The area is rife with mosquitos, but we managed to keep them away from us by keeping the windows closed – did not improve the air quality in the room, though.
It is ascension day, or fathers‘ day, in Germany. In this area they call it ‚Herrentag‘ , which could be roughly translated as (gentle)men‘s day. In the pictures (link below) you will see some men in a kind of carriage being towed by a tractor, apparently the traditional way of celebrating – with lots of beer. When no tractor is at hand any kind of motorised bike, but especially motorbikes in any size, seem to be the way to go. During the day all the picnic places we wanted to have a break at were occupied by these drinking parties
It was an extremely windy day. We were lucky in several ways: we cycled mainly through the woods, so we heard the wind, but hardly felt it, and it was mainly a tailwind. When it came from the side keeping the bike under control was quite hard.
As we are going through the Mecklenburger Seenplatte (a kind of ‚lake district‘ of the North-East of Germany), we have still not left the water as a constant feature of our tour. I am still trying to eat as much local fish as possible – very nice.
On arrival in Waren (Müritz) there was a big fair, including ferris wheel and all kinds of unhealthy food. Only after having ‚dived in‘ did we realise it is the ‚Sail Müritz‘, which mainly consisted of this fair, and rich people sitting on their large boats along the promenade and looking down on the normal people.
After saying our farewell to the very orderly beach in Warnemünde by paddling in the Baltic Sea one last time, we set off for Rostock.
Unfortunately the way there was not very nice for cyclists, but the town itself is quite impressive. The spirit of the Hanse is still palatable.
It did not take too long to get out into the countryside of Mecklenburg. The route Berlin – Copenhagen is very well signposted, even in the opposite direction.
Our lunch-break in Schwaan was in a bit of an eccentric café, where we were told on entry that they did not have cake. Luckily their soup was delicious and filling.
On our way we saw several impressive brick churches, that apparently belong to the oldest of the country. Unfortunately we could not see the castle and grounds of Güstrow, as it is being renovated. It seems we did not want to be away from water – our hotel for the night is on lake Inselsee.
Unfortunately I have an issue with this WordPress site (not enough storage for all my pictured), so you might want to have a look here instead, for the time being: https://gopro.com/v/4yzqWW08M9aXn
We had planned roughly 20 km less or today and/or to go a little further, but then human incompetence and too much reliance on electronic ‚helpers‘ struck… We had wondered, why we were cycling along main roads and where our views of the Baltic Sea had gone, but only when we were stuck in a gravel pit, did we really look at a map…. About 20 km and many unpleasant roads later we saw the first cyclists and knew we were on the Baltic Sea coastal bike route again. No pictures were taken on this bit, there was nothing worth taking pictures of.
Luckily, one of the first things we saw was a village museum with a bakery, that had its baking day! So we got our very nice and extremely fresh second breakfast (we ate stale bread and old cheese in the room in the morning, because breakfast in the hotel was too expensive in our opinion) in a very pleasant environment.
From here on the route was really nice again, you can see what advantages it has, to follow a touristy route in this area – the ‚Hinterland‘ we saw is devoid of niceties. Lunch was had at the little harbour/beach place of Rerik, when a message from my brother reached me, that my father said it was going to rain soon – two minutes later it started. So the next 1.5 hours we had some rain, which of course did not deter us.
From here on the coast has a string of very posh resorts, Kühlungsborn and Heiligendamm are even connected by an hourly steam train.
As we decided to head in the direction of Berlin from Rostock, this is the last night on the coast. We looked for a hotel in Warnemünde with a sea view and were rewarded with a spectacular sunset!
We loved the bit of the Baltic Sea coastal cycling route we saw, from Kiel to Warnemünde. Some bits were quite challenging cycling and there was more up-and-down than one would maybe expect for a coast. Another great advantage was, that there are public toilets all along, in fairly short distances from each other.
After a morning swim in the hotel pool (good for the muscles and shoulders) we had the best weather so far with bright blue skies and good view, although the headwind was quite strong. Also the route today was mainly away from car traffic, and we got to see views that car-drivers can never enjoy.
The first bit from Timmendorfer Strand to Travemünde was technically quite challenging. Up and down on gravel, right next to the sandy cliffs, with dog-walkers and e-bikers also claiming their bit of the path.
Travemünde had the most modern beach front, not much character, yet. We took the ferry across the Trave to Priwall peninsula, at the end of which Mecklenburg-Vorpommern starts. This is where the former inner-German border was. A lot of that history is explained on boards along the way – I keep being shocked at what the GDR-government did to its people.
From now on the coast, and therefore the coastal path we were following, is very hilly. There were also less people than before, and we only saw one woman on a non-e-bike, and she was pushing her bike up a hill.
Boltenhagen was our first resort in Mecklenburg, very pleasant. The green drink in the picture is Fassbrause Waldmeister.
We are staying right in the market place in Wismar, which is a UNICEF world heritage site. It was very interesting to me to see all the buildings form the time of the Hanse, although a lot of them had been re-built after the war. As it was Monday night, a small group of ‚Querdenker‘ congregated on the market, which we only realised because of the police presence.
