Day 52, Mustin to Hamburg, D

Coming into the south end of Hamburg from the east

This was the last of this tour since I'm going to leave my 'European' touring bicycle with my friends here and take the train down to the Stuttgart area to visit my daughter and fly home. I had planned to do one more day, and that would have been more convenient for my friends, but I ran into a logistical problem. It is hard to find a room for a weekend night in a water resort area which is experiencing beautiful, but hot, weather.

Last night reminded me of this problem and, because I had to ride some 25 km farther than I planned, left me with a simple solution. It was a nice days ride to my friends home in Harburg, which is the southern end of Hamburg.

My Contrail tent is sagging because it is wet from a heavy dew

My campsite in the context of the Landgasthof Mustin

I set up the tent between the bath house which, is next to a beach on the lake, and a hedge which is between the bath house and the main buildings of the resort. It was a good location in that the woman who owned the resort, as well as the other folks staying at the resort, never saw the tent. It wasn't a good location in that the ground slopped down toward the bath house, but the grounds of the resort were all graded so that water would run off into the lake.

Despite the slope, which made it hard not to contact the lower side of the tent, and the heavy dew which sagged the tent and meant any contact with the tent got something wet, I had a good night. In the morning, I discovered that I had guessed wrong on where the sun would rise the and the tent was in the sun before 7 AM. That was a good thing the since sun dried out the tent and my sleeping gear before I needed to pack.

Breakfast was four star - the best buffet breakfast of this tour - and cost me 8 E. With tips, my night cost 30 E, 20 E for supper, and 10 E for breakfast. It would have cost a lot more if they had had a room. Given the quality of the food and the service, it still would have been a good value. A wonderful, peaceful, place with a great owner and great staff. I was very lucky to have found it.

Sailboats in Ratzeburg

It was less than 10 km to Ratzeburg. when I got there I found what I had feared the night before, a neat resort town that was unlikely to have had any vacant rooms last night. I hadn't decided where I would ride today, but that convinced me that I should ride to Harburg. From Ratzeburg, by the direct route, it is 70 km to Hamburg. My route, which included some radweg, was longer, over 100 km from Ratzeburg

On the way from Ratzeburg to Mollin, a runner running, at 8 to 9 mph, with his road bike

I wandered around in Ratzeburg for a while - very pretty place - and then saw a sign for a bike route to Mollin. I took it and was, at first disappointed that it was just Mollinstrasse - the street to Mollin - but then pleased when it went past a bakery where I got my snacks for the day. Mollinstrasse climbed over a medium sized hill in Ratzeburg, but the rest of my route today was not hilly.

After Mollin, I got on b207 which had a good shoulder and cranked on down the road. when the good shoulder went away, it was replaced by an excellent bike path. It was nice riding. I stopped for lunch in Schwarzenbek and studied my map to figure out a good way to get across the Elbe.

Harburg is south of the Elbe, and the Elbe is hard to cross in Hamburg, which is why I have friends there. On my first European tour I was in Hamburg and was unable to find my way south across the Elbe. The 'Elbe' there is 12 mile of river channels with bridges. Most of those bridges don't allow bicycles. You really need local knowledge to get across it. I found local knowledge at the Elbe Tunnel where I met a fellow who was riding home to Harburg. We rode together for about 20 km and he invited me to come home with him and meet his significant other. Now, every time I've come to Europe, I come to Harburg to visit with them and their two children. I'm leaving my bike with them this year. I hope that, next year, my wife and older daughter can come to Harburg with me and meet my friends.

b207 with shoulder and b207 bike path

I rode from Schwarzenbek to Brunstorf on b207 and then headed south to Worth on a small road. From Worth, I took a bike route west to 104, went south for a short distance and then went west again on 105 to Escheburg. Then it got tricky. Near Escheburg, b404 goes to the end of a20, an auto route, and then goes south and crosses the Elbe. That is the last bridge - actually it is two bridges since there are two channels there - across the Elbe before Hamburg.

Bicycles were not allowed on B404 and there was no bike path, but I rode it anyway and it was fine. When it got to the first bridge, a bike path joined it on the other side of the guard rail. I picked my bike up and put it on the other side of the guard rail so I could ride the path across the first river channel. My back is not fully recovered from my train experience and my bike is not as well balanced front to rear ass it was before I broke the front rack, so that strained my back a bit. I need not have done it since there is an opening in the guard rail between the first - short - and second -long - bridges. I need not have ridden 404 either since there must be another way to get on that bike path.

Road to Worth

Bridge over the main channel of the Elbe

On the south side of the Elbe, I got on the Elbe Radweg and rode it till Bullenhausen. It started with a long stretch of car free radweg, then it was on the road, usually with a bike lane. It was fast - 14 to 15 mph - cruising with a tail wind. At Bullenhausen, I rode south to Grossmoordamm which goes west to Harburg. I had run out of water - hot weather here - on the radweg, so I stopped in Harburg to get something to drink an then rode to my friends home.

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