Day 2 – May 5, 2013

Wittenberg – Bernburg : 102 km

Today was much more exciting. What a difference a bit of water makes. The start of the trip from Wittenberg to Dessau was along the river Elbe, one of the main rivers running from Dresden to Hamburg. This was not actually on imagemy original plan and in fact cut about 15 km out of today’s schedule but it was more than worth it.

The weather was picture perfect with blue skies and no wind. I biked through small towns and villages and caught a glimpse of life in the heartland of what was previously Eastern Germany. People chatting with neighbors, tending their gardens and going down to the river to try and catch some fish. These are the things you never see driving the autobahn.

To my surprise I had to take a small ferry to get to the southern shore. Due to the river’s flow these ferries are chain driven with a very interesting mechanism. I hope to be able to load a video I took of such a journey. Had a great lunch on a patio with an idyllic view of the Elbe. Shared my table with an elderly couple from Halle, a town which I will pass through tomorrow. Two people enjoying their later stage of life – fabulous.

Because it was Sunday some parts of the Elba bike trail were very busy with the biggest problem passing by the ongoing traffic on narrow trails. Changed when I got back on the Europa bike trail R1. We reverted back to empty forests and endless fields. My only accompaniment were the birds, frogs and the occasional tractor! Everything went fine until I arrived at Bernburg. I thought I had booked all of my hotels near to the cry centers, and in fact the address of the hotel was Bernburg, but it was way on the other side of town to where I came from.

To make things worse it was hard to find and I finished up taking a very bad trail which finished up in a swamp! imageThe good news was the room and bed were ver y comfortable but the restaurant was already closed. After a day of biking 102 km I was hungry and finishing the day drinking water and munching on nuts and raisins didn’t really do it for me.

The good news is, although I was tired, I was not exhausted. I slept a good 7 hours on my blow-up pillow and was really rested the next day. No muscle pain on my legs or anywhere else for that matter. Looking forward to tomorrow when I will be following the river Saale the whole day. Hopefully, the weather will continue to play its part and keep dry with no wind.image