Not so windy today, and we did not get wet at all. Beautiful route, that took us away from the coast first. We discovered an old stone bridge that used to be part of the main road connecting Lübeck with Fehmarn.
Along the coast we then went through one nice beach resort after another. As it was Sunday, and the day became progressively sunnier, there were more people about. We walked up and down two of the piers, but after a while they are quite samey.
Coming up to Neustadt in Holstein there were several Information boards on what happened here towards the end of WWII, mainly the sinking of the Cap Arcona. I still do not understand how people can treat fellow human beings like that.
While having a break in Neustadt I happened to read in the local rag, that the town needs to do something regarding its bike infrastructure – couldn’t agree more.
One of my highlights was this thatched-roof bus-stop in Scharbeutz – wow.
We even ended up in a nice hotel with a sea view, and had a ‚sundowner‘ on the pier looking back at our hotel.
We are staying in the same accommodation another night and just planned to cycle around the island of Fehmarn in one day. Without luggage, that was actually noticeably easier.
The day started with quite a few blustery showers, we were wearing our waterproof jackets most of the day, just towards the end the weather brightened a bit on the southern part of the island.
All around the island there were many windsurfers, kite surfers, wake boarders, sailing boats, etc., and families flying kites. The water near the coast seems to vary from knee to hip deep, so excellent for people learning any of the water sports. It certainly was windy enough as well. There are camping sites all around as well, and they were very busy.
We did not follow the coastal route all the way, as we also wanted to have a look at Burg, very worth while – very pleasant high street.
Along the southern coast we had many spectacular views of the Fehmarnsund – bridge, which is a liste building.
What impresses me most : The island produces enough energy for all its own needs and exports quite a bit as well. This is achieved with windgenerators, solar and biogas.
The morning started really well, the path was good, there were very few cyclists, we had the wind supporting us and the countryside was very varied. The white sandy beaches of yesterday had turned into more stoney beaches, therefore apparently not as interesting for tourists. We cycled through quite a few nature reserves, as well as past more military areas. Practically that meant, that we could not always see the sea.
It also meant, that we did not find many cafés or restaurants for breaks. Lunch was at a Greek place in Oldenburg in Holstein, not to be confused with the better known Oldenburg in Oldenburg (Niedersachsen).
We had an ice-cream break in the holiday resort of Heiligenhafen, which is a high—rise block conglomeration with 1700 flats – quite impressive (not only in a positive way). The old place of Heiligenhafen on the other hand is quite nice.
The last bit of cycling to Großenbrode I found very strenuous, I can still feel the (after-)effects of Covid. Our hotel room for the next two nights partially made up for this, though. It is large, light, clean. We have cooking facilities, which we used straight away to make proper tea, and pasta for our evening meal. The bikes are on the terrace, so safe from the storm that came in the late evening/night.
After a wonderful breakfast in the hotel we set off to take the ferry across the Kieler Förde. In the morning three huge cruise ships had arrived, quite a sight! We saw two of them leave again from our room in the evening.
On our way along the coast we saw our first beaches with the typical Strandkörbe.
Also in Laboe, which is on the corner of the Kieler Förde to the Baltic sea proper, is a submarine museum and a memorial to navy people.
The bike path along the coast is great, very easy to cycle, and today we had what little wind there was behind us. Of course we also had to paddle in the sea, the white sandy beaches were just too inviting.
We are actually staying in hotel California in Kalifornien, which was only 28 km to cycle. I still seem not to be at full strength after Covid, so that was ok.
As the predicted thunderstorms seem to have been delayed we cycled into the Hinterland a bit, also to do some shopping. We took the opportunity to also explore the pier at Schönberger Strand.
The sunset after the thunderstorm was beautiful. We are so lucky to have a sea view from our room.
Beautiful sunny day to start off our holiday. After 10 days of Covid-induced quarantaine it was nice to leave the house and garden again. We celebrated by having brunch on the way to the station in Munich.
Luckily the train journey was uneventful, and very useful for resting. I was impressed by the park-!like nature of the platforms at Hamburg – Harburg.
When we arrived at the hotel I was very (pleasantly) surprised to see two very tall men coming from the fitness room. My first thought was basketball, but it turns out they were handball players from Paris Saint German, that are competing against THW Kiel in some European cup.
We had fish and chips with local beers for dinner and talked about our cycling plans and route for the next few days. This sculpture is apparently one of the first expressionist sculptures made, quite impressive.
After two half days of workshop and lots of socialising it was time to head back. Unfortunately the weather had turned, so it was drizzling for about the first half of the way back. Wolfgang had decided to take the train home, so I was on my own for the first part of the trip.
This time I had planned to meet up with Phil, who was taking the train to Bad Tölz to then cycle the last 40 odd km home with me. Therefore my route was slightly different – actually hillier.
Due to the humidity I did not take as many pictures as usual, but here are some impressions of the views and villages I went through. This part of Bavaria ist just so pretty, weather does not matter.