From Aachen with a slight detour to Venlo
I do admit that this landscape fascinates me. Slowly going up the Vennbahn and seeing how the area changes. Originally, the Vennbahn was built to transport coal and iron ore between the industrial cities of Malmedy, Eupen and Stolberg / Aachen. In the First World War it was of great importance as a supply chain. In the Second World War many sections of the route were destroyed during the fighting in the Ardennes and the Eifel. After the war more and more sections were demolished, and since 2013 the Vennbahn-Fernradweg has been in existence.
Many sections of the route still show the history. Proud railway station buildings, high viaducts which you don’t even notice when cycling over them.
The Vennbahn – from Aachen to Monschau
This time the start was rainy. I had scarcely gotten off the train in Aachen when the first drops fell. I managed to get to Aachen Brand but then thunderstorm came on as well. So: Let’s have a break. Things could definitely be worse. However, it took more than an hour but afterwards the rain was mostly over.
This time I turned off the Vennbahn in Monschau because my goal was Roermond and Venlo. The old town of Monschau is close and densely built on the banks of the River Rur. Since I wanted to stay there right in the middle I had to drive down from the Vennbahn bike path about 3 km rather steeply downhill.
The Rurtal cycle path – from Monschau to Düren
At night the rain continued. Until 2 am water came incessantly from the sky. The next morning I left Monschau on the Rurtal cycle path, and after a few kilometers I landed quite in the mud. At first it was a normal road, then a forest path, later a hiking trail, and then just a muddy puddle. Going back to Monschau was not really an option, because pushing three kilometers uphill to return to the Vennbahn is also not tingling. So continue. At some point the route also led back onto a road which had been extended, and it was possible to ride more pleasantly again. Because of the rain I had thought of taking the ship over the Rurtalsperre, because with my experience shortly after Monschau my confidence in the condition of the paths to the left or right of the Rurtalsperre was not really great. The ride from Rurberg to Schwammenauel takes about 45 minutes and in the sunshine it was a relaxed thing.
On the other side of the dam the cycle path goes via Heimbach, Nideggen, Kreuzau to Düren. The scenery was wonderful! And the weather finally too!
From Düren to Roermond
Pretty flat and overall good to drive.
The only problem was the weather: for the afternoon strong winds and lots of rain were forecasted. This prospect ultimately led me to increase my pace quite a bit. So I arrived in Roermond around 14:30. A pity, because there is much to see on this part of the route!
Border! From now on I’m traveling abroads 🙂
First there is a break in this great farmhouse and shop. Thick recommendation, very nice and delicious cafe! There are peacocks running about 🙂
Do I have to mention that just after my border crossing the rain started again? So I still got a bit soaked just before reaching Roermond.
Actually from Roermond there is an easy path to get to to the station in Dalheim. But I’m on holiday and will stay overnight again. The next day then will be another highlight.
From Roermond to Venlo
Only good 30 kilometers, but what a nice stretch! Unfortunately again a bit of rain.
Two times I took a ferry across the Maas, and both times I was the only passenger. I hope the business became more profitable for the boatmen over the rest of the day.