My morning started with another great breakfast. That breakfast was every bit as good as the 10 E breakfasts I had in Holland, and was included in the 38 E room! Yes, the bathroom down the hall was a minor inconvenience, but, overall, the City Hotel in Delmenhorst was he best bargain of this tour. It had everything I needed and, for the room with the bathroom down the hall, it was great bargain.
It was fun riding north from Delmenhorst on small roads along the river. My hotel had suggested that the best way to avoid Bremen - which is a nice city to bicycle in, but a little tricky to get out of going north - was to ride up the river ten miles or so and then take a ferry to north Bremen. It turned out not to be quite that simple because the ferry wasn't signed very well on the bike signs, but, with the help of some nice folks I met along the way, it worked. It was less fun finding my way north once I got across the river and a real pain in the butt riding on some of the bike paths there, but the day ended quite well with excellent riding to the Elbe.
After the couple showed me the route I needed to take and rode with me back to where it started, I rode behind another bicyclist. When he stopped to look at the bikepath sign that included the route to the ferry, I pulled up beside him and we started a nice conversation that lasted until we parted on the other side of the river, 45 minutes later. He lives in Bremen and, because the day was so beautiful - it really was - he had decided to go for a ride in the morning and, of course, to be home in the afternooon so he could watch Germany play Argentina in the World Cup games.
I worked my way north from north Bremen with a lot zigzaging until I found bikepath signs that showed routes to cities north and east. Then I picked the northern most city and followed that path for more than twenty km. It was a bad choice because the road that I needed to take east from that city has no bike lane and I has to ride back south for over 10 km. It was also a poor choice because the bike lanes going to and from that city wre bad and the city itself was very bad riding. It was a big waste of time and a lot of abuse to my body for very little progress north.
Once I got past the bad bikepaths, I had a decent riding day. My crotch was quite sore from the earlier abuse, so I could not enjoy riding bumpy bike paths, but I tried to prevent further injury by slowing down and getting off of my seat when I saw bad pavement coming. That worked some of the time.
I had some issues with finding my way out of Garrenburg, my map and the roads didn't agree, but, other than that, I no further problems with routing. I took a little road - complete with sections of very old, and very rough cobblestone north from the road to Bremervorde (B 74) to B 495 road which headed north and then turned east to go to the Elbe river. I also didn't have many problems with bike lanes because I was able to use a small shoulder on the road to Bremervorde and a good bike path or the road itself on the road that goes to Neuland.
On the good shoulder going north, just after I stopped for my second
snack break of the day
You can see the legs of a boy riding in the back of that tractor
Late in the day, the traffic was light and riding was great. I had decided to follow B 495 to the Elbe and then look for a place to stay. When I got near the end of 495, I saw a sign for a Gausthaus with rooms and stopped at the Gausthaus just after the sign. That was the wrong Gausthaus, but they were very kind and showed me how to get to the right one. I was quite tired at that point, so I needed very clear directions. I had ridden 83 miles with 750 feet of climbing, in a just over seven hours of pedaling.
Heading south near
the end of my riding day
The shadows are really long, but the sun won't go down for many hours this far north
When I reached the second Gausthaus, I got an inexpensive room - 27 E with breakfast, with a shared bathroom - and cleaned up. Then I went downstairs for supper and had lachs - now I know where the Jewish word, lox, for salmon comes from! Folks in the bar wanted me to join them watching the game, but I was dedicated and went back to my room to work on this web page. Since I could only do that on paper, it took less time. I did join the folks in the bar later. A man my age from Neuland spoke English - he had spent two years in El Paso when he was in the German army - and we had good time visiting. He phoned his wife to come meet me and we had a good time visiting as well. I had a beer with supper and folks there bought me three beers and two shots of schnaps. I was weaving a bit when I went back to my room! The next morning, they came back to join me for breakfast. Nice.