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Along the Lahn
Along the Lahn
Seize the opportunity
The last round of the year can also be the most beautiful. Because all the senses are on the receiving end, every thrust of the gas causes the famous tingling sensation in the stomach and every curve is twice as much fun.
For years, we, like many other bikers, have had a tradition of taking the last ride of the season with friends at the end of October. But this time the autumn endgame seems to fall into the water. It is pouring like buckets, the storm bends the trees and swirls colorful leaves from the branches.
We really don’t have to give ourselves that. Warm shower? Wimps? Regardless, the engines stay cold. Instead, the furnace is fired up and Doppelkopf is started as an alternative program. Also exciting, but strictly speaking only a weak substitute for the missed lean angle changes.
The autumn storm takes the route of all storms, loses its power after a few days, and punctually for the first weekend in November, the weather report promises perfect conditions for the final lap: cloudless and warm up to 15 degrees. It’s just a shame that our season license plate-handicapped friends have to pass. Only Birgit and I are left.
Saturday morning, the weatherman wasn’t lying. The Ducati is just around the corner and is already catching the first rays of sunshine. Reluctantly rumbling, the fat V2 takes up its work, needs a few turns until the cold is shaken from the bearings and pistons. He had probably not expected to run out, mentally prepared for hibernation. So let’s take it easy, roll through Cologne and set course for Siegen.
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Along the Lahn
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Street with tradition: Arch bridge in Runkel
When we left the autobahn there, the sun was already warming the black leather pants, and the oil temperature of the Multistrada had also settled in the comfort zone. But happy too soon. The narrow, bumpy road up to the source of the Lahn is hidden in the dense spruce forest, which swallows the sun’s rays. Hoar frost glistens on the brown grass by the roadside, and upstairs, at the 610-meter-high spring, autumn seems to have long since passed. Not a single leaf is hanging on the trees, it smells of winter. A scanty little water runs from the circular spring pool, splashes over a hand-width stone staircase and immediately seeps into the grass. How unspectacular. However, even the most famous rivers start out similarly harmless.
Only a few kilometers further, the rivers Sieg and Eder, but their sources are not very sensational either. The many small streets that meander through the southern foothills of the Rothaargebirge are much nicer. In summer a paradise for curve addicts, but now it’s too cold for us and the dark, glistening tar is very suspect. Is it frozen over or just wet? Not in the mood for this gamble game. Rappel a little deeper, to lower-risk heights. In addition, we want to follow the Lahn from the source to the mouth. We start looking for the place where the little one leaves her meadow.
Along the Lahn (information)
Everyone knows the Rhine. But its tributary Lahn? On a discovery tour between medieval towns and the finest streets.
The entrance to the Lahn spring is east of Siegen, which can be reached from the north and south via the A 45, and from the west via the A 4.
In the mountain ranges of the Rothaargebirge around the Lahn spring, autumn often begins as early as mid-October. On the lower reaches and the Rhine, on the other hand, it can take almost three weeks longer for the forests to reach the height of their play of colors. The most colorful days there usually fall in the first week of November.
From a simple campsite for seven euros to a five-star hotel, everything is available. By far the largest offer are private pensions and inns. Outside the high season, the spontaneous search for a room is not a problem. Reservations are only recommended in midsummer or on long weekends such as Easter and Whitsun. Almost every place along the Lahn has its own tourist office that provides information.
The source of the Lahn is just as much a part of this tour as its confluence with the Rhine ?? even if the two spots are a bit inconspicuous. The bagpipe is more noticeable, at 674 meters the highest mountain on this river trip. The most beautiful part of the Lahn begins west of Wetzlar. The old towns of Marburg and Wetzlar are worth a visit, but the medieval towns of Braunfels, Runkel and Weilburg with its ship tunnel are more spectacular. Fans of castles and palaces will get their money’s worth in the mighty Schaumburg and the fairytale castle Stolzenfels.
There are no special Lahn travel guides for motorcyclists. Almost all books are tailored for bike or canoe tours. We had Elisabeth Regge’s »Das neue Lahnbuch« in our tank bag, which provides good information. However, there is a lack of practical tips, for example about overnight stays, information offices or driving routes. The two large sheets 4 and 5 of the Mairs general map on a scale of 1: 200000 are suitable for orientation.
Along the Lahn (2)
Driving and taking a break in autumn: a feast for the senses.
Not that easy to find the brook. Somehow nobody seems to like him. The centers of the villages are turned away, far from the shore, where hardware stores, car dealerships and recycling companies thrive instead. Before the Lahn frustration arises, Birgit luckily discovers the bagpipe, at 674 meters, the highest mountain along the river, the Lahn-Mount Everest, so to speak. Unlike the giant of the Himalayas, a road leads to the bagpipe. One to zero for the whistle. 15 turns and 20 minutes later we park the Multistrada on the mountain. No one far and wide. Clear sky, calm and finally really warm. Splendid. The view is limitless, in all directions the colorful mountains of the Sauerland roll up to the horizon. The Ducati’s two-valve engine crackles quietly, seems to be waiting for more. He can have it. Not in the Lahn valley, however, because the one with heavy traffic
B 62 does not promise much driving pleasure. We fingered possible alternative routes on the map. Caldern ?? Dagobertshausen ?? Elnhausen ?? Haddamshausen? Friedbertshausen. That
Ciao bagpipe. The selected route proves to be a direct hit. Small streets, almost no traffic, different curve radii. Picturesque half-timbered houses and hardly any forest that can steal the sun from us. The warm autumn light gently modulates the undulating landscape, giving it three-dimensional contours. Actually much nicer than the bright summer sun. A row of bright yellow birches sweeps past, we briefly dive into the deep orange of a beech grove, then the blue sky arches over us again. Autumn from its most beautiful side. Wide permanent grin behind the visor. Motorcycling in November ?? a feast for the senses, more intense than any summer trip. It could be the last tour of the year after all. This awareness deepens the emotions, every curve feels twice as good, and every thrust of the gas creates a tingling sensation in the stomach.
Map: Renate Maucher
Time required: two days, route length: 400 kilometers.
It’s just a shame that it gets dark so early. Time change last weekend, completely forgotten. So in the pitch black we look for accommodation that we can finally find before Gieben. Over night, thick fog forms in the valley, which completely swallowed the river by morning. Cold, damp and nasty. Good reasons to extend breakfast. After the third coffee, however, the impatience simmers more than the discomfort before the foggy, cold flight blind. In addition, in autumn often only the valleys are clouded, while the sun is shining up in the mountains. Let’s go!
Between Marburg, Gieben and Wetzlar, there isn’t too much to see along the Lahn, even without a gray haze. Only then does the most beautiful part of the river journey follow. In Wetzlar we have had enough of dull poking around in the cold soup and look for a way out of the valley. At least the fog becomes a little lighter after a short time, changing its color from gray-blue to gray-yellow. A good sign. And suddenly we rustle in a blazing light. In front of us blue sky, behind us, as if cut off, the wall of smoke. Well, who said it? It takes us a while to process the overstimulation and feel the warmth. The wet jackets steam in the sun.
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