Our Duke of Edinburgh Award Adventure - 9 1/2 Weeks - CycleBlaze

September 25, 2019

Our Duke of Edinburgh Award Adventure

Schwaan to Waren DE

Just after we got married some 30 odd years ago, we moved to Glasgow for a few years. As Kirsten was unable to get a work permit (notwithstanding that her maternal Granny was born in Glasgow), she threw herself into all sorts of volunteer work. 

One of these endeavors was being a guide leader to the local Kilmacolm guide troop. A couple of the more industrious guides, with Kirsten's encouragement and tutelage undertook the challenge of earning a Duke of Edinburgh award.

One of the things the girls needed to do was to organise and execute their own unsupervised overnight hike. Unsupervised in a supervised fashion. The girls set off on an overnignt hike in the Renfrew hills, just west on Kilmacolm on the rugged west coast of Scotland. Kirsten and I were required to 'observe' them, but not to be involved and to stay at least 400 m away from them. 

The Renfrew hills are classic moorlands, not a tree in sight and many peat bogs to look out for. The day the girls set off is was a cloudless warm day ... very unusual for Scotland. Kirsten and I took up a perch on the high point of the hike and we could see the girls working their way towards us. Walk 10 paces. Stop, pull out the topo map. Gather around it, take a compass reading. Put the map away. Walk 10 paces. Stop again, Repeat the whole process, over and over again! You could see for miles in every direction and the route to follow was as plain as the nose on your face. Watching these girls make glacial progress with all their stopping and phaffing about was excruciating! 

But they made it, and they got their DofE awards.

That was sort of what our day felt like (except the excruciating bit).

The 'official' Copenhagen to Berlin cycle route winds a very circuitous route, turning a circa 200 km straight line into something closer to 400. There are numerous other bike routes intertwined with the BKO, plus scores of deserted rural roads to ride on. The route combinations are incalculable!

We wanted to take a more direct route so we were 'making up our own' route by piecing together bits and pieces of other routes. Very nice riding and interesting countryside and trail conditions. However all of this at the expense of lots of stop and go with requisite map consultations.

To add to that, the weather was alternating between drizzle and misty and almost no combination of clothing was right for more than 20 minutes .... more stop and go!

However we did knock off ~90 km and rode everything from single track (a few km's) through to the shoulders of secondary highways (also a few km's) and ended up in the beautiful lakeside resort town of Waren.

Since it was drizzling all day including when we arrived in Warren, and our tent was still wet with the morning dew, camping was out of the question.

Queue up booking dot com and we secured a room at the lovely Hotel Ingeborg just outside the Old Town of Waren. 

We soon turned the very nice hotel room into a gear drying area as we set out for a superb dinner. All good!

We also made plans for Berlin in 1 1/2 days time. We'll take a day or so off the bikes to poke around as K and I have not been there before.

Song of the Day , Bobcaygeon by The Tragically Hip

Riding into Waren this today I had this epiphany that it's sort of like 'cottage country' for Berlin. The next thought that came into my head was "Bobcaygeon" ... classic cottage country for Canadians (okay, maybe just for folks from Toronto). Now this place does not look anything like Ontario Cottage country, the 'cottages' are lakeside Prussian mansions and the towns are medieval in age. However, the lakes here do have a bit of a Kwartha Lakes feel to them, and the second line of the song ' It could have been the Willie Nelson, or it could have been the wine" reminded me of what I was originally going to call this Journal. Not enough time to explain, other than that works for SOTD for me!

If you look at the map, in the top right corner there is a drop down box. Click that and you can choose which background map is displayed. If you pick Open Cycle Map you will get a map that shows all of the 'officially designated cycle route' .... the choice is endless!
Heart 3 Comment 1
Karin KaarsooI can see why you needed frequent stops to plot a route!
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1 month ago
Konditories are open EARLY in Germany. Good Furhstruck and Kaffee!
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Riding along old 'tank tracks'
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...and on forestry roads
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.... and some cobblestones too. Pretty to look at, brutal to ride on!
Heart 1 Comment 4
Len DeMossI've ridden a lot of cobblestone in Europe...argh!!!
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1 month ago
Lyle McLeodTo Len DeMossI’ll take gravel over this any day. Guaranteed to shake your bike to bits in less than an hour!
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1 month ago
Len DeMossTo Lyle McLeodYup, I agree. I ended up walking a lot of cobblestones with the bike just because it was so hard to ride. A big group of us from here locally flew into London in 2017 and rode London to Brussels for 5 days, and hit pouring rain a couple of days. Riding on cobblestones in rain is definitely not for the feint of heart! By the say, I signed up for CycleBlaze for journals. Jeff sent me a note that he would gladly put up my journals on cgob to CycleBlaze, all I needed to do was send him the links to the journals. I do hope that he will just copy them from crazy guy and not remove them. Loving your new tour.
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1 month ago
Lyle McLeodLen, thanks for the news re getting CGOAB blogs posted here. I’ll send Jeff a note too and see if he can our 3 journals posted here as well.
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1 month ago
While we had virtually every type of riding today apart form Autobahns, most of it was like this. This is a 'shared' road, but we had a car or tractor about every 15 minutes
Heart 6 Comment 1
Ron SuchanekThat's my kinda road!
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1 week ago
Almost all of the ride today was through forests or farms. We saw more of these than other people
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When you meet someone for the first time, don't lick their face. I think these two have known each other for a while, so it's ok
Heart 6 Comment 1
Ron SuchanekSo what you're saying is, licking someone's face is not necessarily welcome on the first meeting.... Hmmm. That would've been handy information.
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1 week ago
Our 'Stumble Upon' lunch place. An old brick works 'owners' house that was used by the Soviets for a number of years. It's just being converted into a 'hotel, cafe'. Very early days but the soup and cake's were great
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Restarting our German/Austrian mid afternoon tradition - kuchen & kaffee
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The story board for our ‘lunch stop’
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More farm scenes from today's ride
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From about noon on it was drizziling rain. No camping tonight. Checking into the Hotel Ingeborg in Waren. A very nice hotel in a very very interesting and picturesque town
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The bed room of our Jr Suite BC - before carnage
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AC - after carnage. Big enough to set up our wet tent. It was dry when we came back from dinner!
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AC in the sitting room. Not too bad, we've created more havoc in rooms before!
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Walking to dinner through the old town or Waren
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End of the day ‘recovery bevies’ at the Kleines Meer restaurant (excellent!)
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Today's ride: 94 km (58 miles)
Total: 338 km (210 miles)

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