Day 75 of my cycling journey – July 15, 2022
On an eventful day I visited my godfather in a retirement home several kilometres from Bad Nenndorf and started late to cycle +70 km over the Weser hills to the river Weser. I followed this river on one of Germany’s most beautiful cycleways and came via Hameln to my campground in Bodenwerder. A lovely day with unbelievably beautiful cycling came to an end there.
I had to cycle 12 km from my guesthouse in Bad Nenndorf to find the retirement home where my uncle and godfather enjoyed his retirement days. The visit was very pleasant. I hadn’t seen him for many years, and he enjoyed the visit visibly. We spent the whole morning talking about old stories and experiences. He will soon celebrate his 90th birthday and it is a pity that I will not be around to congratulate him personally on that achievement. With a heavy heart I had to leave to continue my cycling trip to wards the Weser Mountains. It is difficult to say good-bye to a dear person knowing I will not be around for the next seven years.
At 14:00 h I started my cycling of the day for earnest. I cycled very hard. I had some kilometres to do before I would settle on one of the many campgrounds along the Weser. Crossing a minor pass across the Weser Hills, I reached the river which was going to be my guiding path southwards. A beautiful and enchanting afternoon followed in which I cycled on the riverbanks through a truly magnificent landscape characterized by the river valley and the hilltops surrounding it. Cycling in such a beautiful setting brought my good and positive mood back and I cycled with a silly smile on my face for the entire afternoon. After some time, I reached the town of Hameln (Hamelin) which has an incredibly beautiful old city centre characterized by very old half-timbered houses. Some houses were dated 1500 and it was a pleasure to admire these old houses and their beauty. Seeing the oldest house I discovered, dated 1500, I wondered what this house has witnessed over the centuries of its existence and the hundreds of people living within its walls. If these walls could talk we probably would hear about centuries of drama, unfortune, luck and unconditional love. Wouldn’t it be great to document and tell the story of a house and its inhabitants for over half of a millennia? From a time when the Hanseatic League was strong to the time of the 30 year’s war and its resistance against a besieging Swedish army and the arrival of the black death. From the time when George Louis was the ruler, who later became George I the first English King from the House of Hanover, to the time Napoleon Bonaparte conquered the city without a fight after the famous battle of Jena and Auerstedt. Perhaps the most dramatic story the house could tell would be the time when Hameln was infested by so many rats that the city council hired a young man, the Pied Piper of Hamelin, who led the rats out of the city with his play. When the city council didn’t pay the agreed price he led with the same tune all the children out of the city. Wouldn’t it be nice to ask the house if this is true?
Spending some time admiring Hameln, I soon continued along the beautiful Weser cycle path until I reached the town of Bodenwerder and a nice camping ground. I got a camp spot directly at the edge of the water. A great day came to its conclusion, and it felt like I had been cycling right through a large part of Germany’s history.