The day starts gray and cold, some rain, some headwind. There are lots of Polizei all over the place, on the roads and the river.
I had to stop 2 times to dig out more and warmer clothes from my bags, it’s really cold today.
The rain gets more and more intense, it’s hard to see anything as the rain floods my glasses. I have decided that I wanted to go and visit bike24.net as I sometimes buy stuff from them over the Internet. I spend a good while navigating to their store, when I finally get there their windows are covered with posters so I couldn’t see my bike if I parked it outside. So I leave bike24.de and start to search for a hotel.
By now it’s very wet and cold so I just grab the first one I find in the GPS (Bike+Bett), it’s very expensive, the bike parking is across the street, there is one hour of free Internet. So in general that sucked, at least they had a heated towel rack so that I could dry all my clothes.
When I go outside to grab some dinner I find a nice small pension just around the corner but that was not on the GPS. The dinner was also mediocre.
When I watch the news I see that there has been mudslides just 20 km further down the river in Meissen, so stopping in Dresden was probably a very wise thing to do. I learn the most horrible German word I know DER DAUERREGEN.
Not to any surprise at all the day started with wind, cold, rain. Wise from yesterday I have dug out my winter clothes and start the fully clothed for cold climate. The rain and the headwind makes it really cold (about 4-5 C), the NiMh rechargeable batteries in my GPS dies, it’s to cold for them. I have to put the GPS in my pocket to keep it warm and operational.
I hate DER DAUERREGEN, long stretches of the bike roads are covered in mud from yesterday. It’s as slippery as ice and snow, luckily my new mudflaps keeps the mud off me and the bags.
There are lots of flooding of the bike roads and some bridges are closed since the mudslides yesterday. There is really nothing to do but ride through the flooded areas, going back and ride the road with cars is not really an option. Some small lakes are deep enough to submerge a bit of my front bags. After crossing a few deep pools of water I have to stop and change in to my Sealskins socks to keep my feet dry and warm.
After 46 km of this I have had enough, I spot a big Landgasthof style hotel and they have a room, beer and food, much nicer than DER DAUERREGEN.
I also try the Schwedeneisbecher mit apfelmus, eierlikör und sahne, I have never even heard of this crazy combo but it was better than DER DAUERREGEN.
Lately there has been lots of public holidays here in Germany, since there are at least 80 585 712 Germans and probably some crazy foreigners all accommodation and transport gets very overloaded whenever there is a long weekend or more. I decided to book my ferry back home just to be sure that I wouldn’t have to wait around the harbor for a week or two.
I spend some time on planning the rest of my trip, my guidebook for Elbe ends in Magdeburg but I can bike almost to the ferry on the Elbe and the canal to Lübeck. Since I now have a fixed date for the ferry I have to ride more than 85 km/day to make the ferry by bike, or I can cheat and ride the train some.
Sunshine and blue sky, looks to good to be true. It was, there was a really cold northern headwind.
I made slow progress today, there were lots and lots of cyclists going south but hardly anyone going north. Perhaps they changed their plans after seeing that the forecast for the next days was wind from the north.
Except for loosing and finding one of my mudflaps the day was uneventful and after 66 km I gave up and found a small Pension, very cheap and nice. They had a fridge with cold 0.5L beers which they sold for just 1.50 Euro. Supermarket next door so dinner was also cheap.
I am already behind my 85 km/day plan so I guess it will be the train once I get to Magdeburg. Today I noticed that there were many different Elbe radwegs, I think I am following the “International” one but my guidebook says Elbe radweg 1. It doesn’t matter much as the bike lanes are just next to the river.
I think of the German I met on day 32 in northern Finland, he was just very tired of traveling, I feel the same. It’s bad weather induced travel burnout.
Feels like groundhog day, same as yesterday, blue skyes and cold. The wind feels like biking in a wind tunnel, it does not matter if the river bends 90 degrees, it’s still the same headwind. Today I ride many “Hochwasserschutz Anlage”, many look new and some are in progress of being built, I guess they are a result of last years flooding.
Today is some kind of public holiday, most things seems closed and when I start to look for accommodation it’s full.
In Dessau I am starting to think that I will have to sleep outdoors tonight, but I decide to give a few more places a try. The third pension I try opens the door and they have a room, YES! The place is an old apartment that they have turned it to a pension with a few rooms. It’s and old beautiful building with more than 4 meters high inner ceiling.
I rush to the supermarket and buy lots of stuff to last me over the weekend. The room had blinders so that it was totally dark at night, I slept very well.
Today is the same, sunny, cold, headwind from hell.
I meet lots of cyclists that are going south, they bike insane fast due to the wind and they can ride in summer clothes. Going north on the other hand is cold and hard.
The ride goes along many dikes today, most of the time the road is absolutely straight to the horizon, also straight in to the cold wind.
I start to look for accommodation early, but everything is full, I miss my tent. After a while I find a Gasthaus/Dorfkneipe/Pension and I have some beers while they ready my room in the basement.
I have decided that I have had enough of this wind, so today I bike the 13 km to the Hauptbahnhof in Magdeburg and take the nice trains to Schwerin.
Getting to the station was uneventful, no-one complains when I bring the bike in to the ticket office and lean it against the counter whilst buying my tickets. As I have prepared a note with my demands the transaction is done in less than 1 minute.
The staff tells me that I can go outside the building and use the handicap ramp to get up to the platform so that I don’t have to lift the bike up to the platform.
The train is late and the platform fills up with cyclists without bags, perhaps day tourers that have had enough of the wind. The train arrives and I board the train, the staff tells me it’s the wrong train, the signs on the platform are wrong. I hurry off the train and wait for the next one.
I only had 14 minutes to change trains in Wittenberge and the train is very late now. I hear the other cyclist talking about that they are worried about missing the next train.
Once in Wittenberge there are only minutes left before the next train departs from another platform, I use my roll-bike-down-stairs super-skills and get ahead of all the other cyclists that are waiting for the elevator to take them down from the platform. Then I use the elevator to get up to the next platform and just rolls through the doors as they are about to close. I was the only one that made it.
Once in Schwerin I start to bike in direction Lübeck without any plan, just when I am about to leave the city I spot a small hotel and decide that I have done enough travel for one day.
Since I am ahead of schedule I try to change the ferry to Thursday instead of Saturday but it was full, so I will have some days to kill before I sail home.