Day 3 – May 6, 2013

Bernburg – Weißenfels : 115 km

This was the most interesting day so far. I transferred from the Europa Bike Trail R1 on to the Saale Trail. This river flows into the Elbe and being much smaller offered a different landscape. It seems that, as far as the trail itself is concerned, there are always two halves to the story. imageToday was no exception. At the beginning the trail surface was a very smooth asphalt but after lunch it degraded noticeably into stone and sand with many cobbled streets biking through the cities. As I always joke with Ingrid when I stumble over cobblestones – “DDR”, the Eastern German Republic!

it was very noticeable that I was biking through what was Eastern Germany. Despite the fact that the German Reunion took place more than 20 years ago, there is still a huge difference between East and West. I am biking through an area full of history and pageantry. However, when you see castles and mansions they have not been cared for during the communist years, which is a real pity as many of them are in fabulous locations. Tomorrow I will be biking to Weimar, which has been carefully restored.

One thing I have discovered using the maps from Bikeline, they are fine in the countryside but are not so good navigating through the bigger cities. imageToday, I had to navigate through Halle, a medium sized city. Normally, you could stop and ask the locals where to go, which is when you discover that not many people use their bikes to get around. If I had taken any of their advice I would have finished up biking on the autobahn!

The weather has been playing its part although as I arrived in Weißenfels it became pretty overcast and I had heard that tomorrow I can expect some rain. Well, this will just add to my experience. Fortunately, tomorrow’s distance is somewhat shorter. Now I am going to enjoy a huge steak and a few beers. Until tomorrow.image