I planned this hike through the 'Nationalpark Eifel' using the book 'Wanderungen im Nationalpark Eifel' (editor: NRW-Stiftung / Eifelverein; publisher: J.P. Bachem Verlag; 2007) and the map 'Nationalpark Eifel - Rad- und Wanderkarte' (publisher: publicpress; 2008). All tour and trail numbers refer to them.
This time, I took an extension of tour 5, which starts at Heimbach, goes up to the 'Mariawald' abbey, takes a big slope down to Schwammenauel and goes back to Heimbach.
In detail: Heimbach -> trail 6 to abbey Mariawald -> trail 20 -> trail 10 to Steinbach -> trail NPR to Schwammenauel -> trail R24 / EHR to the power plant -> trail 1 /AE to Heimbach. Here are some photos:
Leaving Heimbach, I get a first look at castle Hengebach.
Trail 6 goes up to the 'Bildchesberg' pretty steep. You really should have good shoes and some breath. However, it's one of the nicest parts of the tour.
A little further up.
That's at the scenic point on the Bildchesberg. (The name's missing only one letter to make it the 'small picture mountain'. I wonder, who came up with that name.)
Same spot, more zoom: The white building is the power plant.
Going on, the trail get's broader, meet's other trails and comes to a junction which is missing all signs. But if you take the lower choice, you'll get to this spot a few meters ahead. It's the abbeys roof you see there.
The abbey, tradditional entrance.
The abbey, new entrance. It already got some sharp points on the top and looks as if they're still waiting for razor wire to put above it.
The abbey's backside, seen from trail 20.
If my identification is correct, this is some (supposedly) rare danewort. This one is on trail 10, a little ahead of the steep patch on the map.
During the descend, the variety of plants increases.
This is at the junction where trail 10 meets with the trails 9 and NPR. In the map, trail 10 continues further down, in reality you have to take a close look, where the 10-sign is pointing to: There's a path hidden right in front of you, one step still visible. However, to get to the Schwammenauel I followed trail NPR.
Views from trail NP3...
That's on trail R24 / EHR on the shore of 'Staubecken Heimbach'.
That's the power plant Heimbach, built in 1905 in the art nouveau style. It uses the water power from the Urfttalsperre ('Talsperre' = dam).
Crossing the bridge takes you on trail 1 / AE, which leads around a camping ground and ...
some well kept gardens ...
back to the shore.
Along the shore it displays a great variety of plants.
On the hill, there's a (slightly visible) antenna pole which stands at the spot of the Viewpoint on Bildchesberg. Walking up there looks like a piece of cake from down here. :-)
A broadside view of castle Hengebach. Amazing, how well the new elements fit into the picture. That's the first time, I really like the use of visible concrete.
There's one thing more to say: If you take the Ruhrtalbahn from Düren to Heimbach, you're rewarded with a really nice landscape outside. It's perfect soundtrack is Yo-Yo Ma's 'Silk Road Journeys: When Strangers Meet', esp. 'Legend of Herlen' and 'Moon over Guan Mountain'. It's the first time that I felt an understanding of those tracks.