Category Archives: Germany

Balotii din Brandenburg

Luther, Ferropolis, bauhaus, english gardens and an artificial volcano

The titles is a short summary of a varied tour from the last weekend. It wasn’t extremely long, just around 120 kilometers (as excuses I could say that we did have head wind for a large part of the tour, and the hours spent turning the pedals weren’t so many), but it was really varied, at least from the sights we saw. It was surprising as the area was really close to Berlin, only around 100 kilometers away.

Regarding a less than perfect planning, I decided to change the bike chain on Friday evening, and I realized only after taking apart the old chain that the new chain was to short. And all this happened after washing the bike at a gas station near us, so I had to get back home with the bike without a chain which was a bit hilarious. Not checking the chain length before taking apart the old clearly wasn’t the smartest thing to do…

Now getting back to the the actual bike trip, we decide for the destination only Saturday morning, so we allow ourselves one extra hour of sleep. That means however that after getting a new chain and setting it up, we start pedaling only around 13:00, and after a couple of kilometers we reache the historic center of Wittenberg, a small town from Saxony which is linked with Martin Luther. This is the place where he preached for a large part of his life, and it’s also the place where he is buried.

We met his shadows in different parts of Germany, and I think that the history of Germany and of Europe has been shaped by the Protestantism. It’s interesting to see how the history you learn in school is more or less oriented on your country, and on your region at best. In Romania we probably had a couple of pages about the entire issue, and while bike touring through Germany we discovered that the events which were triggered by Luther’s teachings had a profound effect on European history for almost 300 years.

Even there is a lot of controversy about him, I think that almost all historians agree that he wasn’t necessarily a likable person. The best description would be that of charismatic man who knows really well hot to argue, extremely blunt and capable all the way for things he believes in.

He wasn’t the first reformer, Hus had similar ideas almost 100 years before, but he was the first one who wasn’t burned as a heretic, even though he was excommunicated by the catholic church. During his lifetime he was probably the most read author from Europe, taking advantage from the large scale use of the printing press, thus in only a few years his 95 theses were read throughout Europe.

He also caused one of the largest social movements before the french revolution, the peasant uprisings from southern Germany which ended in a bloodshed with the massacre of 100.000 peasants. He’s also blamed for the antisemitic trait of the Germans up to the second world war. And in his free time he also translated the bible, thus standardizing the German language.

But probably the climax of his life was during the Diet of Worms, when he was tried before the court made up from German princes and in front of the papal representative. He was asked to resent his theses, and even though the chances of being burned at the stake were high, he argued his case up to the end, ending with the famous quote “On this I take my stand. I can do no other. God help me”. He became so the symbol of a man ready to die for things he believes to be true. At the same time he was lucky enough to have a few German princes which shared his beliefs.

Now getting back to our tour, in Wittenberg we visited the church were Luther was buried with a free toured guide with one of the best guides I ever saw, and it was enough to trigger our curiosity. We also visit the church where he preached, and after the long break we finally start pedaling towards Dessau, through endless forests until we reach a place which seems a world away from the medieval Wittenberg.

To be more acurate, we reach a place called Ferropolis, the iron city which is actually an industrial open air museum near Graefenhanchen, on a peninsul which extends into an artificial lake, with huge cranes from an old socialist mining venture. And even though the nature started reclaiming the land, you can see the deep traces left there.

After the iron city the rain starts, so we end the cultural visits for today and we find a wild camping spot around Oranienbaum, just before entering a natural park around the Elbe river.

Sunday we wake up to a day with almost perfect weather, and we start the day with the Elbe natural park which includes one of the largest beaver reservation from Europe. It seems that around 2000 beavers live there, and that the overgrown rodents are know to reach up to 30 kilograms. But I think that Sunday was a day of for them, as we saw no beaver while riding through the reservation.

When we passed the reservation we found a couple of plum trees on the side of the road, and we found the plums to be just ripe. It’s brilliant that in Germany you find fruit treeson the side of the road, so this summer we really had from what to chose from during our bike tours. And in my humble opinion, nothing compares itself with the taste of a ripe fruit picked up directly from a  tree.

The kilometers flow under the wheels of the bicycles, and we reach Dessau, a city know for the Bauhaus movement, and for the English garden around the city. Both are on the UNESCO list.

