2019/08/22-28: Rødby to Hamburg
As we rode south from the ferry terminal, the reminder that we were now in northern Germany was the cheerful Plautdietch (Mennonite Low German) greeting “Moin moin”, called out along the bike path. It is “Moin moin” in the morning, and becomes simply “Moin” for the rest of the day. The salutation when parting is sing-song «Tschüss». This was familiar to us from previous travels in northern Germany.
We made our way south with two indoor nights and one official campground stay. There is no Everyman’s Right in Germany, and wild camping is frowned upon … if not verboten. The density of two-wheeled traffic is impressive, but it poses a new set of challenges. The chief hazard is not cars, but other cyclists, many of whom are battery-assisted. After losing each other as we rode amongst wobbly riders on rented steeds through the Neustadt area, we moved to quieter inland routes.
We arrived at Aumühle, just east of Hamburg, around midday. We were well positioned to watch some of the 23,000 Hamburg Cyclassic riders funnel past us with a whir of wheels as we waited to contact Carsten. We took the S-bahn train to Berliner Tor, where Carsten met us, moving stiffly as he recovered from his recent Paris-Brest-Paris jaunt.
Carsten, ever efficient, helped us with bike maintenance, sightseeing, shopping, and postal guidance. Not only was it good to see Carsten and Jackie again, but we also left Hamburg with clean bikes, new chains, replacement bike clothing, a more suitable stove, and a custom GPS track to guide us southwestward.