aaron Moser

Did you like this story?

kampagne_camping, draussgeglichen