The Glan River
Abut 30 minutes away from Bad Kreuznach the river glan is embedded in it's valley. Meandering its way through fields and forest its situated beautifully and the renaturated river banks provided habitats for many species. Since we love hiking, but not only hiking, we decided to have a littel canoe trip. It's already starting to get cooler and it's not a vacation season, so booking a canoe on really short notice for the next day luckily wasn't a problem.
The landing of the canoe rental is just slightly upriver from Meisenheim. The manager introduced us to the river and the route we were supposed to take and gave us some information on how to use the canoe. That was welcome, since it has been quite some time since we last went out on trip like that. After the introduction we pulled our boat into the water.
As the rental place tour had suggested, we first paddled upriver. The flow was pretty slow so we had no troubles paddling against the current. In several places we had to find our way around fallen trees in the river as the river banks have been renaturalized and aren't cleaned up. That also made for a pretty magical ride along the river since there was a lot to see at the river banks - for example many different birds like Kingfishers and woodpeckers.
After roughly one kilometer, we turned around and let the slow current float us back towards Meisenheim. Once reaching the town we came to the first special stage in our litte boating trip. A fish pass that isn't passable by canoe was in our way, and we had to pull the boat out of the river, lift it across the city wall, and then transport it along the road to return it to the river. Fortunately the canoe rental place had provided us with a little cart, so we could pull the canoe rather than carry it - it was a lot heavier than we expected.
Back on the water we soon had to shove ourselves over a few tiny, tiny rapids, that were really more like sandbanks. The river in genereal seemed even more shallow than earlier, at least for a while. But there weren't as many fallen trees we had to navigate, so we just slowly cruised along. We were not in a hurry, because we new it wasn't very far to the landing that marked the end of our canoe trip.
Before we reached that though, we had to pull our boat from the water a second time. This time due to a pretty big fallen tree, that reached across the whole stream. There was no way to navigate around it in the water, so we pulled our boat out at the side of the river, carried it around the tree and returned it to the water. A whole bunch of people had obviously done that lately and there was a path trampled in the grass and a groove had formed where everyone pushed the boat back into the water. It made us wonder wether they would ever pull the tree out. In general the river Glan has been widely renaturated to provide safe nesting spaces for birds and other species.
After this little episode we soon reached a stone bridge with a sign pointing towards a wooden landing platform, where we were supposed to pull our boat out of the water for the last and final time. We debated wether we should just boat a bit futher down river, and then back up to be able to enjoy the canoe for a little longer. Since we still had to return to Meisenheim, and likely by foot, we then decided to get out of the river right away.
As instructed we pulled the boat out and placed it beside a boat trailer parked there, and then gave the operator a call to come pick it up. Then we checked out our options to get back to Meisenheim. Since it's only a few kilometers to walk it seemed logical to start on foot instead of waiting for a bus half an hour later. So we started towards Meisenheim, following an old railroad track that is nowadays used as a track for handcars. It was fun watching the people going by and soon we were back in the town.
Meisenheim is a little town with a beautiful historic town center. Before exploring all the small alleys we took a shot coffee break at the Café "Meisentörtchen". They had delicious cakes there and once we had satisfied out craving for sugar we continued to walk through town. The city center is full of half timbered houses and small alleys, a lot of them with information signs about their history and there is also a free leaflet with a map of the historic town and the significant buildings in it.
This post might name places and companies. Those mentions are our personal opinion, we chose to name them because we liked them, were not paid to do so.