Regarding Bauhaus I find it really interesting that even though today the buildings seem to be completely normal they were innovative for that period. And they seem normal because a lot of the concepts were used throughout the 20th century when designing buildings. Cubical forms, large spaces, a lot of glass, functions before form, architecture as  way of gathering several arts under a single roof.

We leave the bauhaus buildings behind and after a short ride through the English gardens we head towards Woerlitz, also know for the English gardens around the small town. I should say that during the 18th century a lot of german dukes and princes started setting up parks and gardens for relaxation. They are huge in comparison with the size of the cities, and back then they probably seemed even larger.

And in this part of Germany English gardens were really popular, parks which were designed to seem natural places, with endless green loans, old trees and small pavilions. And sometimes an artificial volcano.

I find it hard to imagine what was the price thinking, and how would it be to have an artificial volcano in your backyard. I can imagine, that after a sumptuous evening party one could invite your guests to watch the eruption of this artificial volcano. It seems that the trend didn’t catch on, as it’s the only artifical volcano from Europe. It was built by duke Leopold the third, which was so impresed by Vesuvius during a trip through Italy that he built his own version. Maybe the french revolution wasn’t so wrong in changing things…

After ending our cultural vists for the weekend, from Woerlits we rode the 20 kilometers back to Wittenberg, and thus we ended one of weirdest and most varied weekends from the last period.

From this point of view I really love Europe, with so much history per square mile that it’s difficult to go on a bike tour without stumbling upon it. Maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, as you could probably do tours through the middle of nowhere (at least in the northeastern part of Germany), but even so the amount of cultural sights can be really astonishing.

The door where Luther nailed his theses.

Luther, the thorn in the body of the catholic church.

Touring through wild forests.

Ferropolis, the iron city.

Looking for a camping spot.

Riding through the natural park.

The typical German bike paths, wilder than in other countries.

Through English garden from Dessau.

A typical example of a Bauhaus building.

And the building of the architecture school.

Design.

Back to English gardens

The Woerlitz castle.

Mosaic.

The park church.

And the artificial volcano.

Colour.

Autumn is knocking on the door.

Checking the SPDs.

The conqueror of the hay ballot.

Ruegen Beech Forests

The Island of Ruegen on a bike

Night sets in somewhere on a seashore on the north end of Germany, while we’re setting up our outer tent as  canvas for the bivouac spot, trying to limit the amount of sand that we’re going to take back with us to Berlin.

An almost fool moon lights an long beach, and somewhere in the distance fires we can see small burning camp fires, while on the horizon a ship floats quietly and the rhythmic sound of waves reminds us that we’re near the sea. Behind us the moon sheds it’s light upon the deserted ruins of a nazi beach resort which was never finished. Planned before the war, when the national socialism gained ground, it should have offered relaxing and cheap holidays to the arian workers. But then the war came, and after more than 70 years the ruins still watch over the sea and over empty beach, silent reminders of times which seem almost impossible to imagine.

A couple of hours later we’re in the warmth of our sleeping bags, watching the clouds glide over the sky, covering the stars from time to time. But still, when we wake up through the night we see the same sky which has fascinated so many humans through out history. For a while I though that you could have such a sky only in the mountains, where the air is clean and you’re a bit closer to them, but since then I’ve met the same sky in a lot o different places. The only condition is the lack of a light source which would hide them, and the remote beach we chose for our bivouac spot is perfect for that.

And thus as the night goes by, each time we open our eyes and each time we fall asleep we do it under the same porcelain sky. This place seems a world way from the Romanian beach resorts. At the same time it depends what are tourists searching for, if it’s parties, loud music and clubs the Romanian coast  might be better suited, instead for us the spartan beach is all that could have wished for.

When you are sleeping under the open sky, the sunrise will most certainly wake you up, even if only for a couple of seconds. This usually doesn’t happen during the actual sunrise, but almost half an hour before, when the twilight starts to replace the darkness of the night. The eyes sense the change and you will wake up, and you will have to choose between sleeping a bit more or starting a new day. It’s not hard to guess what we chose.

 

Bathing under the moonlight, on the deserted beach.

Our bivouac spot, and the sunrise.

Good morning sunshine!

Maybe I should say some things about Ruegen, a relatively large island which belongs to Germany (yes, surprisingly Germany does have some islands), with a contested history which is largely unknown if you didn’t grow up in Germany.

