How to plan a holiday in 2020, the year dominated by a pandemic virus? Well, wait until the last moment, pack you gear on your bike and just cycle. Fortunately Germany is still open for travellers, so we start in Groenlo and cycle east.
The idea is to cycle to Wesel in Germany, follow the Römer-Lippe Route until Detmold and then return along the Europaradweg (Europe Cycle Road), via Münster, to Groenlo. We will camp on campsites along the way, hoping there will be some in cycling distance every day.
Dark clouds and heavy rain mark the night before we leave. Luckily, the next day it is dry with some sun and lovely cycling temperatures. After breakfast in Groenlo w follow the border for a bit and then dive into the German adventure. After a very long first day, with exactly 100km, we reach a campsite. We pitch our tent and a very kind neighbour brings us a perfect large cup of caravan brewed cappuccino. German people are kind, they drive safely around cyclists and have great cakes and good beer!
Next morning we wake up with a bit of mist over the Lippe river. For the next 2,5 days we follow this little river until Paderborn. The path is relatively flat, along the banks (sometimes left, sometimes right), rising slowly with every lock we pass. It is flat, with many, many power plants on the horizon. Not a very pretty sight. Close to Hamm we should take a small ferry, but guess what... due to Corona, no ferry!
The further east we go, the more large country houses and castles we see. And then we arrive in the beautiful city of Paderborn. As soon as we arrive on the main square with the cathedral we see black skies above. It looks like the end of days. Lucky for us, a very nice restaurant has a dry space under the parasol and serves good food. Time to sit out the rain shower. We proceed north-east to the Externsteine. Here, dating back to the stone age, 15 interesting chalk-sandstone cliffs rise up steeply from the landscape. The cycling path goes up and up until Detmold, our half way point.
From Detmold we take the Europaradweg back to Groenlo. To be honest, not a very exciting route for us. The weather is unstable with some rain showers and colder temperatures. To be honest, we really looked forward to Münster. It supposed to be a nice city, but due to the cold, rainy weather we simply had a coffee and cake and drove on. We spend the night in a 'Bett + Bike', eating a giant Schnitzel for dinner.
The last day really is a last day. Over 90 km back to Groenlo. Nothing too exciting. Conclusion: a nice cycle tour, roughly 620 km with lots of cake, beer, changing weather. The tour itself was not very special, apart from being outdoors, enjoying company of a friend and simply cycle.
(More pictures on the Pictures page)