ORL Day Three: Sayn to Kleinkastell Hillsheid

A pleasant wander through the Schmetterlingsgarten (butterfly garden) and on into the small town of Sayn found us gradually exiting it and climbing boldly up onto the Dusty Mountain (Der Pulverberg). As we went, we passed the exciting-looking Kletterwald (literally ‘woodland scrambling’) where all sorts of shocking, risk-assessment-withering activities could be undertaken within the tree canopy by those of a bold nature. Climb, climb, climb, and we gain height until I stop and am about to address the group on the hazards of Limesweg mountain-bikers … when two burst out of the undergrowth, emerging from the steep path we are about to take, making my point eloquently for me. This happened next to a patch of (for the Rhineland) unusual clear felling, the reason for which soon becomes apparent.

Auf dem Pulverberg

We continue our ascent and finally arrive at WT 1/54 (‘Auf dem Pulverberg’), with a fine view across Sayn, now considerably aided by that clear felling of a strip of woodland (in imitation of what the Romans had almost certainly done). This is followed by a pleasant stroll through woodland, occasionally ambushed by lengths of the Limes. A descent leads us to where we take lunch, next to Kleinkastell Anzbach, which is next to a wastewater treatment works (as you do). The skies are blue, the sun shining, and the poo not at all intrusive.

We continue after lunch, past a house adorned with giant murals of Asterix, Obelix, and Getafix, then climbing gently up a valley, and past more lengths of frontier.

The rampart and ditch

We head on, down past a mill, back up into open agricultural land (a quick flash as a buzzard spirals down on his prey) and we are climbing again towards Hillscheid. We finally arrive at the Limespavilion Hillscheid, where the custodian is summoned by phone and gives us a long and informative guide to absolutely everything, ever, for which he is much appreciated. A 1994-vintage reconstruction of the nearby WT 1/68, it has an adjacent Roman rural garden (although sadly its faun statue was recently vandalised).

Limespavilion Hillscheid and the Roman garden

The last part of a our march takes us onwards and upwards, in a quest to reach Kleinkastell Hillscheid, located in yet more woodland. A fortlet with an annexe, an adjacent WT (1/69), and a length of reconstructed bank, ditch, and palisade, it is worth the steady climb to get to it. Now, however, it is time to head back.

Kleinkastell Hillscheid