To Bad Hersfeld by bicycle

In 2005, I took a Regional Express train from Frankfurt to Fulda, and then started cycling along the regional bicycle route R1 down the Fulda River Valley.

The Fulda River between Fulda and Bad Hersfeld

It was a cool, overcast day, which was fine for cycling but not ideal for taking pictures.

1000 years of Mengshausen, 1003-2003

I arrived two years too late to celebrate the 1000th anniversary of the village of Mengshausen, but in plenty of time to see the opera in Bad Hersfeld.

Not exactly a youth hostel

Pension Haus Roßbach in Bad Hersfeld

I guess I should have been really happy with this pension. It was cheap and very centrally located, just a block from the Stiftsruine where the operas were held, but I found it rather spooky since I was by far the youngest person in the building, which was something that hadn’t happened to me for many years.

Another problem was that they didn’t have any adequate provision for bicycle storage. But I was not the first cyclist to have stayed here. They proudly told me about two other cyclists who had been there, on their way from Fulda to Kassel, in some previous year. Well, maybe some previous decade.

(As of 2021, this house is no longer being used as a pension.)

Rotenburg an der Fulda 

Rotenburg an der Fulda

After two days in Bad Hersfeld I cycled 21 kilometers further downstream to Rotenburg an der Fulda (spelled without an h in the middle), which turned out to be a pleasant little town with attractive half-timbered houses, but not crowded with tourists like the one with the h on the Tauber.

Again it was a cool, overcast day, which was fine for cycling but not so good for taking pictures. When I got to Rotenburg it started to rain, so I took the hint and boarded the next train for Fulda, where I changed onto a regional express to Frankfurt. Both of these trains had convenient bicycle sections with wide-enough doors, which at least in this part of Germany is now more or less standard for the regional and local trains.

Verdi’s Nabucco in Rotenburg an der Fulda

Before boarding the train, I saw this poster advertising an open-air performance of the opera Nabucco by Giuseppe Verdi, to be held in the castle courtyard in Rotenburg an der Fulda on August 28, 2005.

The text on the poster read:

The classical open-air event of the summer
Verdi’s great freedom-opera in the original language
with the world-famous PRISONERS’ CHORUS
in a magnificent open-air production
(more than 100 participants)!
A whiff of Verona in your region!
Already more than 150,000 enthusiastic spectators
throughout Germany!

The poster made no mention of who would be performing this opera — hopefully not the same folks who did it the year before at the Konstabler Wache in Frankfurt!

My photos in this post are from 2005. I revised the text in 2021.

See more cycling posts.
See more posts on the composer Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901).

4 thoughts on “To Bad Hersfeld by bicycle”

  1. Isn’t that Little Red Riding Hood territory? Maybe the Wolf had taken over the Pension Haus. I wonder if the local operatics do performances of César Cui.

    1. I’ve never seen (or heard) anything by César Cui, not even Puss in Boots, which I know has been performed and recorded in Germany.
      Bad Hersfeld is not far (80 km) from Steinau, where the Brothers Grimm spent part of their childhood. I am somewhat acquainted with the director of the Brothers Grimm museum in Steinau (he taught opera appreciation courses in Frankfurt in the 1990s, a function which I eventually took over after his successor lost interest). I’ve been meaning to do a couple of blog posts on Steinau, though it’s been a while since my last visit there.

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