Did you ever heard of the slogan „Get your kicks on route 66“? If not, it does not really matter, because you can get your thrill much cheaper and with a long-distance flight. Where? On the Saale-Radweg. These days everything is subordinated to an adventure-culture: If it is nacked hiking, diner in the dark or bungee-jumping. But, did you ever try biking without light? If not, this is the ultimate challenge for you. And above that you can enjoy some culture: castle Schönberg and the town of Weißenfels are part of the Saale-Radweg. The detour is worth it. Because in case everything is closed due to Corona than you have to make your own adventure program. And you can even do it with little things as you will learn by now. Rating: worthy of imitation.
Well, regarding the fantastic weather outside outdoors is the place to be today. Do not ask us how but with connections and some tenacity we succeeded in borrowing a bike even though the tourist season is officially over. Being very proud about it we start with our bikes this saturday mornung in direction of Weißenfels. However chances are unlikely distributed: whereas Sandra sits on her sporty Trekking bike I try to make the best out of my borrowed bike. Well, it will be working somehow.
We easily find the start of the Saale-Radweg at Bad Kösen. Clever as I am I had already checked the way out beforehand. The path is well prepared and easy to travel on as there are little ascending slopes. We are enjoying an outside temperature of 15 degrees and a marvellous landscape, the vineyards and discover two houses which are directly built into the rock.
Knighthood on Burg Schönburg
Unexpectedly we discover a picture-bookknight’s castle: castle Schönburg. The name says it all. Curious and excited like a kid we force the fortress. Moreover we learn that the castle’s tavern offers food and drinks „to-go“. Well is this Christmas already? We explore the castle complex. Next to the tavern there is a registry office and a nice hall for celebrations. The highlight however is the donjon. At the top of it there is an old clockwork exhibited from the church across the street. Afterwards we walk onto the observation deck. I think „wow“ to myself, it is exceptionally beautiful. We enjoy a 360 degree panoramic view on Schönburg and its surroundings.
The sweet backery of Weißenfels
An hour later we reach Weißenfels. At first we are a little bit disappointed. A lot of things look ruinous. We try to orientate ourselves. The tower of the St. Marien-Kirche helps, it tells us where the city centre is. We walk into a drug store at first to buy some things. We store our bikes in front of the store at a bicycle rack. Later on we want to explore the city. Hm, it is midday and everything is already closed. The bakery is the only shop open. We ask for some coffee.
We are lucky. The place itself is small and absolutely packed with sweets, pastries and bread. The backerman is a little bit tipsy and does not really know himself what his bakery really offers. We order our coffee and buy some pastries.
The awkward pensioner
Suddenly there is this awkward person standing next to us. We do not know where she came from. She stands in our way and is unwilling to move even though we kindly ask her to let us pass. But she does not react. We try again and again but there is no reaction. Then the bakerman talks to her telling her to get out: „Only two persons are allowed here at a time, so please wait outside.“ She obeys the order.
A castle half renovated
After our break we take a look at the half renovated castle of Neu-Augustusburg. The castle is closed due to Corona – just like everything. We move on and proceed with our city walking tour. We pass by the Gustav-Adolf-Museum, the Heinrich-Schütz-Haus and the cloister St. Claren, the later is actually being renovated.
Bicycling in the dark
We go back to our bikes. I is getting dark and we have to return. However, we do not see the bike rack anymore. Where did it go and where are our bikes? Fortunately they are still there, leaning on a tree. That could have been a kick in the teeth!
We are on our way back. The twilight is already here. We have to hurry up a little bit. It is getting darker and darker, we can hardly read the signposting along the way. Reaching Naumburg it is really dark. Sandra has a clip-on light on her bike, we can at least see something. At a crossing there is a police car waiting for green light. Oh gosh. I have to push my bike in order to get out of this mess. I get a little bit nervous.
I take a deep breath when we reach the Saale-Radweg again. Even though we can hardly see anything it is safer than on the street. We move slowly on and manage the situation with a grain of salt. We witness a beautiful sundown with different shades of red – unbelievable.
We reach Bad Kösen safe and sound. We missed the diner however but we find a doner kebab shop. All’s well that ends well!
Übersetzung: Corona diary: the terrassed vineyard of Kaatschen
I’ve already been to the kingdom of heaven last weekend, at that time I continued in direction of Bad Sulza. This time I wanted to do the same on a different path, i.e. via wine village Kaatschen. Unfortunately the dwindling daylight put a spoke into our wheel. So we did not made it to Bad Sulza. Still it was a nice walk with interesting encounters.