While planning our trip we saw that for the first part we would pass through some sparsely populated areas of Germany and never end our day in a town, so camping would have to be it. That changed for the second stretch of the trip, so we figured we might try sleeping indoors again and turned to couchsurfing – and it was great.
The artist calls it “Still Life with Helmet and Couch”.
Jabel – Krakow am See – Güstrow, ca 60 km
The last night of camping was the coldest one yet and we felt it. Although it was followed by the nicest, sunniest day, so that kind of made up for it. So we let the tent dry in the rising sun and had a relaxed breakfast by the lake.
That part of the trip must have been fairly uneventful… or we got into the groove and just did our thing. I didn’t take any pictures until we arrived in Güstrow, where we found a very handsome moated castle.
I also remember we arrived a bit early and had pizza by the town square while admiring the red brick church.
Then we met our host Robert, who is a police officer and well-traveled. He used to be a bike guide on a cruise ship, which seems like a really cool job. Also, he had a huge apartment with a lovely rooftop terrace and the best shower with a rainfall showerhead. Ah, the delights of civilization. We slept really, really well that night.
We also established the tradition of taking selfies with our hosts.
Güstrow (train to) – Bad Kleinen – Hohen Viecheln – Wismar, ca 20 km
We also decided to mail the tent back home to lighten our load. The lovely lady at the post office even helped me squish it into a box.
Unfortunately my right knee had gotten worse over the last few days and that day it was just too painful to bike all the way. So we took the train to Bad Kleinen and only did about 20 km to Wismar.
Now, Wismar is a real gem of a town. Very cute, very pretty, very laid back.
There is a beautiful church and UNESCO world heritage site called St. Nicholas and it is huge.
There are several others in the same style:
Then we got to meet our awesome hosts Tim und Olga! Like Jana, they are true board game enthusiasts (I only dabble a bit). So after a fantastic dinner and some blackberry cider, we had to have a game of Betrayal at House on the Hill. I was allotted the prestigious part of the villain/monster/invisible evil force and they caught me in about 3 seconds, which constitutes a spectacular loss on my part. It was all great fun, as you can see in the only slightly blurry shot below.
Tim and Olga are both technicians for heavy industrial machinery (I have no idea how to describe it any better), tough mudders (people who race through a tough obstacle course and get muddy from head to toe while doing so), and really, really funny, generous and sweet people. Staying with them felt like visiting friends you had not seen in a long time.
Wismar – Boltenhagen – Travemünde – Lübeck ca 70 km
The next day we got up early, said our goodbyes and biked to a quaint little breakfast spot.
On the way to Lübeck we saw a couple of these beautiful thatched houses.
We also took a ferry.
And we passed by the gorgeous ship Passat in Travemünde.
And then… we made it to Lübeck!
This is the famous Holstentor, a city gate that used to be on the 50 DM banknote and is still the logo of famous marzipan producer Niederegger:
And there is this beautiful motto on the gate of the Schiffergesellschaft: “Allen zu gefallen ist unmöglich” (It is impossible to please everyone). I am going to take that to heart.
Our host Philipp was just the sweetest person. He was planning to do an interrail trip soon and wanted to get some couchsurfing experience before the big journey. He invited us out to a BBQ night with his friends and we had the most amazing time. Needless to say, we did not get up at 7 am the next day… I think we left around noon. Totally worth it, though. We had a blast. Also: Breakfast on a roof!
Lübeck – Ahrensbök – Bösdorf – Preetz – Kiel, ca 75 km
And then all of a sudden it was the last leg of the trip! We totally made it to Kiel!
Here is the “whoooo yeah we made it” photo with our friends Anette and Becky and our trusted whiskey flask.
Anette and Jana spent an evening catching up, while I joined Becky at a local spa to give my muscles some much needed relaxation time.
Day at the Beach
The next day, Becky picked us all up at Anette’s house and we went to the beach with the addition of yet another Philipp, also a former student from Bayreuth. We went swimming, though I have to say that I had the least stamina and only went in for a short dip. The other played and frolicked and splashed around in the cold waters of the Baltic sea until their lips turned blue.
The day concluded with another BBQ and some rum tasting. Tres Hombres, anyone?
The next day, we had to get up at 4 am and take a slow train towards home. I think we changed trains 5 times or (with bikes and stuff no less).
We also stopped at this lovely Hundertwasser train station in Uelzen. The design is iconic. And this is a good place to have coffee or tea.
After about 12 hours of riding trains, running to catch trains and waiting for trains, we finally made it back to Bayreuth.
It was an amazing journey and I have every intention of doing this again next year!
Thank you Jana for being such an amazing bike buddy, thank you Robert, Tim, Olga, and Philipp for being such amazing couchsurfing hosts, and thank you Nils, Maria, Anette, Becky, and Philipp for being such good friends.
Now on to the next big adventure!