Go East

May - November 2020
A 175-day adventure by Herbert & Meike
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  • 175days
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  • 10.6kkilometers
  • 2.3kkilometers
  • Starting point next adventure

    May 29, 2020 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C
  • Day 1

    Start into the green

    May 30, 2020 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

    As we can't stay in one place for a long time, we decided to go back touring. At the moment, border crossing is not even possible in EU countries when you travel by bike. So we biketour in Germany. Luckily, there's plenty of nature and bike paths to explore 😀
    After a few day tours with our road bikes this week, we left Warburg, my home town. The weather was perfect, blue sky, sun, a bit chilly maybe, but good temperature for cycling. Our idea is to go East to Niesky first to visit Herbert's parents which will take us a few days.
    Our trip today took us to Mühlhausen where we could stay with family friends. The road was pretty nice: remote small roads, bike paths, and cute towns. We even saw 2 foxes, a beaver and lots of birds on the way. The route also followed rivers Fulda and Werra for some kilometers. In Hannoversch-Münden, we had a short stop at the start of river Weser as well.
    Some 45km before our destination, the hardest part of the route started as we had to climb Eichsfeld. It wasn't a long pass or anything similar, but quite exhausting with already 90km in our legs and on the first day of touring. Plus - what a surprise - we had headwinds again. Most of the time, the wind comes from Western directions here. However, when we go East, the wind obviously changed as well 😏
    So we had a tough day which we finished with pizza, kebab and a couple of beers.
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  • Day 2

    Following the river Unstrut

    May 31, 2020 in Germany ⋅ ☁️ 14 °C

    After breakfast, we left Mühlhausen to follow the river Unstrut. The route was diverse, some parts were paved, some gravel, some cobblestones (which feel disgusting on our bikes...). We passed valleys, vineyards, forests and towns.
    After about 125km, we found an open food store and got one of the famous "Thüringer Bratwurst". Due to Corona restrictions not from a charcoal BBQ though 😢
    As it was already late afternoon, we decided to stay at the next Campground where we found a place next to the river. Herbert cooked some spaghetti and we finished off the day with a glass of local wine.
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  • Day 3

    Saale-Unstrut wine region

    June 1, 2020 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    When we got up, we were welcomed by the sun and blue skies. After breakfast, we continued our way along river Unstrut. We passed Freyburg, which is famous for its hilly vineyards, and went on to Naumburg where we hit the river Saale bike trail. Naumburg is a pretty town, so we decided to stop for a coffee. Afterwards, we followed the river Saale for a bit, admired some old castles and monasteries along the way, stopped for a proper Thüringer Bratwurst (properly prepared on a charcoal BBQ) and slowly made our way East along an old train route turned into a bike path. We got to the lake region South of Leipzig where we first stopped for a picnic and then headed to a café to get some ice cream. Finally, we cycled to a small village nearby where our hosts Lars and Jenny waited for. We enjoyed dinner in the backyard and discussed our South America trips (they traveled in South America in 2018).Read more

  • Day 4

    Saxonian bike pathes

    June 2, 2020 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    After a cosy breakfast with Lars and Jenny, we were ready to go further East. Yesterday, we already cycled on some "interesting" sections on the official bike paths, but today was going to be even more special. We really learned about the nature of Saxonian bike pathes. It started with a very nice and remote path through the forest. We then hit the river Freitaler Mulde and rode along it for a while. This actually wasn't too easy at certain times due to sections that looked more like a hiking trail. In order to get to river Elbe, we then followed the bike path "Elbe-Mulde" which was quite an adventure when it suddenly led us through a grass field. However, we safely arrived at river Elbe and had a short stop to check out the beautiful city of Meißen. From there, we took some more forest trails in order to see Moritzburg castle, before heading towards a little lake in the middle of nowhere to set up our camp. It was a nice camp spot except for the malicious sand flies that bothered us all through dinner.Read more

  • Day 5

    Pit stop at Herbert's home

    June 3, 2020 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    The last section of our trip East mainly led us through an area of moors, swamps and lakes. We saw a lot of birds of all sizes and enjoyed the relatively easy ride on flat land. Even the Eastern headwinds were not as bad as the days before. We stopped at Lake Bärwald for a drink before riding the last 25km to get to Niesky where Herbert's parents live. We were happily welcomed with cake in the afternoon, a bbq dinner and some champaign.Read more

