Day 11 Friday 3rd June 2016 – Großenbrode to Lübeck 55 miles
When thinking of this journey, I planned my arrival and finishing counties but not much in between! I could go the most direct route from Scandinavia to Spain, heading through Germany, Belgium, France then Spain. The other slightly longer and mountainous option would be the go further east, through Czech, Austria and Italy before France and finally Spain. It is difficult to decide between these both potentially beautiful routes. Now I’m in Germany it’s decision time!
Being so torn, I’ve made up my mind to go in the middle, straight south down Germany before entering south-ish France, perhaps through Switzerland.
I left fairly early on this glorious day, but by midday I felt a little behind. I stopped in a town just out of Großenbrode to find some gifts of the road to send back home.
Although it was a school day, the streets seemed busy of young people and cafes were full. The post office’s queue was also very long, waiting about 15 minutes to be served. After finding a right sized box, I was told my card wouldn’t work there. A travel card I bought from an English post office didn’t work in a German post office! Luckily the queue had dissappear after a quick visit to a ATM machine.
On my camping app on my phone, called ‘Archies Camping” it definitely didn’t show the same amount of campsites here compared to Sweden. In Sweden they seemed more spread out but in most towns, maybe as it was by the coast there were more. Here they were shown in clumps around the main cities and towns. However I headed towards one in Lübeck. It was a town larger than it looked from the map but full of life.
Being Friday, the campsite was fairly busy before I got there. This was the first campsite on this trip to actually have other people in tents! So far, campsites have had other people but all in their flashy camper vans or motor homes, which seem very popular here. Cycling on the roads every 10-20 vehicles that overtake me seems to be one!
As I was setting up my tent, a fellow cycle tourer cycled through the campsite to join me. He was from Milan, and was cycling up to North Sweden. I can’t quite remember his name but it was definitely Italian (obviously!) and he had traveled via Austria and Czech Republic, taking him 25 days.
I left him to set up camp, but was absolutely amazed at the variety of food he had with him. It turned out he had been a chief for four years in Milan so I shouldn’t have been surprised! Potatoes, ginger, carrots, garlic, bread, preserves, he seemed to be a mini grocery shop! I’m sure food took up more than half of his load. He even carried a large bottle of Italian olive oil!
I meanwhile had a much simpler meal. While looking in both Lidl and Aldi for my quick cooking Couscous, I had no luck. They don’t seem to be keen on it here! Instead I found some bio Quinoa. I wasn’t sure how long took to cook but bought some anyway. It turns out it takes quite a while, with my siting there for about 20 minutes for it to be ready. I’m sure my bags will feel lighter tomorrow with less gas!
Seeing other similar cycle tourers is great, being able to compare equipment, bikes and so on. He had a Trek bike, looking very robust and probably stronger than mine, but with mountain bike tyres on. He had been traveling the last week with another cyclist, who had suddenly disappeared that day. Maybe he got lost or decided he wanted somebody else’s company!
While my new friend was having a rest day tomorrow, I knew I had a long day so into the tent it was. I drifted of to a deep sleep with the Friday night fireworks going off in the distance.