Along the victory

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Along the victory

Along the victory
Really victorious

The days are getting shorter, the weather is getting worse. It is important to use an intermediate high and do really well again. A tour along the Sieg, from Bonn to Siegerland, combines fun on the bends with autumn enjoyment

Joachim Deleker


beginning of November. After weeks of rain and permanent gray in gray, the sun is finally smiling again. So it’s high time to get the Dominator out of the shed again. Maybe the last trip of the year? The thought is frustrating, but the weather is electrifying. The only question is where to go? As a Cologne resident, I will briefly go through the surrounding possibilities. The first snow is already in the Eifel, but further to the south-east it is certainly still colorful in autumn. So why not follow the victory from the mouth to the source. Thought and done. Quickly strap on the tank bag, dig out the thick gloves and the thermal lining, and off you go. The frosty air of the early morning bites your face. The sun is still powerless, and the white glistening layer of hoarfrost on the meadows along the Rhine has a chance to survive. But not for long. Clouds of mist waft over the broad river, hiding the inconspicuous estuary of the Sieg. On its way from Siegerland to the Rhine Valley, it only covered 130 kilometers. At first it is not easy to follow it, the roads take a different route. Which is not bad, because the wide valley is not very exciting at first. Musty smells waft from the brown river, behind the barrages white strips of foam drift across the water. In addition, the many places are hardly fun to drive, so get out of the valley and look for the more interesting side streets. Immediately behind Werfen I find a particularly successful specimen, curve uphill through dense forests and reach the foothills of the Westerwald near Weyerbusch. It lives up to its rough and windy reputation. Get out of here. I forget the map in the tank bag and instead try to get back to the Siegtal via the shortest possible routes. Only now and then do I come across a car. The tiny villages such as Olsen, Kratzhahn or Kraam lie deserted in the morning sun. Winter is already here, and in Au back in the Siegtal it is definitely more lively. Here, too, the road soon leaves the river again and takes an extremely attractive detour over the hills to Wissen in long and fast bends. Then it gets really idyllic. The river is at most half as wide and winds in many loops through the narrow valley. There isn’t even enough space here for villages that could spoil the driving pleasure. But the pleasure does not last long, because the suburbs of Siegen are already spreading along the river. Heavy traffic and annoying construction sites accompany me through the big city. Nothing is like before after Siegen. The Sieg is shrinking to a brook, hills are turning into mountains, villages are becoming rarer and the streets are narrower and more humped. It is not far to the source. The damp autumn forest gives off the typical spicy smell that only exists a few weeks a year. Wet leaves steam in the warm midday sun. A squirrel is frantically jumping through the forest, probably looking for beechnuts and pine cones for the long winter. I’m almost alone on the bumpy road. The studded tires claw into the rough asphalt, the Honda swings from curve to curve. Leaves trickle from the beeches and oaks, cover the street with a soft yellow-red carpet and swirl wonderfully in the rearview mirror. The route climbs steadily and the traces of autumn disappear with every gain in altitude. At the 610 meter high Lahnhof, the photogenic season is already over, the deciduous trees stretch their bare branches into the deep blue sky. A few kilometers further on I have reached the source of victory. A tired jet of clear water trickles out of a bricked gray wall and seeps under the leaves after just a few meters. The Sieg is certainly not one of the top ten European watercourses, but there is one thing that connects it with them: their downright measly beginning. Great narrow roads wind through the dense forests around the headwaters of Sieg, Lahn and Eder. In summer it is a great area for turning, but at the beginning of November, when the shady paths and leaves are barely drying, it is more of an uncomfortable slippery affair. I prefer to drive the stew back down into the valley. The Sieg is already squeezed into the narrow corset of artificial banks and small barrages here, just a few kilometers after its birth. No trace of the wild, exuberant power of a young mountain stream. The road also adapts to the urban constraints of Kreuztal and Siegen. Fortunately, it is not far to Freudenberg, probably the most beautiful place in the Siegerland. The old core consists exclusively of black and white half-timbered houses. Although they almost all look the same, they combine to form a perfect ensemble. In 1666 a fire devoured the entire old town, which was then gradually rebuilt in a uniform style. In some houses, restaurants tempt you to take a long overdue lunch break. But I can’t stand it for long in the four walls. November days are short, and the Dominator, waiting in the warm afternoon light, seems to be getting nervous. Or is it me? Anyway, the main thing is to drive a few more hours. On the map I discover a yellow road that – decorated with a green stripe – meanders over 50 kilometers to Friesenhagen, Wildbergerhutte and Morsbach to Wissen. Tempting. Reality delivers what the card promises. Curve follows curve, I let the Honda fly, I get euphoric. The stew shows again what it can do. Does he suspect that winter is just around the corner? Victory has me back far too quickly. But not for long, because I’ve already discovered a few of the little wonder wonders that connect the Siegtal valley with the Bergisches Land via the Nutscheid ridge. So set your indicators, get out of the valley and into the fun. It’s long been dark when I push the Honda back into the shed. Was that really the last day of the season? Does not matter. It was just fine.


The valley of victory becomes all the more beautiful the closer you get to the source. But it’s really fun on the numerous side roads that wind from the valley into the surrounding hills.

ARRIVAL Regardless of whether you are coming from the north or the south, the easiest way to get to Sieg is either via the A3 at the confluence on the Rhine near Bonn or via the A45 at the source in Siegerland. In addition, numerous federal and country roads lead into the Siegtal. Accommodation options are available from campsites to luxury hotels. The range is huge, especially in the greater Bonn / Siegburg and Siegen areas. But it is much nicer in small pensions along the Sieg or in one of the cozy villages of the Siegerland. Information from the tourist offices or from the free booking service on 0271/3331022. The old town of Freudenberg, the moated castle Hainchen, the still active coal piles in Walpersdorf (info at 02738/603111), the headwaters of Sieg, Lahn and Eder, the moated castle Crottorf near Friesenhagen and the 12th century castle ruins in Windeck. INFORMATION The tourist information offices send out brochures and have lists of hotels and guest houses. There are information offices in Siegen, phone 0271/404 1316, Eitorf, phone 02243/890, Siegburg, phone 02241/9698 530 and Hennef, phone 02242/19433. Extensive information and links to almost all places in the valley can be found on the Internet at LITERATURE A chapter is usually devoted to victory in travel guides about the Bergisches Land or Sauerland. The Highlights Verlag is the motorcycle travel guide ?? Bergisches Land ?? appeared where many of the routes described in the story are featured. The little book costs 19.80 marks. The general map sheet 10, which covers the entire Siegtal valley, is ideal. MEETING POINT Windeck-Dattenfeld is home to the most famous motorcycle meeting point in the region: Bikers Rast. All hell breaks loose here on beautiful summer Sundays, but in November you can enjoy coffee and cake in small groups. Kilometers driven: around 400; Time required: 1 to 2 days

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