Probably the most fascinating period in the history of the island is the time when quite a few megaliths where built, spread throughout the island. Dolmens, which today seem unlikely stone mounds placed in unusual position, are older that the pyramids and maybe just as mysterious. Built sometime at the end of the neolithic in Europe and in Asia (they occur from north Ireland to Korea), the dolmens are especially fascinating as they didn’t have a clear destination which can be pinpointed. Some where burial mounds, some weren’t, some involve some astronomy, some don’t. What is clear is that many traces which could have told the story of the people which built them disappeared long ago in the humid European climate.

On the other hand it’s fascinating to think that 5000 years ago, people built these tings. And even though they looked just like you and be, they probably believed in completely different things and they had another world view. And after more than 200 generations, we have these stones, like a bridge across time, and when touching the dolmens you cannot help but wonder if other people ages ago didn’t do the same thing. Different people, from a different world and different time.

A dolmen, a gate to another world.

Now continuing with the history of Ruegen, what is know is that around the birth of Christ the island was the home of a Germanic tribe called the Rugii, from which we the name of the island. Only that an one point, probably tired of the life on a wind ridden island they packed their things and left for modern Hungary, where they also grounded a kingdom at one point.

The Slavs filled in the empty space so, and during the second half of the first millennium they grounded a kingdom here and they built cities and ports. A lot of the names on Ruegen come from this period. And they were skilled seafarers, so that in a period when the vikings ravaged the coasts of Europe their dominion didn’t include Ruegen for quite some while.

The slavic fortress of Cap Arkona.

But in the end they were conquered, and the island went from Denmark to Pomerania, and from here to Sweden, and then to Prussia for a while, and then back to Denmark, and then back to Sweden before finally becoming part of modern Germany. In the begging of the 20th century, probably in order to be sure that the island will remain in their possession the germans buit a 2 kilometer bridge which finally connected the island to the mainland.

In the island is also Germany’s most norther place, named Cap Arkona, which was before christian times the largest Slavic pagan temple from the Baltic sea. But the sea has gradually eaten from the island, and now only a small part of the old temple can be seen. The Jasmun national park can also be found where, where ancient beech forests meet up with white chalk cliffs and with the sea.

Riding through ancient beech forests.

The kings throne at Jasmun.

A detailed journal, written unfortunately in Romanian for now was written by Mihaela here.

In the middle of nowhere nr 9, equiped with a PO box.

The typical bicycle path.

No it’s not a south american general, but prince Wilhelm Malte, which transform Putbus into a beach resort.

Upside down with a new meaning.

Through young beech forests.

At the first dolmen.

Exploration

And the most picture friendly dolmen. A photo which could be titled “A rock between rocks”.

The smallest ferry from Germany.

As a bike touring viking.

One of the typical sea bridges.

The road winds through ancient forests.

A small glimpse on how these forests probably also looked like thousand of years before.

Sunset fishing.

The dove, the sun and the ship.

Waiting for the sunrise.

Heading for the Koenigstuhl.

The kings throne from Jasmund.

Wandering through the chalk cliffs of Jasmun.

Going for a walk on the beach seems to be considered a bit unsafe by the germans.


The most northern piece of land from Germany.

The partial GPS tracks from the two days can be found here and here.

Stele pe langa Prora

Hanseatic cities, and a night under the stars

After the last weekend Mihaela and I wrote two parallel journals which turned up quite similar in the end, I decided this weekend to skip writing a journal from scratch. Unfortunately the journal is in the course of beeing translated, so I’m just going to add a couple of thoughts regarding the trip.

As we we’re riding through the rural region of Mecklenburg-Vorpommen, we shared the road for a while with a girl riding a black horse. While we stopped at crossroads and we consulted the map to see which road to chose, she usually passed us, then we overtook her until the next crossroad and so on for a while. At one point, while we were riding on a country road, she overtook us galloping on nearby field, leaving a cloud of dust behind here. Considering that at that point we were riding with 20 something on our bikes, it tells a lot about the speed which can be reached by a galloping horse. The entire image was incredibly aesthetic though, and it seemed a bit taken from another century.

Fast forwarding a bit, we reach the city of Luebeck, one of the most beautiful medieval cities from northern Germany, and the most important city of the Hanseatic League. I really believe that bike touring through places full of history combined with curiosity surpasses the experience of any history book. Not only do you learn about things which happened half a millennium ago half a world away, but you also see the traces which are left behind.

