Friday, 6 July 2007

Vennbahn: Roetgen

After Lammersdorf I took a slight detour to find some caches in the woods north of the town making a loop around on my way to Roetgen.

First the obligatory map:

The first cache on the Vennbahn in Roetgen is actually at a point where a track, which is now a cycle trail (there are many cycle trails around here - it is a wonderful area for cycling - and it's all so organised!!) crosses the railway in the middle of the woods - Bahnübergang Rackeschweg.

Looking south along the tracks:

Looking north along the tracks:

Approaching the tracks along the trail from the north west (i.e. looking south east)

and a short video of the crossing area:

Now back into the car to investigate the numerous places where the tracks cross the residential streets in Roetgen:

This is the Bahnübergang Wilhelmstraße:

Looking south east:

A border marker - on the north side of the road, east side of the tracks - photo looking south east:

Same marker - looking north east along the road:

and a video of the whole area

At this point I was starting to feel the need to check my e-mail, especially as I had not been able to do so in the hotel the previous evening. Being in a residential area I figured there was a pretty good chance someone had an unsecured wireless network so I spent more time than I should driving up and down trying to find one, but all to no avail.

Anyway, after finding a geocache at the Grünepleistraße crossing and another one a short distance away I headed over to the Kalfstraße crossing. There was another geocache here which, as it turned out, was my 1000th geocache find. I had not realised it at the time but I'm glad it turned out to be one of the Vennbahn caches and not the previous one, which was not a Vennbahn one and was really rather tame! I took another short video here. A local resident came out and asked me what I was doing taking photos - I explained in my broken German that I was interested in the Vennbahn and the fact that it was a bit of Belgium in Germany. This seemed to satisfy him that at least I had no evil intent although I think he went away shaking his head a bit at someone actually having such a strange interest in something that to him was part of everyday life and probably didn't affect him one iota.

The next three crossings I visited (a geocache at each) were really more of the same and so I didn't take any photos there. But the one after that was a surprise - Offermannstraße - this was a bridge and not a level crossing - the cache there had advertised it as a Bahnübergang.

I took this video here:

Around the corner was another bridge at Mühlenbendstraße:

This picture is looking east, from the west side of the bridge:

This is looking west from the east side:

and a video from on top of the bridge:

Time now to head round the corner to the last level crossing in this area of residential Roetgen, a particularly interesting spot as Mühlenstraße runs right along the border with Belgium, the houses on one side being in Belgium and the road itself being in Germany.

Just before (i.e. to the west) of the level crossing was this boundary marker (on the north side of the road:

This is taken on the level crossing itself, looking north.

I then walked a short way back down Mühlenstraße to the west and took a couple more photos of the border markers right at the edge of the road:

and finally a video:

I then drove out onto the B258 in the centre of town which, at this time of day, was really busy. As the time was getting on and I still wanted to visit BEDENL, Neutral Moresnet and a couple of other places before getting to Düsseldorf, I elected not to investigate the area closely even though the border here is pretty interesting. That will have to wait for another day.

Heading north up the B258 my final Vennbahn stop was at Himmelsleiter where the Vennbahn makes its northernmost crossing of a German road.

This photo is looking northwards along the B258 away from Roetgen:

And finally one last video of the Vennbahn for today:

Next stop - the BEDENL tripoint.

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