  • Day 10

    Testing border crossing in Corona times

    June 8, 2020 in Czech Republic ⋅ ☁️ 17 °C

    After some days rest with birthday celebrations we started our next stretch this morning. As the German - Czech border opened last week, we decided to test border crossing in Corona times on our way to Bavaria.
    So we cycled through the "Oberland" region towards the border. Before crossing, we had a lunch stop at the spring of the river Spree in a small town called Ebersbach. Afterwards, we headed straight to the Czech Republic. No border, no controls - exactly as it should be in the Schengen area :)
    The following 60km of riding were absolutely beautiful. We rode through Bohemian Switzerland with forests and valleys, saw cows with giant horns, and arrived at river Elbe. We crossed the river by ferry to get to the bike path on the other side and continued to Tetschen where we found a centrally located campground. After a shower and dinner we went for a walk to explore this interesting town. There were lots of really cool old buildings right next to ugly buildings from the 70s. We also saw many young people in the streets and parks - a bit of a difference compared to the last towns and villages we passed.
    What Corona is concerned, the Czechs seem to be relatively relaxed. They wear face masks in the supermarkets, but are pretty bad in handling the masks - same as us Germans 😉 People sit in bars and restaurants without masks and don't even wear it when entering a bar or ordering. Next to our campground, a fair with rides visited by quite some people was on as well - so this doesn't seem to be a problem either.
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  • Day 11

    Adventurous Czech bike pathes

    June 9, 2020 in Czech Republic ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

    After breakfast at our camp, we left for another day of cycling in Czech Republic. It started with some 25km along the Elbe bike path. For the first time in ages, we had tail winds, so we could go at a decent speed.
    The second part of today's route was quite dull. We had to cycle on some roads and passed average Czech cities.
    The last 50km were kind of adventurous. Komoot (our routing app) sent us on MTB trails with partly 20% elevation gain. Maybe fun on some nice mountain bike, but not that much on our heavily loaded touring bikes. Nevertheless, we could enjoy the views over coal mining sites. After some more interesting and difficult-to-find bike paths through grass or mud, we arrived at our campsite next to river "Eger" where we are the only guests.
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  • Day 12

    The center of Europe

    June 10, 2020 in Czech Republic ⋅ 🌧 12 °C

    It had rained all night, but luckily stopped when we got up in the morning. We got ready, packed the wet tent and went off along river Eger. The Czech bike pathes were quite challenging again, up and down, through mud, puddles and up on grass. Pretty beautiful nature, but totally exhausting and only slow progress.
    We therefore decided to have a second breakfast in Karlsbad, a picturesque city with nice buildings. Meanwhile, it had started to rain again, so it was pretty cold and we were all wet. Also, the city didn't look that nice with a grey background.
    We continued along the river. The path was still muddy, but almost flat and not too many puddles, so progress was ok. We passed some really remote areas and saw some cool castles. As it didn't stop raining all day and everything was wet and muddy, we decided to stay in a hut instead of the tent. It was pretty simple and "old-school", but at least dry. And we met some very nice visitors at the campground. The guys were very happy to meet us totally crazy roadbikers, as this gives them something to talk about for a month. They also made us try local rum and becherovka and taught us some basic Czech vocabulary. It was difficult to leave the guys who wanted us to try more Czech schnaps - could have been really dangerous 😂
    When planning the route for the next day, the guys also recommended to pass by the geographic centre of Europe (depending on the definition). But as we found out it's on a higher hill, we decided to skip this but have an easier day instead.
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  • Day 13

    Back in Germany

    June 11, 2020 in Germany ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

    We woke up and it was still pretty wet outside. Our clothes hadn't all dried either, but it wasn't too bad anymore. The route started with a lot of up and down to the "green" border to Germany. We entered the country on a small path in the forest. Again, there was no controls or anything, so border cross is REAL 😀
    After crossing the border, we noticed the change of housing quality immediately. Furthermore, the number of E-bike riders increased significantly. In Czech Republik we have seen only very few E-bikes. In Germany, cyclists of all age groups seem to be in need for some artificial support to move a bicycle 😉
    We stopped for a coffee in Tirschenreuth, then continued our way in a Southwestern direction. At some stage, it stopped raining and even the sun came out, so we could finally take off our rain gear.
    We cycled some remote roads, followed a couple of marked bike pathes and had short stops in Neustadt an der Waldnaab and Weiden. Both towns have really picturesque centres.
    In Weiherhammer, our destination for the day, we were happy to see our friends who we could stay with. We could also clean the muddy bikes and dry our stuff. We spent the night over dinner and holiday pictures.
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