Fast forwarding a bit more, we reach the beach where we spent the night under the stars. After the experience of the past bike touring trips around the Blatic Sea we found out that finding a remote empty beach isn’t really hard, but this time the bivuac spot was incredibly  beautiful. After Mihaela goes to sleep, I continue playing for a while with night photography, and even though I get some nice shots I feel the real need for a tripod. We sleep the entire night under a sky full with stars, 5 meters from the sea, hearing all the time in the background the relaxing sound of waves breaking against the sandy shore.

The sunrise was also otherworldly, even though it was the only time we didn’t see the actual sunrise, but the surreal colors made up for the lack of an actual sun.

And a last fast forward and after a fight against the wind of a small hurricane, and after a small plum tasting session we reach Wismar, another Hansa city with a different history. It was one of the towns from mainland Germany which belonged for quite a while to Sweden. Apparently after emerging quite successfully from the 30 year war Sweden became for almost 100 years one of the main powers in Europe, and it also gained a part of norther Germany in the process. It all lasted until 1711 when they decided to attack Russia, like many other after them, in winter. It’s hard to guess what followed. But going back to Wismar, Sweden renounced it’s claims over the city only in 1903.

The rest of the journal is written by Mihaela, unfortunately in Romanian but which can be a source of usefull information.

Getting ready for the harvest celebrations.

The tipical scenery in a german village dating from the 1200s.


Picking wild berries on the side of the road.


Late summer’s grenn.


Holstentor, on the symbols of Luebeck, and the modern statue of a sea merchant.


Finding a bit more about the history of the place from wikipedia.


The oldest surviving medieval hospital from Europe.


Facade mayhem.

Meeting the boat version of the Passat.

The search for a bivuac spot.

Finding rest under a thousand stars.


Starry night.

And a burning sunrise.


The surreal colors make for a nice view when waking up.

Maritime swans.

Finding a shady place for the breakfast.

 

The topical beach chairs of northern Europe. We never saw such inventions before coming in Germany, but I guess that in the windy and cold north the do make some sense.


The tipical scenery when bike-touring in Germany. no cars and dirt roads.


Plum tasting in late september.


In Romania these are in season in mid June.

The central market from Wismar, with the famous well with dutch influences.


Beats me what were they thinking…


The Old’s Swede house, dating back to the 14th century.


Nikolaikirche, one of the many Gothic brick churces from northern Germany


Lacking stone, the medieval builder used the materials at their disposal, in this the classic brick.


In the old city port.


This curch was partially destroyed during the second world war, and only the main tower is standing above the place where the church once existed.

No tanks over 50 tons! I guess we’re ok with our 20 kilo loaded bikes.

Intre Erfurt si Eisenach

3 days, 3 routes, and almost 300 kilometers through Thuringia

It’s really interesting that there are a lot of smaller mountain chains in Germany which are named after forests. Among them is also the “Thuringian forest”, and after traveling 80 kilometers on the main ridge of the mountain we kind of understood where the name comes from. The mountain chain is almost completely covered by a forest, and even though there are a lot of ups and downs you really can’t see much around, just forest, forest and once again forest.

There are some places with a decent view, and the forest itself is interesting to travel through, but at least for us it wouldn’t be something which could be called an actual mountain. The rest of the trip description will follow.

Sambata, pe cand conduceam noi linistiti pe “autostrada lor nationala” (Bundesautobahn) A9 spre sudul Germaniei (un fel de DN1 la noi), auzim la radio cum moderatorul unui matinal, in loc sa fie plin de energie, cade in butoiul cu melancolie si ne anunta, cum ca ar fi ultima zi de vara astronomica, zicand cam asa: “Sa ne luam la revedere de la vara, ca de la un bun prieten, ce pleaca in strainatate pentru o luuuunga perioada de vreme”. Si o zice cu atata jale, de parca toate doinele stramosesti s-au strans in glasul bietului om. O, pai daca zici tu asa, atunci hai sa o facem cu stil, ca si asa noi suntem pe drum pentru un weekend prelungit in care vrem sa imbinam boschetareala prin intinsele paduri din Thuringia cu cateva vizite culturale. Asa ca am avut parte de 3 zile, 3 rute cicloturistice diferite si 3 orase interesante pe care le-am vazut mai mult in goana pedalelor (Eisenach, Efrurt si Weimar), dar in care vom reveni.

