Wednesday 21st August Doners, Donations and Dramatic Castles - Retyrement on 2 Wheels - CycleBlaze

August 21, 2019

Wednesday 21st August Doners, Donations and Dramatic Castles

Following another hearty breakfast we are on the Elbe track which is flat and smooth with a tail wind. The trail moves away from the river and skirts large fields most already harvested, some with maize. We do see more asparagus later. 

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Cyclists seem particularly favoured - at Wessnig we find a stall with free sparkling and still chilled water. We have a brief chat with a German couple from Heidelberg there . He has just visited NZ and loved it, though his chatty and open partner, a kindergarten teacher, has the better English. Later we find the cyclists’ church. This old building, renovated by locals, had a cycling emphasis. The interior is plain wood like many old NZ churches.

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We lunch at Reisa, a charming town on a hill above the river, dining on kebabs from one of the five doner options in the quiet main street. Shops are open and people are out but there are no cars . Nearby a man plays accordion, working through a repertoire of tunes that includes a number of the Italian songs Ann’s father Bob used to perform after lots of persuasion. We give the player most of our change.

From here, the river changes in look quite dramatically. More houses, some quite elaborate affairs, cruise boats and private craft. The gardens along the river look colourful and productive, with vegetables, flowers and trees. It looks a little like parts of the Loire now. 

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We also see more farm animals- cows, sheep, geese, even some ostriches - a long way from home. At Zadel we opt for a small ferry to the opposite bank as an alternative to taking hilly option forced by road works. Well you would, wouldn’t you?

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It’s a good option because the river and landscape become even more attractive.

Grand houses, vineyards , pensions on offer, churches and churches. And it is sunnier. The river is broad and like the Loire, chocolate dark in colour. I do see some fish as we cross on the ferry though.

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Meissen, famous for its porcelain china, is our goal for the day. It looks dramatic as we approach. The tall, white castle with the church spires behind it, dominate the river. We look for a supermarket in town. For once, although a Lidl goes a long way, this one eludes us and we shop for supplies elsewhere. Just upriver we find Campingplatz Rehbocktal. We find a site on the edge of a green leafy glade, within earshot of a babbling brook. The camp has a kitchen, good wifi, a stoves, fridge and plenty of pots and pans, even a colander for the pasta. Showers have the infernal 10 seconds timer but are hot and clean. All’s well in the world.

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Today's ride: 87 km (54 miles)
Total: 1,102 km (684 miles)

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