It is cold outside, very cold. The thermometer shoes minus 1 degree. The white frost on the grass and on the trees gives me a first notion of Christmas. The sun beams from a deep blue sky and lures me into nature. Wearing some layers of cloths on my body I get on my bike. The air is very clear, the landscape is sun-dappled. I will deeply enjoy this wonderful morning. I cycle to castle Neuenburg close to Freyburg, the biggest fortress of the Thuringia landgrave and once a centre of medieval-aged culture.
A landscape kissed by white frost
I take the Saale-Radweg to my destination. The white frost drips from the trees. The sun is getting stronger. The clear air makes me breath deeply. The trees, the vineyards and the houses at the roadside mirror in the river Saale. I make a first stop at the Fischhaus-Brücke and let the landscape sink into me. The white frost glitters on the bridge. Once again I am enchanted by the vineyards the beautiful colours of autumn foliage.
I reach Naumburg and cross the bridge to Roßbach. From there I continue to Großjena. Within the Blütengrund I discover a signpost to the Max Klinger Haus. Oh there is also the emblem of the UNESCO world heritage. So this must be something special. As time is short right now I have to go on. I might come back later.
A fairy-tale castle on top of a vineyard
Upon reaching Freyburg I have to catch my breath. It is not because the cycle path is that steep, no it is because the environment is so beautiful and I wonder where shall I look? At first I take some pictures of the castle from the bottom before I decide to climb the hill.
I am searching for a path to go up which is not too steep for me and my bike. I adress to a resident and ask for directions. She tells me it is difficult to go up by bike as almost every access to the castle will be steep. Finally she recommends to take some kind of a country road which is less steep than the others. I’ll give it a try. Right at the start I start sweating like an animal. However, I am bound to go there and I am not giving up! For almost one kilometre I have to push my bike and suddenly I made it. Wow, what a feeling! Still, another obstacle awaits me.
The beast of Neuenburg
The first thing I recognize is the donjon, a huge, pot-bellied tower called „fat Wilhelm“. Unfortunately it is closed. A couple of steps later I stand in front of the castle. Wow, this compound is quite something. I am about to discover the site when I hear some snarling and barking coming from a big dog. Shit. Unfortunatley I cannot see whether the animal is chained or not. I don’t want to be bitten on the one hand. On the other hand I want to see the castle. So, what do do? I wait for a while until I see some people passing by the dog. Nothing happens. Okay, I think to myself, that seems to be save. I bear against misfortune and move down to the entrance of the castle.
What a panoramic view I think to myself. It absolutely amazing, I feel so alive at this moment, my heartbeat going faster. The view from the top oft he hill down to Freyburg and the surrounding is magnificent. It is too bad that I am running out of time. I have to go back.
The Max Klinger vineyard
On my way back I make a detour to take a look at the Max Klinger Haus and its vineyard. Nice place. Under „normal“ conditions you can visit the summer house, the artist’s workshop and the graveyard of Klinger, a painter and sculptor. He lived at this place from 1903 until his death in 1920.
At the Saalhäuser
I really have to hurry up now. I choose the vine-cycle path from Roßbach to Bad Kösen on my way back. This trail leads through different vineyards and disposes of wonderful panoramic views. I pass by the so called Saalhäuser and the wine-growing estate of cloister Pforta. I start to swoon and wish I had more time to enjoy all this. I arrive at Bad Kösen. What a wonderful ride on an extremely nice autumn day.