Ziua de vineri a fost dedicata vaii Ilmului. Ilmul este un rau care izvoraste din padurea “turingiana” si coboara in campie. Daca e rau, a croit musai o vale si daca e o vale, neamtul a facut o pista de biciclete. Se numeste Ilmtalradweg. Si daca e o pista de biciclete, noi suntem fix pe ea, pedaland la deal caci mergeam din aval in amonte. Trebuia sa ajungem pe la 750m altitudine, asa ca, ce sunt 500 m diferenta de nivel la valoarea noastra? Chiar nu sunt nimic, doar ca in prima parte nu faci decat sa strabati un relief valurit, pe care urci, cobori si tot asa. Din motive neintelese inca, ne miscam fara spor, fara talent (si macar daca am urca cu adevarat). Incepe sa se simta “aerul de munte” abia pe ultimii 20 kilometri. Inserarea ne prinde intr-un mic orasel numit Ilmenau, unde am oprit sa luam mancare pentru sambata seara si pentru duminica.

Prima intalnire cu padurea turingiana.

Ultimul racnet in moda locala.

Doar cateva frunze prevestesc venirea iernii, in rest un verde de inceput de vara.

Biserici gotice de pe la 1200 se gasesc la tot pasul, chiar si prin mici orasele uitate de lume.

Cand pe piste de bicicleta pe malul Ilm-ului.

Cand de-a dreptul pe camp.

Intindere eleganta.

Cum orele de lumina se scurteaza vazand cu ochii, ne grabim sa ne indepartam de localitate ca sa gasim un loc de cort, dar nu e nimic care sa ne faca cu ochiul la timp. Ignoram un camping iesit in cale si continuam sa urcam usor in serpentine largi, pe foaia mijlocie. Mie chiar imi place aici. Ma simt “mai la munte” si cum afara este deja crepuscul, drumul merge serpuit, pe stanga si pe dreapta e padure intrerupta din cand in cand cate o pajiste, iar mirosul de conifere nu imi da pace, ma pot imagina oriunde, la poalele oricarui munte adevarat. Afara s-a lasat frigul, semn ca vara e deja departe (poate a zburat cu avionul si e deja la destinatie) si toamna, nu mai are nevoie de nicio introducere. Am simtit-o si am mirosit-o prin satele prin care am trecut, ce se pregateau aproape la unison pentru Sarbatoarea Recoltei. Intr-un loc oamenii taiau lemnele pentru iarna, in alt sat o femeie le aranja frumos, pe caprarii, in gramada. Si in multe locuri mirosea a fum si a foc in soba, a caldura si a gutui. Hai, ca toamna asta m-a facut si pe mine melancolica, asa ca va pun o melodie.

Cat ati ascultat voi melodia, am gasit si noi loc de cort, pe un colt de pajiste, la o margine de padure si langa Ilmul devenit un firicel de apa, ce susura totusi atat de odihnitor. Din fericire nu este inca frigul acela iernatic, asa ca putem sta in voie in fata cortului si putem gati la primus, savura o mancare de fasole cu muraturi si privi stelele pe cerul negru si senin. Semne bune noaptea are.

Duminica dimineata, asa pe la 10.30, pornim hotarati la deal (ce e drept cu burta plina dupa micul dejun). Dar dam cu spor la pedale si castigam usor diferenta de nivel ce ne despartea de cota 750m unde se sfarsea Ilmtalradweg si intersectam Rennsteigradweg. Pista de fata ne promitea padure, multa padure. Ea traverseaza practic intreaga padure din Thuringia, pe directia E-V, urmand o culme (evident impadurita), lunga de 170 km (pentru bicicleta, lungimea e de 195 km). Noi aveam sa facem doar jumatate (aproximativ 90 de kilometri). Pe langa pista de biciclete exista si o ruta de trekking compusa din poteci sau drumuri forestiere. Daca va intrebati ce a fost inainte, va spun eu ca a fost poteca. Ruta de bicicleta a aparut ulterior, drept dovada ca nu exista banda separata, ci se urmeaza drumurile forestiere si drumurile asfaltate (oricum foarte slab circulate). Insa predomina drumurile forestiere, unele excelente, altele destul de proaste, oarecum si in functie de numarul de turisti ce frecventeaza acea zona.

Locul de cort, cu susurul izvorului ca zgomot de fond.

In suspensie.

