The Northern Plain                June 28 to July 1
Berlin to Lubeck


  Morning of June 28...         leaving Berlin    

Fahrradhaus Dreger in Haselhorst on the western outskirts of Berlin. I stopped in to repair some damage done by too many bumps over curbs, and too many rides down cobbled streets.

    They insisted on doing it for free!


"Fahrradhaus Dreger",




      The 300 km from Berlin to Lubeck on the Baltic passes across a rolling plain of rich farmland. Canadians: it reminded me of the land between Calgary and Edmonton, and is in fact, roughly the same latitude, with a somewhat warmer winter.

Another of the socio-economic artifacts still evident twenty years post-GDR: the towns in this part of the country seem to have very little commerce. They are typically ~ 10km apart, consist of twenty or thirty homes of farmers, with maybe a mechanic’s shop. No store, no hotels, restaurants, or gas stations. A small mall — built post-wall — in a town, say, every forty km. Very different than in a similar landscape in Bavaria.                  So...











Top:           More windmills — they're everywhere on the northern plain, and for good reason. I had an
                  unrelenting westerly headwind from Berlin right through to Rotterdam. Lots of energy there.

Bottom:       Corn. Lots of that too.


































Approaching Schwerin,
the bikeway   'goes thin on me'.






Schwerin's new tramway  —  built partly by Bombardier









Achtung: Automatic Bollard System

I've seen this in a few European cities. It's a way to control vehicle access to a pedestrianized street. Delivery vans and service vehicles will have a key or an access card that will lower the bollard and allow them to pass. Moments later it will rise again, automatically.

My first encounter with one of these was in Bordeaux in 2005. A van had lowered the post and driven on into the street. I followed, not looking very much at where I was going, and the post rose again, directly under Vélo. I was a bit surprised.








The Rathaus, (town hall)

           Behind it, the cathedral,
            partially under wraps for restoration work.



I found Schwerin to be a very visitor-friendly town, well restored, with lots of sites, hotels and restaurants. The Tourist Office did a better-than-average job as well.







    Yet another Trabbie! Outside a government office near town centre.

Note the way that parking spots are reserved. You have a key to remove the post in front of your assigned spot. The post is chained into the hole so it won't get stolen. When you leave, you put the post back into the hole.











    On the road from Schwerin to Lubeck.
The terrain on this leg was hilly again. This is another of those thoughtful anomalies you find along the radweg.
An obelisk marks the height-of-land on the route 104. It looks like it dates from before WWII.










The Holstentor, the only remaining gate in Lubeck's medieval defenses. It dates from the 1300's.

If it looks like it is a bit tilty, it's not photographic distortion. The Tor was built on unstable riverside ground, and has been sagging for several centuries.

It's another UNESCO World Heritage Site.











Buddenbrook House was one of my touch points. It's a museum dedicated to one of my favourite authors, Thomas Mann, and his family .

'Family' includes brother Heinrich, son Klaus, and a whole string of literati and liberal intellectuals    . But wait, there's even some Canadian content;   the youngest Mann daughter, Elizabeth, became a professor of oceanography at Dalhousie in Halifax.

The house itself was the Thomas' childhood home — it had been in the family since the 1750's — and was the setting for his novel 'Buddenbrooks' which won him the Nobel Prize.

The building is way too small for the amount of material they have to show.










      The Rathaus







So, what else is Lubeck known for?


In the window of the Niederegger Cafe, undisputed masters of the delicacy for the past few centuries, marzipan models of Lubeck landmarks.




Note to architects: If you want
your Holstentor to remain upright,
build it out of marzipan.









The Lutheran bishop's palace, with the Marienkirche behind.    

One of the many good reasons to tour Germany: the quirky Art Nouveau architecture. I love these staircase windows... never seen them anywhere else.











    Hotel an der Marienkirche  
    I stayed here, night of July 1, right across the street from the Marienkirche. A very nice hotel.
Next:   Lubeck to the Netherlands