Home > Uncategorized > Remnants on the Road

Remnants on the Road

Written 17.6.2010

This morning, I was in the zone. I cycled through Zarrentin, Schadeland, Valluhn, and Büchen without any trouble. I passed through beautiful pine forests, and several striped DDR posts that remained standing on private property near the road. Everytime I saw another, it surprised me more. Why didn’t the landowners remove them? Most traces of the border are gone; why do these signposts remain as they stand? Unfortunately, I did not get the chance to find out today.

I left Büchen around 12:30 and made good time to Lauenburg. It was then I was faced with the realization that German cities are my ultimate navigational downfall. I spent close to an hour looking for the path to Boizenburg, frustrated that I could not find what should have been a series of simple turns. Eventually, I found the path, and later, managed to go the right way on it.

The sun beat down; I was now caught in the afternoon heat and starting my 51st kilometer of the day. Yesterday, a local had described the weather as cold. I wondered foggily what she might say about today’s conditions. Worse, I was running out of water. Of course, I hadn’t been planning on being lost for an hour, and I also hadn’t been planning on the series of steep hills I now faced. I reached the top of the first one, after a sluggish 8km/h climb, and pulled off the path to rest in the shade. I ate the biscuit with honey I’d been carrying around, and drank some more water.

After a few minutes, I forced myself to continue, hoping to refuel in Boizenburg. I felt much better, but still tired, and soon arrived at “Checkpoint Harry,” which is a restaurant situated next to a DDR watchtower. The watchtower had been adorned with a garish sign for the establishment, which I was rather put off by, but I went inside anyway, and ordered water and ice cream: exactly what I had been thinking about for the last 5k.

Refreshed and ready for the road, I biked into Boizenburg, was briefly lost, but followed my instincts to the Elbe and the dike path that ran alongside the river. I cycled along the elevated path, passing an old watchtower, and eventually arriving in Neu Blekede. Even today, there is no road that crosses the river, so I took a ferry to Blekede. I biked to the town center and straight to the pension I had been hoping to find–it is a member of the German Bett & Bike club and I was extremely happy to get a reasonable room and settle down. I have now feasted on Tortellini Bolgonese and eis, and am just about ready for bed.

Today was the first day of my trip I ended up in the city I started out for. I think this is a clear sign that I’m getting better at this.

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