Prima parte pentru noi, ce urca din Allzunah spre cel mai inalt deal cu care se poate lauda padurea asta (Großer Beerberg – 982 m) e bine batuta si merge repejor. In varful dealului, oamenii au taiat cativa copaci si au facut o platforma de observatie, ca sa se poata bucura turistul de panorama din vale, care altfel ar fi total ascunsa de perdeaua de copaci. Acum cred ca inteleg si mai bine cat de trista trebuie sa fie viata pentru Claudia si Andrei in tara padurilor nesfarsite. Ruta cicloturistica nu ajunge pe acest “varf” ci il ocoleste, urmand un drum asfaltat. Noi insa suntem niste “cicloturisti” mai extremi si nimerim (pe cuvant ca fara premeditare) pe drumul “de picior” si urcam cu mare usurinta la cota 982m.

Ajunsi pe acoperisul padurii turingiene.

Pe Rennsteig.

Aschii.

Paduri falnice de brad.

De aici ar trebui sa chiuim de fericire caci urmeaza o buna bucata de coborare, asa ca, speram noi, vom mai recupera ceva fata de planul de acasa, caci tare suntem in urma cu distanta de parcurs. Ne-am culcat pe minus, ne-am sculat pe minus (ca doar nu mergeam in somn), acum la jumatea zilei tot pe minus suntem…

Fericirea coborarii nu dureaza mult, reintersectam ruta cicloturistica si pe cand pedalam iarasi la deal (wtf?) incep sa intrevad o fisura in planul de acasa. Eu ma uitam cu speranta pe profilele incarcate pe kindle ce spuneau 5 kilometri intre punctele X si Y si o diferenta pozitiva de doar 50-60 m. Doar ca profilele erau pentru trekking si daca poteca poate sa ia cea mai scurta linie posibila, apoi bicicleta trebuie sa mearga musai pe drum si drumul ocoleste de te-nebuneste, prezentand comportamente contradictorii: merge in zig-zag, te coboara intr-o vale in fundul pamantului spre dreapta si te urca brusc pe o panta de 14% spre stanga si tot asa.Asa ca degeaba credeam noi ca acus-acus coboram, apoi mai urcam odata pe al doilea varf de peste 900 m din padurea din Thuringia (Großer Inselsberg- 916 m) si apoi vine coborarea lunga si salvatoare de 30 de kilometri. A durat jumatate de zi de deal-vale, multa sudoare, multa rabdare, caci parea ca padurea asta nu se mai sfarsea, si o serie de localitati, dintre care se detaseaza Oberhoful. Cand cititesti descrierea acestei mici localitati, zici ca asta e raiul pe pamant in materie de sporturi de iarna. Este incredibil cum in vest, orice “cacatel” este ridicat la rangul de mare atractie turistica. Si hai sa va fac o lista cu ce puteti face in Oberhof, ca sa vedeti cum dati cat ati clipi schiul din Austria pe o vacanta de iarna in padurea din Thuringia:

– schi fond pe piste amenajate (ratracuite)
– schi alpin (un telescaun si un cablu (numit sugestiv “Vechea pajiste de golf”) ce deserveste o zona de incepatori)
– mers cu rachetele de zapada prin padure
– bob
– sarituri cu schiurile
– biatlon
– plimbari ozonate in natura (eventual cu trasura)
– sanius.

Indiferent daca intelegeti ori nu germana, chiar si daca va uitati la pozele de aici, va dati seama ce puteti face in Oberhof.

Ce altceva va mai doriti? Nu v-am convins? Sa adaug descrierea de pe wikipedia. “Oberhof este cunoscut ca un centru al sporturilor de iarna, in Germania. Orasul traieste din turism. In 2009 au fost 132.000 de turisti ce au implicat 426.000 de nopti de cazare. De aceea Oberhoful este al treilea oras ca numar de vizitatori dupa Erfurt (capitala de land) si Weimar (inclus in Patrimoniul Unesco), fiind in acelasi timp si cea mai vizitata localitate din padurea din Thuringia.”

Deci, nu stiu despre voi, dar pe mine, m-a lasat rece oferta asta, vazuta chiar la fata locului. Am zis ca mai bine stau acasa decat sa ma plictisesc aici…

Pe inserare, schimbam brazii cu fagii.

Pe rennsteig.

Locul in care am infipt steagul in seara asta.

