Day 19 Tangermunde to Wittenberge, Germany

One of the pretty towns on todays route

I had another 55 mile day today, ending up at a very nice and quite inexpensive, pension in Wittenberge. I stayed mostly on the Elbe Radweg today, but I lost it once and didn't reroute to find it. I also chose not to follow it for the last section into Wittenberge and, as with Tangermundie, that may have been a bad decision. In any event, my hands, my bad knee, and my crotch aren't as sore tonight as they were last night.

The Elbe Radweg leaving Tangermundi
Those bricks are bumpy but not too bad

I had a good, but not great, breakfast at 7 AM in my 25 E pension this morning, then went back to my room and worked till about 9 AM on web pages. At 9:30 I was on the road, first stopping a a supermarket to get some cheese - the fake kind that doesn't spoil - and good German bread. For 2 E, I had my snacks for the next two days and supper for tonight ;-}.

Riding wasn't as good today as yesterday since todays wind was from the north-west and I was, mostly, heading north. I had head or head-side winds most of the day. Yesterday's wind was from the south and I was heading north, but following a river means going in all directions, so there were times yesterday when I had strong headwinds. Today I just had them more often. It was also cooler today and that, combined with the headwind meant that, in late July, I rode with my vest on for most of the day. My new cheap vest worked well for me today.

A good bit of the route today was on small roads rather than a special bike path
This is part of the Elbe Raweg

So is this, but I must admit there was a separate bike lane there that I choose not to use

I lost the radweg - missed seeing a sign? - when it was on a small road, L16, after Arneburg. I didn't realize there was a problem - it was great riding - until I came to a intersection in Busch and there was no Elbe Radweg sign. Arneburg and Busch are about 15 km apart, so I could have been off the Elbe Radweg for a long time. I choose the road that led in the right direction - north - at the intersection and, a few km later, headed west to a ferry crossing. To be honest, I headed that way because I was getting hungry and my gps told me there were restaurants in Havelberg ;-}. I lucked out and found a gasthaus, and the Elbe Radweg, in a town on the way to the ferry.

The ferry coming, very slowly, across the river
It moves in an arc at the end of a long cable

The long cable that allows the ferry to use the river current for propulsion
There are several black dots near where the cable is anchored
Those are German military inflatable boats that were speeding down the river

When I got ripped off, for about a Euro, on yesterdays ferry, the fare should have been 1.5 E because that ferry, alone among Elbe ferries in this part of the Elbe, is motorized. Todays fare was 1 E because the ferry at Sandau uses the river current, like a sailboat uses the wind, to propel itself across the river. In order to be able to do that, it uses a very long cable with one end anchored well upstream from the crossing and the other, attached with a harness that allow the ferry captain to change the angle of the boat with respect to the current, much like a sailboat uses a sail and a big keel.

An interesting building in Sandau
It dominates that small town's skyline

Most of today's ride was flat or gently rolling hills, but there were a few climbs steeper than 5%. I think the hardest one was climbing away from the river in Havelberg. It was marked at 6% and lasted about two blocks. I'm a wimp on hills now ;-}, but I managed them OK today.

Riding on L3 after leaving Havelberg was quite nice. There was a bike lane for a few km, then just riding in the road with very little traffic. Then L3 turns west - headwinds - and becomes L10. The Elbe Radweg is on both roads, but heads off towards the Elbe on a small road a few km after L10 starts.

The signs where the Elbe Radweg leaves L10

I debated staying on L10 - it was very nice riding - or going on the, longer by 4 km, Radweg. I decided on the Radweg and I'm very glad I did. Although there were some bumpy parts, most of it is very good riding on a path right along the Elbe

The Elbe Radweg running right next to a river channel - there are two here

My bike leaning against a marker pole while I take a food break
There are very few places along this radweg to lean your bike, and even fewer with any privacy

The one place on this section to use a bathroom
It also serves to keep the water level stable and adjustable in this channel

To get into Wittenburge, coming from the Elbe Radweg, you have to cross a modern bridge paved with cobblestone! That is wierd. Once in Wittenberge. I first checked out the pensions along the Elbe - they were full - and then headed towards the center. On the way I passed a 'Hotel-Pension' that looked promising, so I stopped to check. The pension part of the operation is spread out over a number of buildings - the owner keeps aquiring more buildings - but the rooms are modern and nice and the cost - for a room with its own bathroom with shower - is 22 E including breakfast.

After cleaning up I had a beer and a nice visit with the owner. Then I walked down to and though the center of town. I even did a little shopping before coming back to my room to eat bread and cheese and drink water and then to create this web page. Now it is getting dark, which means it is time for me to get to sleep ;-}, but a couple of guys are bullshitting loudly outside my window. I guess I'll read for while...

Next Morning: The BS stopped and I had a good night sleep. Breakfast this morning was very good and my total cost - which included a large beer last night was 35 E. A very good value. This Hotel is Hotel-Pension Zur Elbeue - While the hotel in Wittebburg is better - wireless and a great breakfast - than the hotel in Wittenberge ;-}, both are among the best places I've stayed in Germany.

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