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In the middle
Do you fancy the mountains? But the Alps too far? Then off to the Kassel mountains. Simply great routes, and that in the middle of Germany.
Franz Klose, Sabine Steinert
My buddy Thomas has long been raving about his homeland. He constantly talks about curves until they drop, of narrow streets that boldly follow all the boldness of the topography.
Presumably he has just lost himself in this lively ups and downs, because there is no trace of him at the agreed meeting point near Hannoversch-Munden. To do this, Sabine and I meet Larry, a truck driver who is sitting next to his truck at the morning vespers. We chat and I find out that the »Kassel Mountains« don’t actually exist. At least not on paper. A term from the vernacular is that which stands for the area between Hattenbacher Dreieck and Gottingen. “Uphill you crawl like a snail, downhill the brakes almost burn up. But I’m sure you’ll have a lot of fun with your bike here. ”I’ll check that out soon, because the 16-year-old Honda 750 – the one with the legendary and indestructible single-ohc engine – is unmistakably rolling onto the pitch. So the fun can start. Start the engine, bye Larry, up the country road and off in the direction of Witzenhausen. Then the swing from the B 80 to a small and winding road that leads over the heights of the Kaufunger forest. Dreamlike. Just like the detour up to Hanstein Castle, located east of the barbed wire until the turnaround and today perhaps the best place for far-reaching views over the Werra Valley. A few minutes later, Thomas guides us along a bold serpentine route towards Hoher Meibner. Uninhibited fun on the bends that ends in a rather steep road up to the Frau-Holle-Teich, the setting of the Grimm fairy tale of the same name. Once again it goes up a bit. Then we pass the summit plateau 750 meters above the level of the world’s oceans and plunge downhill towards Rotenburg an der Fulda. The right place to visit a cozy inn in the midst of rustic half-timbered houses. Anyone who comes here should definitely try “Ahler Worscht”: fresh farmer’s bread topped with a delicious Mettwurst, which is only served in Northern Hesse. After all, it drives us on. We drive like in a frenzy. Accelerating, braking, clutching and shifting, everything slips. Again, there are only side streets or small paths that Thomas takes us to the Richelsdorf Mountains. Wouldn’t we know better? we would be sure to see the North Sea around the next bend. Between the small towns of Iba and Sub, a new aroma suddenly caresses our noses. It smells of salty sea air. After all, the explanation for this cannot be ignored. An imposing mountain rises in front of us, shining white: Monte Kali ?? one of various huge salt dumps, all of which are higher than the natural elevations in the immediate vicinity. The whole thing is somehow reminiscent of the snow-capped Alps, and the ascent into the Knull Mountains starts shortly afterwards. We keep in the direction of Eisenberg. A great route that would easily be suitable for exciting mountain races. We just let it run, enjoy the lean angles, the constant acceleration and braking and the surprisingly mild airflow. It’s not over until late afternoon. We arrive at our hotel in Bad Wildungen just in time for sunset, and the next morning the foxes first make coffee. Does that mean that south of Kassel, thick clouds of vapor, including low-hanging clouds, annoy the sun? and U.S. A few thick drops are also involved. Breakfast drags on, but at some point the sky clears a little. We’re back on the road immediately. But soon Thomas hits the brakes again and stops at the Knusperhauschen in Reitzenhagen, which is well known among motorcyclists as a gourmet meeting place. Not least because landlord Rolf serves delicious choux pastries that are reminiscent of oversized cream puffs. Goodbye to any existing diet plans. Meanwhile the sun is smiling again. Are we cautiously cornering through the cellar forest? the streets are still wet and in many places there are still leaves from last autumn. The thoughts have time to remember earlier fairy tale hours. Because this is where the Wildung beauty Snow White is said to have lived with the seven dwarfs. But that is probably only of marginal interest to motorcyclists. Rather, we are drawn to the Eder reservoir, the motorcycle meeting point in this region, where up to 200 bikers meet in a parking lot on good days – unless they are on the serpentine route up to Waldeck Castle. There is the best view over the reservoir from a bird’s eye view, the shape of which with a little imagination reminds you of an octopus. Meanwhile, our North Hesse tour is on its last stage. We jet towards Fritzlar, enjoy one of the most beautiful old towns in Hesse and let us drift back to Hannoversch-Munden in the Fulda valley. There Thomas says goodbye to us, turns the gas once more and disappears on his home route. We won’t forget the sound of his old Honda anytime soon. Not even his remark that there would be a couple of nice walks here and there. That sounded like an invitation.
The north of Hesse is a great motorcycle area: the landscape and routes are at their best, you can easily spend a whole weekend here without having to drive the same bend twice.
Arrival: A good starting point for tours in Northern Hesse is Hannoversch-Munden-Luttertal, a few kilometers north of Kassel. Simply aim for the exit of the same name on the A 7. If you are coming from the south, you can get off the train (A 7) at Bad Hersfeld-West to get on the route described from there. Travel time: A trip through the Kassel mountains is worthwhile on both good (snow and ice-free) winter days like in summer. However, if you can set it up at the end of April, you will experience the overwhelming cherry blossom. Accommodation: Hotels and guest houses can be found in all larger towns. The tip for motorcyclists: »Hotel-Pension Mariann«, Wilhelm-Ortloff-Weg 6, 34537 Bad Wildungen, phone 05621/91798. Further information: Hessen Touristik Service e.V., Postfach 3165, 65021 Wiesbaden, Telephone 0611/7788022. Literature: The HB image atlas »Hessisches Bergland«, 12.80 Marks, provides a good overview of the region. Anyone interested in other routes should take a look at the first Germany volume from the Unterwegs edition. In eight detailed stories, the authors describe the north of the republic (East Frisia, Mecklenburg, Weserbergland, Ruhr area, Lower Rhine, Eifel, Harz and Rhon). the route descriptions are still interesting and up-to-date. For 29.80 marks from the Motor-Presse order service, phone 0711 / 182-1229. A very good map comes from Marco Polo: The general map sheet 3 (Lower Saxony South, Hesse North) on a scale of 1: 200,000 for 12.80 marks. Time required two days, driven distance around 400 kilometers
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