Ca sa revenim la tura noastra, am depasit si cel de-al doilea “obstacol” al zilei de azi (Großer Inselsberg) si cum coborarea nu are farmec pe noapte, am inceput sa ne cautam loc de cort. Gasim din nou ceva fain, pe acelasi tipar: pe un colt de pajiste, la margine de padure. Lipseste doar apa din ecuatie. Cum noaptea vine repede, ne retragem in cort si de data asta chiar suntem determinati sa ne trezim dimineata si sa plecam la drum, nu de alta, dar avem de recuperat cam 25 de kilometri ramasi restanta de zilele anterioare+ inca 100 de kilometri din planul zilei numarul 3 si 3 orase de vizitat. Pe cuvant ca imi pare misiune imposibila.

Dar ati uitat ca eu sunt prudenta, pe cand Radu e optimist si aventurier, asa ca nu luam trenul, ci pedalam. Iata, primii 25 de kilometri se scurg ca vantul si ca gandul in coborarea continua mult visata, vantul e si el cu noi, asa ca toate panzele sus. Daca am avea o vela la bicicleta, am inalta-o si pe aceasta. Lasam in urma fara prea mari regrete padurea nesfarsita si ne oprim in Eisenach. Pentru mine una, Eisenach era sinonim doar cu castelul Wartburg, inclus in Patrimoniul Unesco si legat pe vecie de numele lui Martin Luther care a fost exilat/s-a ascuns aici pentru 3 ani de zile, timp in care a tradus Noul Testament in limba germana. Insa el are mult mai mult de oferit:

– aici s-a nascut Bach si evident exista un muzeu dedicat marelui compozitor.
– tot aici, in Biserica Georgenkirche din Piata Centrala, familia Bach a cantat la orga de-a lungul a patru generatii iar Martin Luther a predicat o vreme;
– cum Luther a si trait aici o scurta perioada de timp, ocupand doua camere dintr-o frumoasa casa construita in still Fachwerk si in prezent veche de 500 de ani, casa respectiva ii este dedicata, numindu-se Lutherhaus (Casa lui Luther);

Si lista continua, fiind nesperat de diversificata pentru un oras atat de mic, incat sunt sigura ca poti petrece o zi intreaga aici, fara sa te plictisesti.

Noi, desi ne-am dori acest lucru, nu avem atata timp la dispozitie si dupa ce poposim putin in piata centrala si gasim cea de-a treia pista din program (Thüringer Städtekette), ne asternem din nou la drum.

Privelistea de la Wartburg.

Fachwerk pe nemteste.

Strajerul cetatii.

Sub soarele de toamna in curtea interioara a castelului.

Si castelul privit de sus.

Sfantul George de Eisenach, si biserica in care au cantat la orga 4 generatii din familia lui Bach.

In sfarsit beneficiem de asfalt si desi in fata avem multi kilometri, ziua frumoasa de toamna si vantul prielnic (am conceput tura in asa fel incat sa avem vant din spate la intoarcere) ne dau ghes sa pedalam. Satele, situate la distante aproape constante de 3-4 kilometri, se scurg unul dupa altul si pe la miezul zilei ajungem in Gotha. Din pacate nu facem ocolul spre centru (fiind in criza de timp) si ramanem in zona periferiei, urmand pista spre Erfurt.

La prune pe un teren viran.

Peisajul tipic turingian.

Erfurt este capitala landului Thuringia si un orasel foarte frumos (cel putin centrul vechi), cu case construite in stil Fachwerk, cu piete dragute, cu cateva cladiri ce iti iau ochii desi momentan si acolo sunt lucrari peste lucrari. Aici avem noroc, caci pista trece chiar prin centrul orasului si cum din cauza lucrarilor traficul este deviat, nimerim pe cateva stradute interesante chiar in inima centrului vechi, scurta plimbare fiind suficienta ca sa ne convinga sa revenim. Stim noi de anul trecut de cand am vizitat Quedlinburgul in noiembrie, ca atunci cand da frigul nu mai este picior de turist, si cei curajosi, imbracati in puf de pinguin, pot sa ia la pas strazile in voie. Asa ca deja, in capsorul nostru se incheaga un plan pentru a reveni aici in noiembrie, cand si asa, nu prea ai ce face in afara de vizite culturale.

Strapungearea luminii.

