Enjoy Your Surroundings

Sometimes I forget to just BE in the moment. To look around and appreciate what’s around me. When I do, I wind up being and feeling pleasantly surprised. And I also want to share the experience with others.

I’m going to bring you on a little journey. This journey consists of one of several bike ride routes my husband and I do. This route will take us up the River Ruhr, through meadows, around houses, on a ferry, to a castle, and then around the lake (Kemnader See)—a 21 mile (34 km) bike ride.

Our bikes are not high-end quality; mine being purchased in 2012 from eBay and my husband’s a hand-me-down from his ex-father-in-law, some 20 plus years ago. It’s funny, if my mom would have bought me this bike when I was younger, I would have never got on it. As I’ve aged, the look of a bike isn’t a big deal to me, because I think at least I have a bike and the ability to ride it.

To start, we begin from our place, down a main street, over a bridge and then down by the river Ruhr. We ride along the river, veer off through a forest area, and then open fields…

where we come upon a place where they train horses…and some homes where the horses just relax and graze.

After passing the fields, we arrive at the lake and ride under a few graffiti bridges. I’m not a fan of graffiti, which is everywhere, but it’s growing on me–part of the charm.

A man enjoying himself out on the lake, hoping to catch his meal for the day (that’s the story I created in my head).

And then we ride through a little residential area with a few timbered buildings…

until we reach the bridge to cross over to the other side. These pictures were taken from both sides of the bridge. One shows a campground and another faces the direction of the ferry.

Once we arrive at the ferry, we can see the castle across the way.

And then we arrive at the castle.

Constructed as a residence (associated with mining) as opposed to a defense building, Burg Hardenstein was first erected in 1363. Part of the main hall and its fireplace is visible as well as the circular tower and outer wall.

Legend has it that King Goldemar, a dwarf or kobold, lived here. One story written by Thomas Keightley in 1850, suggests King Goldemar lived with Neveling von Hardenberg, and for three years, brought good luck to the inhabitants. A curious man came upon the castle. He cast tares and ashes to see the dwarf king’s footprints. Goldemar cut the man up, roasted him, boiled his head and legs and then ate him. The next day he was gone, informing the inhabitants in a note that the house will be unlucky as it was lucky while he lived there.

Before we left, I turned the camera on my husband, watching him from afar and smiling, knowing how lucky I am to have found him.

Back on our bikes, we waited for the ferry…

and proceeded around the lake and then back home.

I hope you get an opportunity to appreciate and enjoy your surroundings. Life is too short to miss out on natural beauty and the simple things in life.

Bike Rides and Wonders,|
Baer Necessities