Riding in the rain along the Elbe then towards Bremen: A lovely day - we are getting stronger - From Copenhagen's Little Mermaid to Milan's Great Cathedral - CycleBlaze

August 17, 2012

Riding in the rain along the Elbe then towards Bremen: A lovely day - we are getting stronger

It was raining gently when the bikes were liberated from the garage they had been locked in overnight. Sensibly our rain coats went on and everything had been protected from the rain. The plan of the day was to somehow get us in the direction of Bremen. There were certainly no direct bike route so what we decided was to follow the Elbe Radweg towards Hamburg but leave it before we got to the city. Our memories of going around in circles 2 years ago were still clear on our mind. Then it was a matter of somehow getting cross country over to the cycle route between Hamburg and Bremen where hopefully there would be somewhere suitable to stay.

It worked and we had a great day's cycling. I think I am getting fitter because at the end of the day I really wasn’t that tired. First we crossed the long bridge over to the other side of the Elbe and the rain started in earnest. Although we had ridden this part of the Elbe before there was nothing familiar because that time we had been on the other side of the river lost in the forest. Today’s ride was through small villages and patches of farm land. We stopped for coffee at a camping ground shedding water all over the place. Turning away from the river the farming was very different from the grain farms that have become so familiar. There were huge areas of lettuces and what I liked best paddocks of flowers in particular lots of stately gladiolas all I imagine bound for the flower markets which seem to be everywhere

The rain became much lighter but for us too soggy still for a picnic. An interesting looking restaurant appeared. At first we got mixed up in what was some sort of celebration but soon we were put right and I ordered myself some sort of soup. I was completely unsure what it was as my German is abysmal, Ken ordered Mozzarella and tomato. It took about 45minutes for the meal to arrive. When it did it was well worth the wait. My soup was rather like French Onion Soup with a clear broth full of onions and topped with small pieces of bread that were covered by a thick layer of melted cheese – delicious. Ken had a large plate of tomatoes and Mozzarella with pesto, bay leaves and other bits and pieces.

The rain had gone when we emerged and there were patches of blue sky. These kept growing until by the time we arrived at this hotel in Hollenstedt the sun was shining. It is an ‘International Motor Cycle Hotel’. If you arrive on a motor cycle you get a discount of 7 Euros, having arrived on push bikes we are honorary motor cyclists!

Looking back at Lauenburg
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The Elbe is very much a working river
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Acres of lettuces
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For the flower markets
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Our lunch
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Our hotel In Hollenstedt
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Today's ride: 91 km (57 miles)
Total: 661 km (410 miles)

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