Sonntag, 30. Juni 2013

Midsummer - the midnight tour

Days became long recently. And eventually midsummer came. And I liked to do a tour. A rather small one, but a little mystic one. It's not like the famous St. Petersburg's white nights or Scandinavian Midsommar, but if skies are clear light lasts really long on midsummer in Westphalia. Well, skies were not really clear, but I wanted to cycle anyway. Midsummer has some magic and there are some mystic places here. I thought of giving them a visit this night. I started at about a bit after 20:00 and passed the Senne. A lovely heath yard. Met a shepard there who was preparing her herd for the night, nodded my head for greetings and rode on.
View down to the Senne from the way up the Teutoburger Wald at 21:45
Then I reached the Teutoburger Wald and rode up to my first destination the Velmerstot twin peak (P&L). It was lightly raining, I passed a firebrigade's party at the village of Veldrom and was steering my bike then into the wilderness up the hills. Up at the slightly higher peak (P) there's an observation tower. A few younger folks were there, drinking, smoking, talking. They offered me a beer and we had a bit of a talk. Nice.
View from the Velmerstot (P) to the Barnaken and Hermansdenkmal - about 22:15
At about 22:20 I left that place, rain was gone again, but clouds remained and made it pretty dark already. I switched on my lights and drove across the forrest to the other peak which is one of the rather mystic places. Sandstone rocks on the peak, heath around it, lovely views and silence. Nobody's there. In early times that place is said to have been probably a site of an "Irminsul" (a holy column that carries the world). It's also likely that it was a "Thingplatz" - a kind of a tribal court. The place has atmosphere at least and the idea (sic!) it has been an important an mystic place is pretty obvious.
about 22:30 on the Velmerstot (L) peak, pretty dark already
22:40, still at Velmerstot (L) peak, but more in the forrests it was really dark already, light rain started again, too
Since it became darker and hence quite difficult to find the right way through the hilly, wet forrest I decided to return to the village of Veldrom. From there I took direction to the Externsteine. A great ride through the deep forrest, luckily the rain had stopped again. The Externsteine are really famous and a mystic place. On dates like midsummer many folks come there. Cyclists are rather a minority among them. It's more people who see themselves as witches or druids and have a faible for spiritualism. And a passion for mystic music - percussion, guitars, flutes and singing and candles (and probably some magic mushrooms or smokeable herbs). But I must admit that while this rather not my usual style it was pretty atmospheric (especially when coming out of the lonely, hilly, dark forrests) and I stayed there for probably a good half hour and listened to their singing and drumming.
Having a few kilometers done I thought a midnight meal would be nice, hence I steered back to civilization, in particular to the city of Detmold. Unfortunately I din'd find a food source there (too late, all closed already) and had to go on - hungry with another crossing of the hills and a few kilometers to go. Meanwhile it was about midnight and really dark. But skies cleared now and at the north west the sky was still not entirely dark. Plus, the moon came out. The full moon, pretty bright. I took direction back home. About 20km before home I crossed Schloss Holte where a markmen's fair was going on. I got myself some chips and enjoyed watching the very different scene than before - loud, crowded, many drinks, party chit-chat going on, boys approaching girls (and vice versa) and me coming out of the dark from mystic places not belonging there, eating chips. What a contrast and a gorgeous final for that tour.
At 1:30 I came aross a markmen's fair and enjoyed some chips and the very different scene than before
When I returned home at 2:45 I had a kilometer count of about 140 and dawn was progressing already. What a brilliant midsummer!

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