Chapter 1: From Weser to Elbe
Chapter 3: Pyritz and Inselhopping

Chapter 2: From Elbe to Oder

Sunday, 12.8. Rosslau - Jüterbog 72 km

At the breakfast we learn, that on Sunday there are no fresh rolls available. Those on the table are like rubber balls and the butter is not quite fresh as well. We soon start. On the B187 we ride to Wittenberg. The sun shines and besides the road there are nice flowers. There are areas withdrawn from cultivation and then a manifold of wild plants can develop.

On sunday morning Wittenberg is an untroubled town. The Schlosskirche is well known, because Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses to the entrance in the year 1517. We look sharp at the door but there are no signs of the nails yet. Vis a vis there is a cafe with an old fashioned pavillon. We sit down and drink a Spezi. Finally we collect the brochures from the tourist information and leave the town zigzagging among rail tracks. As wanted we find the road towards Zahna. There are large fields of corn, sometimes millet (Hirse) and pine forests. At the road there are mainly acacia trees.

Zahna is a rural town and due to the rough pavement we roll on the sidewalk. On the further stretch nothing remarkable happens or is to be told, fields and fields again. But then we hit on a battle field, where the "Schlacht von Dennewitz" once had its place. At first we guess the contrahents: Prussians against Napoleon. This will prove to be correct. Besides the church of Dennewitz there is a monument. A commander orders a infantryman ready to fight in that direction where he should do a heroic deed or find his death. At the backside there is an inscription in the local dialect: "Man drup, dat geiht fört Vaterland" (Come on, it's for your home country).

Some time later another military impression. There is a deserted barrack area may be from the Russians. Some trees have broken through the roofs already and we like this more than the earlier activities. Then we are at the market place of Jüterbog. The tourist information at the town hall is open. We ask whether we should stay at Jüterbog or continue to Luckenwalde. Of course the lady says "You better stay here" and we "As a local you are obliged to say so". But Luckenwalde, 15 km from here is said to be an industrial site.

And as we read: Jüterbog, e medieval town in the Fläming hills" we are convinced. We enter the "Hotel zur Post" just at the market place and there we find a chamber and a brochure of the "Schlacht bei Dennewitz" in the year 1813. In fact it was Napoleon who was defeated by the Prussians under the leadership of the general Bülow and Tauentzien: 10.000 dead soldiers, but it is not told, how many victims on each side (10.000 Prussians, 22.000 French soldiers killed, wounded or captured).

Then we start our walk at the wide market place. Heidi puts on her reading glasses and dirigates us to the recommended localities. The town hall built of bricks, a lane named "Wursthof", city wall Mönchenkirche, Dammtor etc. The sky gets dark and finally we must look for shelter from the rain at an entrance of a kitchen shop near the Zinnaer Tor. Thereafter we find our place at the restaurant "Schmied zu Jüterbog" with a "Märkische Forelle" (trout) or a pork steak.

The steady pouring rain cannot bother us.

Monday, 12.8. Jüterbog - Storkow 98 km

Some km north of Jüterbog there is the monastery Zinna and to get there one must leave the town at the Zinnaer Tor. We have a short view into the church but soon continue along the B101 to Kolzenburg. Some friendly people recommend a traffic free path through the fields and meadows, we would have difficulties to find this out from the maps. We are at the "Baruther Urstromtal" now and the area is called "Niederfläming". The road just has got a brand new tarmack covering and the bikes roll properly. Once a vehicle comes up that draws a wite line straight ahead. At another place we find a green shining beetle and make a photo. Some nice alleys and pure nature, nothing more is to be said.

We come to the village Baruth. There we find a shop and a pharmacy. This is needed for the numerous stitches by the mosquitoes and we buy one creme for use in advance and one for the use afterwards. We look for the burg, wich is a ruin this time. We better rest at a bench in front of the church. We find a gravestone in memoriam to a local verger (Küster), who - that is written - has lived with his wife without children but not without pleasure. "He died on 12. January 1743 when he had lived 53 years, 4 months and 22 days. And he feels fine."

For the next section we have choosen a promising lake area. At first we must use the B96 with dense traffic. We miss the junction of a side road and make a detour of 5 km. We come to the village Zesch which is located at two lakes, but in the dense pine forest we cannot see one of them. We must climb up to 98 m height. The forests seem to be a good terrain for mushrooms, but it is too dry just now. Down to Teuplitz, there is a moated castle. This is no ruin this time, moreover they have built new parts and now established an exclusive "Schlosshotel". We settle on a bench at the sea: "Guests only" is to be read. But we spoon up our yoghurt though.

