Altenburg - Leipzig - To France the Long Way - CycleBlaze

June 14, 2009

Altenburg - Leipzig

Yesterday just as we were entering Altenburg, we saw a sign for a pension so we stopped. We decided it was time to rest our weary legs, the town could wait. It was a good decision. The pension is well run and has a restaurant where the next morning we are served a fantastic breakfast.

We have a bit of downhill to the town center of Altenburg. The town has a long history and owes some of its earlier wealth to its location on the salt route. In World War II sub-camps of the Buchenwald concentration camps were located here. We circle around in the historic part of town, admire the Renaissance townhall, the market place, some impressive Baroque structures and on our way out of town a row of beautifully restored Gründerzeit buildings, Gründerzeit being the time of the economic boom starting in the 1870's.

It's a short downhill ride into town from our pension
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Some neglected buildings
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Market Square in Altenburg
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Market Square Altenburg
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Townhall, Altenburg
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Gründerzeit buildings, Altenburg
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For our ride to Leipzig we have perfect weather and relatively flat terrain. It's one of those days that is pleasant and uneventful, I can't remember much and didn't write much. On the map I see many lakes, artificial lakes resulting from brown-coal surface mining, however we don't pass many. In Markkleeburg, we're getting close to Leipzig, we pass elegant villas, more like mansions, which have recently been rejuvinated and are looking better than new, indicators of a wealthy past and obviously one of the preferred suburbs today, where much money has been invested.

A pleasant ride
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Nuclear plants or wind farms? - I'm all for the wind even if it is often against me
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Entering Leipzig is a surprise. Again, big city and I'm wondering how will it go. We approach through a lovely wood, then a park with long, tree-lined avenues for cycling and strolling. It's a sunny Sunday and everyone is out enjoying Leipzig's greenbelt.

Approaching Leipzig through its greenbelt
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Bike paths outside of Leipzig
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Once we hit the center of town, we are a bit at a loss as to how to find a hotel. Picking a place to stay is so much easier in small towns. The tourist information office is already closed so we decide on the tried-and-true method of finding an Internet cafe and booking online - much more efficient than riding around town and hoping to stumble across a suitable place. We decide for Motel One, a new building in the very center of old Leipzig, a real eyesore next to its venerable neighbors, but good value and conveniently located.

There is much to do and see here and we decide to stay for two full days before moving on.

Manhole cover of the city of Leipzig
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Today's ride: 57 km (35 miles)
Total: 531 km (330 miles)

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