Kempen 14 March – A railway journey on three wheels

Thursday 14 March

After another really good night’s sleep I woke up to fresh snowfall. The roads were white, the gardens were white, the rooftops were white. That wasn’t in the forecast!!

By the time I’d had breakfast and faffed about the sun was shining and Poppy and I went out for our morning constitutional under a warm sun. The snow had already melted from the roads and it looked as though conditions would be fine for my cycle ride this afternoon.

Here is the sign outside the Ferienwohnung (holiday apartment) where I am staying. Bienenstock means Beehive.

Another gorgeous morning.

Poppy enjoyed running around on this field – especially as she saw a hare running away in the distance!

I arrived in Sankt Hubert and decided to go and find the church I visited yesterday evening for the choir practice to see what it looked like in the daylight. Here is the sign to it – the road name gives a hint it’s an Evangelische church!

The actual church is quite small (and made of wood) but there were quite a lot of buildings behind it for the church to use, including the choir practice room.

The bell tower is a separate structure.

This plaque explains about the renewal of the bell structure.

As Poppy and I had walked through Sankt Hubert several people had stopped to talk to us. One old lady asked if I was from England (I was wearing my union jack hat). Another lady stopped to pat Poppy and talk about her to me. The woman delivering the post said a cheerful hello. I have heard lots of people say Germans are unfriendly but I never find it so.

Soon I found myself inside another bakery. What a surprise!


I bought a Nuss-striezel for later and then Pops and I headed home.

The snow was melting but it had clouded over a little.

I realised, halfway through my expedition, that the DHL man was supposed to be delivering my bicycle tyres today and the landlady wasn’t in. I hoped I hadn’t missed him but fortunately not – he arrived about half an hour after I got back. He commented that I had an unusual name – for a German maybe! Anyway, I signed for the package and took it upstairs.

Four shiny new tyres – Poppy is very impressed!

After lunch it was time to go for a cycle ride. The snow had mostly melted but it still felt pretty cold.

I headed off following a route I had downloaded from which was a 36 mile route entitled “Trike route” so I hoped it would be trike friendly!

This is the journey I ended up doing (I deviated from the route after about 12 miles).

14 March map

Statistics for this ride:
Distance: 27.30 miles
Moving time: 2 hours 43 minutes
Average speed: 10.05mph
Maximum speed: 21.59mph
Average Heart Rate: 124
Maximum Heart Rate: 162
Calories burned: 1058

So I headed off westwards into the wind. Once again I passed the convent at Mariendonk on my travels today – I seemed to go past it almost every time I went riding from Nettetal!

Here, after ten miles of riding, I have discovered a hill. What I like about Kempen and its surroundings is the complete lack of hills, but here is one!

Shortly after I stopped for this photo I found the route was heading through some woodland – with snow on a rough track that looked like no fun at all.

So I turned left to try to join up with the route by following a main road (you can see it on the far left of my track in the image above).

I found myself in fairly familiar territory from my holiday in Nettetal last August.

Anyway, I decided I didn’t fancy doing 36 miles today as it was so chilly and instead I would trailblaze myself a route to join up with the disused railway.

Ahead of me I could see the hill of Hinsbeck and realised that my route (aiming for Lobberich to join the railway cycle path there) required me to go over it. Oh well, it should burn some calories!

This turned out to be a much easier gradient than my previous visit to Hinsbeck last August which was a really stiff climb. Once I got to the top, into Hinsbeck itself, I found my way blocked by a skip lorry so sat back in my deckchair-on-wheels and waited.

Here is Hinsbeck church and another of those metal displays of various shields and coats of arms for organisations linked with the town.

From Hinsbeck it was a nice swoopy downhill and then I found myself on the road to Lobberich. The main road, and I didn’t spot the cycle path initially so was on the carriageway with the cars. It gave lots of German drivers the opportunity to shout out of their windows at me – they always like doing that!

Soon I was in Lobberich which was very familiar territory and I found my way to the cycle path which is the disused railway route. Here is the start in Lobberich.

A little jiggle in the path gave me a good view of Hinsbeck church at the top of the hill that I have photographed above.

What a lovely, straight, smooth path!

I hadn’t noticed this before (and I’ve used this route several times) but here are some old railway signals and stuff.

And an explanation about the railway which took freight from Venlo to Kempen in the days when the Netherlands and Prussia traded.

More railway memorabilia – an old station building now a beergarden on the outskirts of Kempen.

The route back along the railway was fast and smooth and I was soon at Kempen. From there I headed off to Sankt Hubert as I wanted to pop in to the Vet to confirm my appointment for Monday. Poppy needs her worming tablet to be administered by a vet (Bandwurmbehandlung) so that her Passport is correct for the crossing back to the UK on Tuesday evening. I had semi-organised an appointment but hadn’t had a confirmation email from the vets. I tried to ring them this morning and it kept going wrong (I got a wrong number twice which was weird as I was reading the number from the vet’s email to me) and my emails were bouncing back. So I decided to go in in person and did so – they were happy to confirm my appointment on Monday. Phew!

This vet is only 1.5 miles from where I’m staying so it will be very handy to have them around for Poppy’s trips back and forth next year.

When I got home Pops was delighted to see me and I was delighted to eat the Nuss-striezel that I had purchased this morning.

Although the skies were clear today and the sun was shining it had felt pretty cold and I hope that it’ll warm up a bit for the next few days for me!


  1. Hi Helen,
    believe me…these tracks are more beautiful during spring, summer and autumm. I know them quite well and there are a lot of them in this area.


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