The usual breakfast routine, the restaurant chef brings us a selection of fruits, cheeses and meats and makes us eggs on demand. Out before nine, we decide to do a little detour to see the Venner Moor nature reserve that gives the hotel its name. We can’t see much of it from the road and it doesn’t look accessible to bikes, so we simply bike around it and follow the Dortmund-Ems Kanal back to Senden. We easily pick up the route again and turn south.

Not an easy day today, Arne slept bad and my legs are not up to the same level as yesterday, on top of that we have the wind against us and it seems to be going up, up, up. According to the GPS we never go higher than 100 m but you can go up and down a lot to 100 m. The weather is cloudy but warm, a bit muggy even. We’re even expecting a bit of rain perhaps in the afternoon, but we’ve put on the usual thick coat of sun screen nonetheless.

We pass by Haus Kakesbeck, it looks more like a walled village than like on big house, then Burg Vischering – we share a crunchy peanut energy bar in the park – and Burg Lüdinghausen, all before lunch. We stop in the small town Olfen around half past twelve, the bakery is about to close and doesn’t want to make us a sandwich anymore (she explained that she had all the stuff, but that she had already cleaned up and would close in twenty minutes, after which I decided to take my money elsewhere) but we have a giant folded pizza – with a half liter glass of coke! – at the pizzeria close by.

After lunch it continues up, up, up though I’m willing to admit that might be a perception issue due to the tiredness and the diverse little aches. The sun comes out and it gets hotter, but then we’re soothed by a soft, short rain shower. At one point we have both sun and rain at the time time, it looks great. We see Schloss Nordkirchen, one of the highlights of the tour, and it turns out we’ve already visited it! Well, walked around it at least, it’s a college for finance studies and not open to the public, we were here in 2018 – have a look at my post of that day.

Rain on the way..

I’ve learned to look at trees now: we see a few shady benches but skip them if they’re under oak trees, remember the thing with the oak processionary caterpillar? I’m still itchy.. We come to Schloss Westerwinkel around four, another beautiful water castle with large grounds, the forest still accessible to the public and the fields converted to a golf course. A few minutes later we ride into Herbern. We check into the quiet hotel, take a cold shower and go out for food: this time I have a Cordon Blue, which is a schnitzel with a slice of ham and cheese in the middle.

Fun engineering note: in the morning we encounter this old railway bridge near Lüdinghausen, it’s a really simply steel construction relying on triangle shapes to carry the weight. I actually marked this on the map at home and added it to the GPS route. An inspiration for Lego builders, there is one girder at the top, two at the bottom – between which the train rides – and vertical girders to connect everything. It’s from 1938 and still in use today.

On the subject of engineering and the strength of the triangle shape, we encountered a naked half-timbered house a few days ago! I mean only the timber was left, the filling in between had been removed, I have no idea way. It made sense immediately when I saw it, this is just like the bridge: the triangles keep everything standing, the bricks and plaster are just for isolation purposes!

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