Dodging the Showers

Berlin to Copenhagen – Stage 06 – Krakow am See to Bützow 47 Km (Fri 16-Jun-17)

Weather: 12⁰C min – 18⁰C max, showry, partially sunny

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“You have to make it happen.” ~ Denis Diderot

With the forecast showing 60% probability of rain I knew the odds were stacked against me today, but remarkably I arrived at my destination of Bützow reasonable dry. One moment there was blue sky and the next there were menacing black clouds.

For the first few Km after leaving Krakow am See I rode through lovely fields and farmlands with free range ducks & chooks and (not so free range) feedlot cattle. Further along the route there were goats, bison, camels, and Shetland ponies at an American style ranch. No shortage of animals today!

Then inevitably I came to forest, more varied than the last few days. Instead of just tall pines there were different types of trees including beech, silver birch, and plane trees. Just as I was thinking that hills are non-existent in Germany I came to some gentle undulations. Riding was easy along the perfectly smooth paved tertiary roads and cycle paths. Even the occasional dirt section was well – compacted and smooth.

After 28 Km I entered the medieval old town of Güstrow whose main tourist attraction is the Güstrow Palace, a Renaissance-era palatial schloss used as a museum and cultural centre. Stopping for coffee and cheesecake at a bäckerei in Güstrow, I had just mounted my bike again when it started to rain quite heavily. Back into the bäckerei I went, ordering another cappuccino groß (gross because it is large, not foul tasting). I should have had a third cup because not much further along the route there was another downpour. Thankfully I managed to stay reasonably dry by sheltering under a canopy of trees.

One eye was on the sky and the other was on the wet path, trying my best to avoid squashing the slimy snails and slugs slithering across in front of me.

Solo bike touring provides ample opportunity for reflection, and today for some reason I couldn’t help thinking how civilized and couth Europe is. Rarely, if ever, have I seen ice-crazed druggies, brain-addled inebriates, badly behaved yobbos or yahoos, and you never hear about stabbings, muggings, and drive-by shootings. Sure there are advisories warning of terrorist threats (like Spain at present) but you always feel safe here.

About 10 Km before Bützow I found myself riding along a long straight path beside the pretty Ausbau Kanal. On the last few days I have ridden on several similar twin paths made from slabs of concrete, a separate path for each car wheel with a gap filled with grass in between.

Arriving at my destination of Bützow right on 2pm, I checked into another of those fabulous AirBNB’s you find in small towns. Every summer Astrid goes bike touring for a week somewhere in Europe with her daughter and a friend, so we had plenty to talk about. It turns out she has toured several of the same places as me, including the Danube and Mosel rivers and my favourite town of Strasbourg in Alsace.

Just as I sat at the desk in my warm, cosy, room to pen these few words, I looked out the window to see it was raining again. The rain gods have smiled on me today!

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