Waren … Wow, Wow, Wow
Berlin to Copenhagen – Stage 04 – Neustrelitz to Waren (Müritz) 70 Km (Wed 14-Jun-17)
Weather: 12⁰C min – 19⁰C max, mostly sunny
“I am a bike enthusiast; there’s a certain amount of romance to bikes. They’re both beautiful and utilitarian. “ ~ Dave Eggers
Regine had prepared a nice breakfast by 8 am, which we ate together while I learned more about Neustrelitz and other towns in the region. She also helped me with the nuances of German pronunciations, including the effect of the umlaut (the mark (¨) used over a vowel to indicate a different vowel quality). This is what I like about good AirBNB’s.
The ride from Neustrelitz to Waren started off much like the previous two days … perfect paths and peaceful forests, with lake glimpses through the trees in a few places. The states of Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern are a patchwork of little lakes. Just as I was getting a bit bored with the same old scenery, to my delight the forests were replaced by fields and meadows for most of today’s stage. Crops of wheat and rye extended for as far as the eye could see, the seed heads waving around in the gentle breeze. Sunshine smiled today and the chirping birds obviously appreciated it too.
One thing that struck me while I was riding along through the lush, green, countryside is that I have seen very few animals since I have been in Germany, even though they are known to be meat lovers. The only cows I saw today were inside a massive feedlot barn, being well fed but possibly never seeing the light of day.
Adding interest to the ride was the string of quaint little towns, including Lindenberg, Gross Quassow, Zwenzow, Kakeldütt, Blankenförde, Babke, Dalmsdorf, Kratzeburg, Pieverstorf, Ankershagen, Friedrichsfelde, Freidorf, Bocksee, Klein Dratow, Gross Dratow, Schwatorf, Kargow, and Federow. Passing through so many towns you would expect to be able to get a coffee somewhere in the 70 Km between Neustrelitz and Waren. In most of the towns there was not a shop to be seen, let alone a shop that might sell coffee. At last I came to a café that advertised “coffee to go” but when I eagerly marched in to order my cappuccino I was told that coffee is only sold in the afternoons! At Ankershagen I found an attractive thatched-roof café but when I ordered a cappuccino I was given a cup of strong, black, bitter coffee that was undrinkable.
Entering my destination of Waren (pronounced “Varen”) I was blown away by its beauty. This town definitely has the wow factor … situated on the picturesque Lake Müritz, immaculately clean streets, colourful houses, timber-framed buildings, lovely parks and gardens, boats bobbing in the harbour, an attractive promenade, plentiful cafés and restaurants …and coffee!!! This is definitely the nicest town I have yet seen in Germany, reminiscent of some of the towns I saw in Croatia two years ago.