E deja ora 17.00 cand plecam din centrul Erfurtului si mai aveam 24 de kilomeri pana in Weimar, fiind oarecum consolati cu faptul ca o sa ajungem la destinatie odata cu inserarea. Astfel incat, gandul de a reveni se planteaza si mai adanc in capsor, mai ales ca in Weimar oferta este cel putin la fel de bogata: casele memoriale a doi mari clasici germani (Schiller, Goethe), un muzeu dedicat miscarii Bauhaus, care a inceput in Weimar, inainte de a se reloca in Dessau, cateva castele, o gradina englezeasca prin care am trecut in drumul nostru spre masina si lista poate continua. Chiar ma gandeam, pe cand pedalam prin parcul de pe malul Ilmului ca ar fi frumos ca toamna sa fie lunga, si in noiembrie, atunci cand vom reveni, sa ma gasim cateva frunze galbene si sa ne intampine un soare bland, daca la prima intalnire am avut rendez-vous cu luna.

Weimar pe scurt: Schiller si Goethe

Ajungem la masina la lumina frontalei si in loc sa rezolvam cu partea aceasta a Germaniei, am taiat de pe lista o tura cicloturistica si am adaugat una culturala, dovada ca ar mai fi cate ceva de vazut si de facut in Germania…Probabil ca asa e, dar pe noi a doua iarna nu ne mai prinde in mohoratul si imobilul Berlin! Carpati, here we come!

Foto by Radu

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Infobox

In tura de fata am combinat 3 piste cicloturistice din Thuringen (centrul Germaniei) ce formeaza aproape un triunghi.

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Traseu:

Weimar- Meilingen-Bad Berka-Kranichfeld-Ilmtal-Ilmenau-Allzunah (Ilmtalradweg), aprox. 75 km

Allzunah -Bahnhof Rennsteig-Großer Beerberg-Oberhof- Grenzadler-Ebertwiese-Grenzwiese-Am Auerhan- Hohe Sonne- Eisenach, aprox. 90 km

Eisenach-Gotha-Erfurt-Weimar (Thüringer Städtekette), aprox. 100 km

Lungime aproximativa: 265 kilometri
Ilmtalradweg urmeaza firul raului Ilm care izvoraste din Padurea din Thuringia si se varsa in Saale. Totalizeaza 120 de kilometri lungime.
  • Site-ul oficial este acesta (din pacate doar in germana).
  • O schita a rutei gasiti aici.
  • Profilul rutei este aici.
Rennsteigradweg este o adaptare pentru cicloturism a unei poteci de trekking numita simlu Rennsteig, ce urmeaza o culme lunga, din padurea din Thuringia. Poteca a fost dezvoltata pe linia unei foste granite intre regiuni istorice ale Germaniei. Poteca turistica are 170 kilometri lungime si este catalogata ca fiind “high-grade hiking trail”. In realitate, singura dificulate este lungimea traseului, pentru ca in rest, se urmeaza poteci foarte clare si foarte bine marcate si drumuri forestiere, la o altitudine medie de 500-700 m. Ruta se preteaza si pentru mountain-bike. Pentru cicloturism, exista o ruta-sora, ceva mai lunga (195 de kilometri), inaugurata in anul 2000. Exista 2 varfuri importante: Großer Beerberg (982 m) si (Große Inselsberg (916 m) pe care insa ruta le ocoleste. Totusi profilul, asa cum puteti vedea mai jos, este destul de valurit, strangandu-se ceva diferenta de nivel.
  • Site oficial: aici (din pacate doar in germana). Site-ul este destul de complet insa se axeaza pe varianta de trekking si descrierea rutei, profilurile de altitudine, distantele sunt data pentru trekking si nu pentru ruta cicloturistica.
  • O schita a rutei gasiti aici
  • Profilul rutei este aici
Thüringer Städtekette este o ruta cicloturistica de 225 de kilometri ce uneste principalele orase din landulThüringerdin Germania. Ea trece prin: Eisenach, Gotha, Erfurt, Weimar,Jena, Gera. Ruta e bine marcata si merge in general pe asfalt, prin zone rurale sau traversand orasele mentionate mai sus.
  • Site oficial: aici (in engleza)
  • Harta si profil: aici (in engleza)
  • O schita a rutei gasiti aici
Aici gasiti o lista cu toate rutele de ciclourism din Thüringen si o harta ce reuneste atat pistele regionale (Regionale Radwege) cat si cele ce se intind pe mai multe landuri sau chiar pe mai multe tari (Fernradwege). Puteti filtra rutele, astfel incat sa vi se afiseze doar rutele regionale, doar cele de distanta, sau toate rutele.
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