Thursday, 14 July 2011

Mixed Emotions

Gross Quassow  -  Mildenberg        69.2 kms               523’ ascent.
Well, what a difference a day makes! Except for a little blip this morning when Alan received a tongue lashing from the cleaning lady. Alan was doing his bit for queen and country by vigorously brushing the outside step of our rented mobile home so that we got maximum brownie points for cleanliness. BUT he was using a brush reserved for the interior! Such a bad boy and Helga was not amused. He meekly handed her the broom (half expecting her to fly away on it) and shrugged his shoulders in English.
We seem to have entered a different Germany, where the general population smile and nod in response to our ‘hello’. The route has been spectacularly devoid of most of the really difficult surfaces of the other day although a day would not be complete without a few cobbles. The paths ran through the trees which provided very welcome shade as the sun has once again been very hot. So, I apologise to our German friends and applaud their efforts in this region – long may it continue.
There has also been much of interest. The route has often run along a complicated series of waterways which appear linked. A system of canals has been built for the purpose of transporting bricks. This area had the largest brick works in Europe although now defunct with the clay pits now large lakes. The waterways are busy with pleasure craft of all shapes and sizes and remain in excellent condition. Somewhat more sobering was an old German tank, and a sculpture of two women carrying an apparently dead child. A little further along we passed what looked like old barracks and then an old watchtower. By now, feeling a little uncomfortable, we came upon the explanation for it all. This was an old concentration camp for young women and girls. We know little more than that but shall investigate further on the internet when we get a decent connection!
Unsure of where we would find a campsite, we pedalled on until we spotted a sign for Wallapoint. What a little gem; right on the banks of the river/canal with an enthusiastic welcome for cyclists. (Did I mention the beer garden?) We opted for the expense of a pension room for 8 Euros each, downed a small beer and organised our gear. Then we returned to the garden and downed a large beer!

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