Saturday, June 7, 2014

Day 15--Returns Times Two

Return number 1 was the rain. Yesterday we had beautiful weather for our train ride. Today, we woke to rain. Me thinks it is our just rewards for cheating and taking the train yesterday. On the plus side, I figured out I can fairly easily take my tent down under the rainfly (thus keeping my tent a wee bit dryer)!

We got on the road about 8:45. With the rain, the paths were Schneckerbahns (beim mit Häuser, und ohne Häuser). Here's one mit Haus.

We rode along, mostly on paths between villages. Yes, even between the villages, we don't have to ride on the road.
As you can see, the sun came out too! We stowed the raingear. It stopped raining, but we had a headwind the entire day!

As we were riding along, we came to this village. I had to take a photo of the town sign because I think it is ironic. 
Yes, in a country known for their consumption of potatoes, they have a town called Taterberg!

We stopped for lunch in the last town before the former East/West Germany border. After lunch, we rode to the border. There is a monument (see photo below), as well as the same sign we saw on our way to Thimmendorf. There was also an interesting sign that gave a number of statistics about the whole border. How many soldiers it took to guard it, how many km of fencing, how many land mines, etc. Even how many guard dogs!
The monument. The stairs represent the inability to go over. The woman represents the mothers who lost family members, and the owl sitting on top represents the knowledge to see both sides.

I told Christian that even though I know Germany is all one country now, because of its history, and the evidence that is still visible in places, it seems like we were crossing a border to another country. It's kind of an odd feeling...

Because we wanted to go on the River Aller Radweg, we had to go back to the town. As usual, it took a bit of time to find the route, but we finally did. It started out, as most of these routes do, with a nice paved path. But that didn't last long. Soon we were on a gravel/dirt double track through the forest. Actually, it wasn't too bad. I was able to move along at a pretty good clip. As we are riding on these rough bike routes, seemingly in the middle of nowhere, we seldom doubt that we are on the correct route. Periodically, we come across a sign saying we are, indeed, on the Aller Radweg. That's a very good thing.

We did finally pop out onto a paved road, and before too long, we were in Wolfsburg. One of the big industries in Wolfsburg is the VW Factory. This is the main (maybe only...I don't know) Volkswagon Factory. Pretty big place. We stopped for our dinner groceries at a Penny Supermarket. I think I like these supermarkets the best of the small ones we have stopped at. They seem to have a bigger selection.

From the grocery store, I put the address of the Campingplatz into my Garmin. It was about 7 miles away. It was one of the few times we have had to ride on a busy road. For awhile there was a path, but it ended. After a few miles, we did come upon another path. We rode it, but the bugs were so thick, I think I would have preferred the road!

Garmin took us right to the Campingplatz. Sharing the grassy tent space is another cyclist of sorts. He is from France, and headed now to Switzerland. What makes him interesting is his "bike".
He says he averages about 25km/hour. He says the only problem is the weight in the trailer. Because it has so much room he is carrying too much (that is one of the downsides to trailers--it's so tempting to bring more stuff). I hope to see him leave in the morning.

Total miles for today: 59.9

Only two more days until Bremen and I get to see Alexandra and Markus again!!!

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