Sunset at Robin Hoods Bed, Peak District
Sunset at Robin Hoods Bed, Peak District
  • Lucky in Lubeck, cool in Kiel
    • 16/06/2017
Lovely ride towards Lübeck, approaching along the Lübeck- Elbe canal, when the path abruptly stopped for some construction work. Pausing to check my map I was greeted by Jan, a local architecture student and all round cool guy, who offered me his spare room. Lubeck itself is an old city crammed onto an island in between rivers, with seven church spires famously rising above the skyline and visible for miles around. Really is a nice place and quite the antidote to Hamburg, as also surprisingly not smothered in too many tourists.
So had a nice evening chatting about travel and converting Mercedes camper buses with Jan and his girlfriend Renée, followed by a delightful ride over rolling hills, through woods and a region of lakes to reach the city of Kiel, where I had been passed on to their friends Jelle and Valeria for another night of hospitality in another cool apartment, interesting conversation and being embarrassed about how well everyone in Europe speaks English.
Thanks to all!
Kiel is a strategic port and as such was completely flattened in ww2. It has managed to rebuild itself pretty nicely though, and in a few days its annual regatta begins, Kiel Woche, the biggest sailing event in the world. Judging by the amount of marquees, food vendors and stages being prepared, the place is going to be buzzing. Already lots of watercraft about, from dragon boats to tall ships, racing dinghies to cruise liners.

Setting off at a leisurely hour today I then met Damien, a French pirate cyclist with two years on the road behind him, busking for some lunch money. He absolutely loves the lifestyle and his enthusiasm is infectious!
www.loupvagabond.blogspot.com


Thereafter a pleasant ride around the coast, past beaches and harbours to the woody glade I've camped in tonight....

Doing the maths I think I'm riding 50% further each day than I estimated, although not entirely surprising given the wiggly scenic routes I'm taking vs the crow flies. Still this means I must not tarry too long in one place if I want to cover all the ground in the original plan - or I could change the plan... But I want to see everything! So on to tomorrow...
  • hamburg #2
    • 16/06/2017
So Hamburg didn't leave much impression, although maybe one day in the country's second biggest city is a bit unfair to judge it on.
Got a new memory card for camera.
Did visit the Miniature Wunderland, which probably started out as a large model railway and is now an enormous multi floor miniature representation of cities, countries, working airport, ships, traffic, night and day cycles, all beautifully crafted and with humorous details. Well worth a visit, although the crowds were crazy!
The hostel dorm produced another epic snoremaster, I've started recording sound clips of these so look out for the compilation CD at Christmas.
Also in residence was Kangjun Lee from South Korea, working in Germany for a cruise line company. Many sympathies that he's stuck there with the snorers for the rest of the week...
  • ich bin ein Berliner!
    • 14/06/2017
Couldn't resist. Not THAT Berlin, obviously. A small village with the same name, presumably to confuse people following satnavs
  • Ich bin ein Hamburger!
    • 11/06/2017
Been waiting for days to use that cheesy headline, lol. (Bacon double cheesey)

So from Bremen to Hamburg over the last two days. Feels good to be on the road again and making progress.

Farmland giving way to a large wooded area, so some pleasant shady sections, although could do without the alternating cobblestones and sand surfaces.
Dare I say it some gradients! I've identified a high point on the map as a target for the day.
Approaching the top of the "berg" a 179m high peak, but the biggest so far, I meet a german bloke fixing a puncture.
He is on an e-bike, and to celebrate his birthday is riding through the night, 200km, circular from Lebenberg, has two spare batteries (ACU) and can propel him 25km/h. Has another bike that does 45km/h.
Used to be skinny and ride racing bikes with his friends, to Berlin in a day, to Nice, Oslo to Stockholm, but got sick not sure what but has to have cortisone injections and piled on weight
Good chat in equally broken German and English.
He says there are wolves in these parts, which I find hard to believe. Did see a dead wild piglet earlier though.
So camping on the berg tonight
Lots of new bird calls up here, but also distant blasting techno music floating up the valley... Can't escape it! At 10am in Bremen a cafe was pumping out Insomnia loud enough to hear down the street... Mental.

Uneventful today alongside the Elbe, crossed the river on a ferry with the local hells angels, well, a load of aging motorbikers in matching leather jackets, lots of pin badges presumably denoting places visited, and lots of skull motifs... Then got caught in the middle of a triathlon but that's about it.
Lots of strawberries for sale at the roadside and people rollerblading. The Germans love rollerblading apparently.

Also tested out the new dynamo with USB charging and am delighted with the result, it tops up my phone battery by about 10% for every fifteen minutes of steady peddling. Fantastic!

Hamburg tourist stuff tomorrow...
  • Bremen: New wheel, new zeal
    • 09/06/2017
Bremen, Bremen, is my wheel here?
No, as I have not properly understood the German post restante service, so the parcel has been sent back to Dresden.
Anyway, pretty tired after a week without a break since Amsterdam, so I used the planned day off to sort out flights and insurance for Africa, and generally rest, as well as registering with Deutsche Post and reordering to hopefully a correct address.... Find out tomorrow.
Anyway, today was Wednesday, I did sightseeing things, going to the marvellously quiet Kunsthalle gallery, which contained a good variety of paintings and sculptures, including Rodin, Munch, Monet, Manet, van Gogh, and the usual Renaissance over the top religious crap with cherubs everywhere.
Then took a stroll through the rather nice neighborhood of Viertel where every shop seems to be decorated with a mural relating to its wares, whilst the alleyways are full of street art, posters and stickers, all very bohemian and nice architecture too, although one alley turned out to be a mini red light district!

Standing in the market place of old Bremen you are surrounded by intricately decorated churches, rathaus, beerkeller, and many other nice looking buildings - these seemingly original unlike a lot of the town centre rebuilt after the war... This and the adjacent narrow wynds are tourist central, although after about 9pm seems pretty much deserted, I guess the late night bar scene is elsewhere, but I'm not going to look for it!

When I got back to the hostel dorm this afternoon, a guy was sat meditating in the lotus position so hopefully a zen night with no snorers - or farters... (Don't ask) Earplugs on standby.

Thats after I get back from the cinema - watching Fast and Furious 8 - auf Deutsch. Whoops. Why do they have to dub everything, what's wrong with subtitles!
Should be good for a laugh though. The cinema is completely empty....
It was all car chases, I doubt the dialog would be very memorable..

Today is Friday, and today I GOT THE WHEEL! And relax. Quick test of the USB charging seems to work, and I've legged it to another hostel to escape the rain, and plan for the future now that life can go on!


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