Cycling Autumn: Beauty at My Doorstep

by Piotr Buraczewski October. 13, 2021 407 views

Autumn pampers us with long sunny days. Summer holiday period is over, hotels and resorts are blissfully quiet. Now is the time to get on a bicycle and discover beautiful spots just outside my doorstep. I start in Düsseldorf with an early morning coffee and a raisin bun. My bicycle will take me along the valleys of the Rivers Rhine, Moselle and Saar. Off we go.

THE LOWER RHINE VALLEY stretches between the city of Bonn and the North Sea. Although highly industrialised, the area offers beautiful natural reserves and idyllic countryside. Head south if you are a fan of wine tasting. The Romans introduced viticulture about two thousand years ago here. Noblesse oblige: today, Germany is the eighth-largest wine-producing country in the world.

EUSKIRCHEN is a small town and gateway to the Eifel, a mountain range that offers stunning landscapes, dense forests, countless multiday treks and bird watching opportunities. The town itself hosts quite a number of interesting creatures such as this blue Amazonian ara that you can sometimes meet in front of MacDonalds at the railway station.

TRIER is the oldest town in Germany. The catacombs of its imposing cathedral have been a burial place of Catholic bishops for almost two millenniae. You can touch their tombstones and listen to the amazing church organ either during the Holy Mass or at occasional concerts that take place at weekends here. The River Moselle and its vineyards are ten minutes away from Porta Nigra, a large city gate built by the Romans. Its image adorns special edition of the two-euro coin.

After a heavy dose of European cultural heritage, it is time to enjoy the sun, picturesque towns and an occasional cup of coffee along dozens of well kept cycling tracks. If you have enough stamina, they can take you as far as the Mediterranean. Meanwhile, we enter Saarland, the smallest German state, apart from the city-states of Berlin, Bremen and Hamburg.

VILLEROY AND BOCH have their headquarters in a little town of Mettlach where people come to buy their world famous tableware and tiles. I am sure negotiating adjacent hills with a fine china crockery set on rear bicycle carrier is not a good idea. Here, I'd better go on a splurge at the Saareck Castle, a fine guest house and a former seat of von Boch family.

SAARLAND is where Germany mingles with France and the other way around. Once Celtic, once Roman, once French, then Prussian and then French again, the area was re-united with Germany in 1957. Start you day with a baguette for breakfast followed by wurst and potato salad at lunchtime. Visit the fortifications of the town of Saarlouis, named after King Louis XIV of France. Or just enjoy the arcadian bicycle ride along the River Saar.

VÖLKLINGEN is a small town with a big UNESCO World Heritage Site: the famous ironworks. The first smelter began producing metal from iron ore in 1883 here and the plant was operational until 1986. An industrial maze was turned into an open air museum with excellent exhibition and interactive science centre. It is an important anchor point on the European Route of Industrial Heritage (ERIH).

The iconic RIVER SAAR LOOP attracts quite some cyclists. You can effortlessly drive to the top of the mountain in you car. However, it is the sweat and having to carry the bicycle on your back along parts of the path that make the views even more breathtaking and the sunset - even more romantic. Yes, Germany and the Germans can be romantic but, as for a task-oriented nation, it is time to head straight for the French border. A bientôt!

Here are the maps of the first part of my bicycle trip:

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There are 12 comments , add yours!
David Cardona an hour ago

Wonderful selection! Thanks a lot for sharing and keep creating!

an hour ago Edited
John Durham 4 days, 9 hours ago

Excellent - thanks for the tour!

4 days, 9 hours ago Edited
Piotr Buraczewski Replied to John Durham 3 days, 14 hours ago

My pleasure, John. More to come. I crossed the German border and spent a couple of days in Le Grand Est. Will post pictures soon.

3 days, 14 hours ago Edited
Antonio Gil 4 days, 12 hours ago

Once, many years ago, I played Handball in Saarbrucken against their local team. Love the pictures

4 days, 12 hours ago Edited
Piotr Buraczewski Replied to Antonio Gil 3 days, 14 hours ago

Thanks Antonio,

I only stopped for one night at the hotel in Saarbrücken. We use the town mainly to jump over the French border :)

3 days, 14 hours ago Edited
Thomas Thompson 4 days, 12 hours ago

Wonderful captures love them all they were very unique

4 days, 12 hours ago Edited
Piotr Buraczewski Replied to Thomas Thompson 3 days, 10 hours ago

Thank you Jovi, thank you Tom. The area I live in is fascinating, diverse, with rich cultural heritage and traditions. May sound weird but it is the pandemic and its limitations related to travel that helped me appreciate the world at my doorstep.

3 days, 10 hours ago Edited
Nancy Andrea D 4 days, 12 hours ago

Great shots and thanks for the share, Piotr!

4 days, 12 hours ago Edited
Piotr Buraczewski Replied to Nancy Andrea D 3 days, 10 hours ago

Thank you, Nancy I am always happy to post on Photoblog (when it is functional).

3 days, 10 hours ago Edited
Camellia Staab 4 days, 13 hours ago

Loved the tour! How many kilometers a day did you peddle?

4 days, 13 hours ago Edited
Piotr Buraczewski Replied to Camellia Staab 4 days, 12 hours ago

Hi Camellia, about 100 km per day. In general, this was too much, 60-70 would suffice. It was more like checking if In can still do it. I can and my record was 140 km in one go but, as I said, more to come at a slower pace.

4 days, 12 hours ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Piotr Buraczewski 4 days, 1 hour ago

Bravo!!

4 days, 1 hour ago Edited
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