Berlin-Paris on a detour – Part 1

On the 01. October I’ve started from the “Potsdamer Platz” in the center of Berlin. My mother and two friends came, to say goodbye. Kai guided me out of the city, he is even taller than me but used a smaller bike on this day. It was funny. Actually I left home three days before, on the 28.09. But I’ve stayed three nights in Berlin and surrounding to see some friends and in case I would have forgotten something, I could have gone home quickly.

Before my departure I didn’t planned an exact route. My goal was just to arrive in Paris in 5 or 6 weeks. During the way I wanted to meet some friends, if there was an opportunity. The first opportunity was, when I left Berlin, to visit my aunt and uncle in Brieselang. I stopped at their place for a cup of tea and we had a nice chat. After the visit I did a few more kilometers and camped just next to a cycle path.

Via “Havelberg” I’ve reached the river Elbe and followed the river in the direction of Wittenberge. The cycle path was very nice. I was surprised by the amount of flora and fauna. But I’ve noticed that the sky got darker and darker and a thunderstorm was coming. I was hoping to find a shelter and indeed, shortly before the thunderstorm started I found a hut where I spent the night.

In “Salzwedel” I visited my brother. We’ve met before by the lake Arendsee and cycled together into town. He bought me the local specialty “Baumkuchen”, that’s a yummy layer cake. I stayed two days and continued. On the way I put constantly a new route together. I prefer cycle path and gravel roads and avoided heavy traffic roads. In Lower-Saxony I came trough a larger forest and discovered a hut, reserved for hunters. I was thinking tonight nobody will go hunting. But I was wrong, I heard some shootings when I was sitting in front of the hut and shortly after this three hunters arrived and claimed the hut for themselves. But they showed me another hut, only one kilometer away. That was kind.

On this trip I often looked for a forest hut to spend the night. I’m thinking nobody will say anything if I stay in a refuge. There are build for hikers and travelers. But I also found a large field for camping. I camped there with another bike traveler, we’ve met on the road. His name is Jens and he lives close to Bremen. We came along very well.

We are sharing the same opinions. For example, we are living in a very good period of time at a good place. We still got enough resources, high standard of living, freedom of traveling and speech, high developed and safe home country. Through bike traveling everything feels more intense than in every day life or usual holiday. We talked also about the small number of people who doing this kind of traveling. So you feel immediately connected if you meet another bike traveler, because you sharing a rare passion.

Jens cycled back to Bremen on the next day and I cycled in the direction to Netherlands. On this day I cycled more than 100 km. I remember this well, because the whole trip to Paris I did around 80 km per day. At Nienburg I crossed the river Weser and cycled a longer part next to the federal route 214, there is a cycle path. At the evening I reached the Nature Park Dümmer and stayed next to a swamp area (but not inside the swamp, but in a hut). There are thousands of cranes. A good place for bird spotter, I’ve met a couple of them.

On the next morning, it was Saturday the 08.10., I arrived by the Dümmer Lake and went swimming. I even found a shower that was working. After a few days of wild camping such a shower is real highlight. In the area of Vechta I’ve noticed many villages who are very clean and neat. At the evening I catched up with Isabell. We’ve met three years ago on a citrus farm in Australia. Her parents prepared a big dinner, it was very nice to stay with them.

Now it wasn’t far to the Dutch border anymore. I’ve spent another night in a hut in the forest, then I followed the Coevorden-Piccardie-Canal to Netherlands.

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