Home > Uncategorized > “You Want to Get Rid of Lübeck.”

“You Want to Get Rid of Lübeck.”

Written 16.6.2010

“You want to get rid of Lübeck,” Thomas said to me yesterday afternoon. It was not a question, but a statement. Thomas works at the shop that fixed my bike, and he had been invaluable in terms of mechanical know-how, and general advice for biking to Zarrentin. But yes, I was restless and it was time to get rid of Lübeck.

I got a late start out of the city because of some delays with the repairs, but I was determined not to tarry another day, so I set off south, in the direction of Ratzeburg and Zarrentin. It was a perfect day to be outside, and I was thrilled to be on the road again. I followed the main road out of town, and soon crossed the former border into Herrnburg. Immediately, things were different. There were less small shops, and signs of business. The houses looked older, were usually half-timbered, and more often than not, sported a thatched roof. I was in farmland, and the smell of pastures and manure hung thick over the countryside. I even spotted a couple of horseback riders farther down the road.

The road was easy cycling, but occasionally, in a village, the street would suddenly turn into cobblestones, which were very unpleasant. I only got turned around once in Schattin, where I followed a muddy country path for a little way before I realized that it wasn’t going anywhere and turned around. I made it to Campow in good time, but south of town, I encountered the “hard country track” described by my guidebook, which I might term “a sand and gravel pit.” It was slow going for a kilometer or two, but I was eventually rewarded with a glorious view of Lake Ratzeburg and an exciting downhill ride.

I realized earlier that my best bet for overnight was in Ratzeburg, and I pedaled hard to make it early enough. I got to the city around 4:45, and spent a frustrating hour looking for a place to stay. I followed at least three signs for hotels and pensions, which didn’t seem to lead anywhere. Around 6, I was nervous, riding through old town, when I turned the corner and saw the most welcoming hotel sign I’d ever laid eyes on. I parked and went inside, where there was a staircase and two locked doors. I knocked and a moment later, a woman opened it and spoke sternly in German. I apologized and asked if she spoke English, and I was able to get a room on the second floor, and a space for my bike in their garage. Despite a late start, I deemed my short day a success.

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