The only biking today was pedalling around the corner to take it into the Gerike bike repair shop to get the front light re-fixed after my small accident, actually they put it on in a much better position, and also to see if they could reset the rear derailleur as it has started to move two gears at a time etc. Tomorrow will tell if they have succeeded! Although I’ve now downloaded the bike repair app as recommended by DC Rainmaker 🙂
It was a glorious warm sunny day so it made sight seeing very pleasurable, combined with the vast numbers of bakeries, ice cream cafes & pubs which made it into a big weight gain day. No wonder there are so many tubby folks around.
I discovered all the little bits sticking out in the river that so fascinate my sister back home. My only theory is that they narrow the river thus making it flow faster and maybe deepening the navigable channel but really I have no idea. Here is a picture of what she means, any theories welcome in the comments!. [my good friend Christopher found the answer in this paper “The effect of groynes on rivers”
In the evening I went for a massage at the Schloss hotel, bit pricey and I find it interesting that their order of doing the massage is the reverse of Sally’s whose I still very much prefer.
Tomorrow I continue down the Elbe – only about 400km to do now…
A much better start to the day with fine weather an OK breakfast and missing out one of the Elbe’s horseshoe bends finding myself on the outskirts of Magdeburg in just over 1 hour, so pretty pleased that I stopped in Pretzien last night.
I approached Magdeburg over the beautiful island park at Rotehorn on a perfect autumnal day cool sunshine with leaves blowing everywhere – and chatting to Sally over Facetime. O2 can only provide 3G coverage in major cities. Obviously Germany is a poor country that can’t afford the luxury of 3G in the country….
Magdeburg centre marks the halfway point on the Elbe River trail necessitating a change to Book 2 of the bikeline books, unfortunately it was deep in my packing 🙁 The centre is pleasant enough with an amazing gaudiesque building and lots of interesting sculptures dotted around including one for all the children murdered in the concentration camps.
Whilst pottering around the centre someone on a bike nearly crashed into me, I couldn’t unclip in time so down I fell, once again (after a similar experience on The Rhine in Dusseldorf) no one murmured a word or offered to help! Fortunately the iPhone stayed in its holder and the only damage done was my posh dynamo light bending its fixing 🙁 which needs fixing before I can ride at night. Wearing my heart rate monitor all day I got a bit of a surprise in the evening…
I left Magdeburg through its now defunct harbour with buildings awaiting conversion to luxury flats & museums. Further along I came to the truly amazing modern aqueduct carrying the canal from Berlin to the Rhine an incredibly vast structure that makes UK canals seem like toys.
The afternoon was very pleasant through small very sleepy villages with occasional magnificent views of The Elbe meandering in the valley below. I eventually arrived in the stunning walled town of Tangermunde and called it a day at the Hotel am Rathaus in the centre.
I did nearly 64 miles at a very sedate pace of under 10mph for the day.
After a much better sleep and my Snorelab snore score halved from the previous night I woke to a very grey day & heavy drizzle. My spirits were lifted by the magnificent buffet breakfast spread & excellent personal jug of coffee. I’ve found the Landgasthof Sonneneck a perfect small hotel, friendly & efficient and the traffic noise isn’t that bad as it stops in the night.
Five minutes after setting of I hit the first of many diversions most caused by works on flood defences, the cycleway is gradually getting further away from the river here! Just before Wittenberg I hit the Netto and stocked up on Ritter’s & fizzy juice drink. Wittenburg is very pleasant and would make a good place to stay (seemed popular with English tourists) the apfelstrudel was good too.
I eventually found the way on the left bank, although I suspect the right bank route has fewer diversions. I finally cracked, with Googles help out to get Gaia not to turn the screen of by going to Settings/General/auto lock and setting to Never. This makes it much easier to find the route especially with Gaia set to rotate the map so the direction of travel is always up on the screen with location auto centred. However, I then discovered that Strava had crashed hours ago 🙁
The two routes meet in Worlitz which caused me some confusion but eventually left through the massive gateway, this area is full of old huge estates.
Dessau was a bit of a surprise to me (OK I should be organised & read the guidebook) when I happened upon The Bauhaus (Walter Gropius also designed Impington Village College where my designer son did his sixth form art) – amazing how a plain box can be quite so elegant followed by the equally intriguing Fokker museum. I really should have stayed and spent some time here, but I pressed on.
The Aken ferry is a cool design too being anchored by a long rope in the centre of the fast flowing Elbe, by tugging the rope on each side a small amount the ferry can be made to swing to each side of the river, if the rope ever snaps I guess you would find yourself quickly in Hamburg :-). Crossing makes an interesting arc on the GPX file.
After the ferry you cycle through what seems endless pine forests, good training for Finnish biking I guess. It was getting late there was no internet on the phone to use booking.com. I was beginning to worry a little thinking it would be 8ish before I would arrive in Magdeburg. When I swung around a corner in Pretzien to find a very inviting Park Hotel. A welcoming place even if the internet is quite possibly slower than the old dial up.
Last nights sleep was the weirdest for quite some time .I ended up dreaming about a dream, how sad is that! It was a retake of my favourite childhood dream of flying my merely flapping my arms, still think it would be cool to do. Except in this one I had hit someone on take off & got told of for day dreaming! The amazing thing is that it was clearly happening in Skinner Street, Creswell. I think it was the train noises outside the hotel reminding me of where we lived in Creswell. Anyway the net result was I hit a record snore score on the SnoreLab app 🙁 Good job I was the only resident in the Saxonia 🙂
Breakfast was a lavish affair of eggs, cheese, bread etc etc as “a treat” they had BBC world news on the TV, the first time I have seen any TV/Radio news for months & months. Really weird, although it was interesting to see Putin clenching his fist obviously getting ready to bop the reporter. Also a tag line was running about toilets in India – think I will stick to Twitter!
Outside it was a cool gray but dry morning with the wind from the North so in my face most of the day, always surprises me how the wind affects my speed. I guess I should be biking the other way like most folks.
Lots of umleitung’s today and my route only touched on the gpx file on the phone in a few places. The route was very fen like with straight flat roads & right angle bends, so all a bit dull, giving me lots of time in trying to work out to control the Luxos U dynamo/usb charger still haven’t totally cracked it. Equally spent ages fiddling with the Gaia app, which I’m loving more & more, just wish I could work out why the screen stays on all the time (which I like) sometimes and other times keeps switching off 🙁 is it related to battery percentage I wonder? The Luxos can only just about keep the iPhone running so through the day the battery percentage decreases due to stopping & low speed.
I had given myself riding to 4pm so duly went onto booking.com and found The Landgasthof Sonneneck for €39, I managed to arrive before their fax machine had churned out the booking (amazing in Germany they still uses faxes!). It seems very good, although it will be road noise tonight not rail 🙂