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The Extreme Bike Path Along the Pader River

One of the shortest rivers in Germany is the Pader. The tour of the Pader is part of the Roman Route but for fun, I made a separate tour out of it. Why? Because I thought that if we highlight the longest German river, the Rhine, why not highlight one of the shortest?

Tour Overview: Where is the Pader? Here!June 2005. This tour of the Pader River is our shortest tour. At 3.5 miles in length, the Pader is certainly Germany's shortest river. It is 588 miles shorter than the Rhine, for example. Not all that coincidentally, it also took the least amount of time to ride the mighty Pader.Path Signs

Signage: The route is not well signed. But if you follow the “Römer Route, Xanten-Detmold” signs, you'll find your way to the center of Paderborn.

Accommodations: When we rode this tour in June of 2005 we could not find any available rooms in Paderborn except at the jugendherberge. There was no convention, no regional draw on rooms, there just aren't enough rooms in the city to house all the tourist, at least on the day we were there. However, there is a list of hotels at the website for the Römer Route. Just click on the city of Paderborn on the map in the site, then click on the towns, then on Hotels. Good luck.

As a choice, we like Zimmer (advertised as Zimmer Frei) but there are also Gasthäuser (Guest Houses), Pensionen (pensions or bed and breakfasts), Jugendherbergen (Youth Hostels), and hotels. For a complete discussion of the different types of accommodations and tips on reservations, see our Overnight Accommodations page. Of course, this route was too short to even worry about a room.

Stops: One stop, that is Paderborn.

Maps and Guidebooks: On this tour we used BVA Römerroute, Von Xanten bis Detmold, 1:50,000. BVA is part of Bielefelder Verlag . See also the website for the Römer Route.

Day 1 From the Confluence to the Source

Day Overview: It is short and flat. Due to the prevailing winds along this river, it is best to ride from west to east.Confluence with LippeBaroque Schloβ NeuhausBaroque garden of Schloβ Neuhaus

Mile 0 (0.0 km): The ride up the mighty Pader starts at the confluence of the Pader and the Lippe. I have written up this travelogue as a separate tour just to be funny. I thought that since we have ridden the longest river in Germany, the Rhine at 592 miles, I should also describe the shortest too. The Pader at 3.5 miles long is the certainly Germany's shortest River.

The confluence is at the edge of a wonderful Baroque garden of Schloβ Neuhaus. The city of Neuhaus was founded in 1036 and the Schloβ was built as the home for the Bishop who also owned all of the surrounding farmland. The building changed uses several times in the intervening centuries. Every time there was a war, one of the warring militaries occupied the building. Finally, in 1946, the last military to occupy the building was the British. They sold it back to the community when they were finished for a one Mark coin.

The Schloβ was then turned into a Realschule or trade school. However, since 1997 it has been a museum and cultural center for the community of Neuhaus.Padersee (Lake Pader)Shelter from the rain on Padersee

Mile 2.6 (4.2 km): We get lost already and mistakenly circumnavigate this Padersee (Pader lake). Fortunately, our mileage does not reflect our mistake.

Mile 4.0 (6.5 km): We ride through the city wall of Paderborn.Central Square of PaterbornPaderborn RathausChurch in Paderborn

Mile 3.5 (5.7 km): This is the end of the Pader River and also the center of Paderborn. The antiquated German word Born, can be translated into English as 'spring' or 'well.' The spring can be found in the park behind the Cathedral and almost bubbling out from underneath it.

Mile 5.7 (9.2 km): We cannot find two rooms in Paderborn for 4 people. There are several for just two people but we are riding with Guntram and Ulla and need two rooms together. I snore something awful (it will wake the dead in the next county) and the idea of sharing a room with Guntram and Ulla is not an option because of my snoring. After spending some time in the Tourist Information Office, just down from the main town square, we finally decide to try the Jugendherberge, or Youth Hostel. We find it accommodating to our needs. We each get separate rooms although only one of them has the bathroom within the room. The cost is €14.40 including linen and breakfast.

Breakfast is a feast; it’s complete with fried eggs and bacon, something that is rare in Germany. Their address is: Meinwerkstrasse 16, 33098 Paderborn, Telephone: 5251-22055, Fax: 5251) 280017. When you stay in a Jugendherberge, one should purchase a lifetime membership card. If you are over 26 years of age, membership cost €20 each. Only in the state of Bavaria are people older than 26 prohibited from using these hostels. I don’t know why. And, from the following website I learned something new: “Even if you don’t have a Hostelling International membership card, you can stay in German Youth Hostels by paying a small extra charge. For every overnight stay, you will receive a so-called Welcome Stamp. Once you have collected six Welcome Stamps you will receive a full membership card.” Attributed to:

Paderborn itself is an extremely old community. It is first mentioned in 772 in connection with Charlemagne himself destroying a sacred oak tree worshiped by Saxons. The Cathedral St Mary, St Liborius and St Kilian in the city was built in the Romanesque style between the 11th and 12th Centuries. Inside, in addition to the bones of St. Liborius, you will find a famous stained glass window known as the “Hare Window” because of its subject matter. I wasn’t impressed but I am a cretin when it comes to stained glass. By the way, St. Liborius'es day is a holiday in Paderborn. It is the reason for an annual community fest at the end of July.

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