Thereafter we manage to get slightly lost first and then we get completely lost. The map shows various lakes one after the other and the names are Kl. Köriser See, Hölzerner See or Schmölde See. And the problem is that the shores are settled by angler or boat clubs or private owners. Fences everywhere. The path winds its way far from the lakes through a sandy pine forest. Once there must have been a military area, so many paths in various directions exist. Once we meet a goup of workers who dig some ditches. We ask for the route but they answer: "We are no locals, but over there there is no continuation". We don't believe but then end at a closed gate: "Kanuclub". All the way back and up a hill, we are relieved as we see the shining of a lake to the left.

The forest seems to be endless and we feel curious more and more. Then we think to see the front of a house ahead. But this turns out to be the sandy slope of the uphill continuation and we must push the bikes. But then motor sounds arise, usually we are not so glad about that noise but this time we are. We arrive at a crossing and there are some signs. And we are just there where we had planned to go. And from now on we stay to the B246.

At the "Wald Restaurant Tiefer See" today the landlady is forced to interrupt her laundry and mangle as two tired cyclists ask for some coffee and cake. Finally we head for Storkow, and as the name promises: two storks flie above as we enter the town. We ask a man for an accommodation, but he seems to be not quite trustworthy. He has a knitted face, full beard and a rope instead of a belt around his waist. We come to the hotel "Karls Lust" which is new built and therefore extremely expensive. We return to the market place and get the address of a pension from the information. As we arrive the host says "But I only have a room for a married couple". "By the way I just have come with my wife" I can answer without a lie.

Later we want to phone up our children and head for a little cabin near at a canal. As we arrive we find out that this cabin is part of a sluise. Then we observe a youngster handling his handy. He leans to his elegant car and has a loud discussion with his partner about the deeper sense of life. It seems to be important that his fellows at the near by fitness center can take share in this session.

Vis a vis to the church we find a small snack bar and sit under a sun shelter. The meals are very cheap but plentiful. Soon a heavy rain comes down and there is nothing to do than to retire to the "married couple chamber".

Tuesday, 13.8. Storkow - Schwedt (by train)

The rain stays all over the night. As we arise, it still rains. After breakfast the rain comes down. The host offers that we can stay another night. And Heidi has caught a cold and declares that she is unable to cycle today. We look out of the window and watch the great puddles growing at the street. I phone up the railway station, no one picks up, but then someone of the tourist information can suggest a train to Frankfurt/Oder one hour later.

We pack our stuff, crawl under the rain suits and push to the railway station. We have plenty of time. But as we arrive at the platform a train is just ready to go off. "Are you going to Frankfurt?" we ask the conductor. "Yes, but actually we have gone already". And today is the 13., may be this is the cause for some problems. The train before had a defect and so those passengers must be picked up first. So we find ourselves in a comfortable compartment and are so happy, that we do not plan for Frankfurt/Oder but purchase a ticket for all the way to Schwedt/Oder. We will miss the ride through the "Oderbruch" (Lowlands), may be we can do this at another time.

We swing via Buckow and Breeskow through vast pine forests towards Frankfurt. Of course the rain has stopped and the sun comes out sometimes. I got a good idea. Possibly we can already book a hotel at our destination Pyritz at Frankfurt. So at first we visit the tourist agency at Frankfurt. "Pyritz, what is this?" they ask. "It is a town near Stettin" we answer. "But that is in Poland" they combine. Well, there are no informations about anything in Poland, they only can arrange accommodations near around. At least I can buy a map of Westpommern containing the former German names and a magnifying glass. What for? We think of the elder people with weak eyes who want to see the place of their youth for a last time. But we should not laugh about this fact, we will stop our laughter soon.

Heidi states that she does not feel well. We enter a pharmacy and buy some pills against influenza and these do their psychological effect before they are taken. We then in vain ride around to detect something impressing - suddenly we find ourselves at the crossing point to Poland at the bridge of the Oder. We went our way four years ago and today better return to the railway station, it is warm in there. We have to wait two hours yet so check our connection once again at the information desk and find out, that we could use a faster combination to Schwedt via Berlin. And so we arrive at Berlin sooner than our train in Frankfurt would have gone. The train to Schwedt waits at the same platform already.

In spite of the short time we can observe something mysterious. In Frankfurt we had already seen large cardboards with cigarettes and here as well everywhere big piles of stuff stand around. Here and there people with special suitcases come up and stow away the cardboards. We argue if these are all smugglers under the public eyes of the main railway station in Berlin? The miracle keeps unsolved.

As we ride to Schwedt we realize tat we miss to get known to the landscape. If you ride by bike there is the intensity of contact and the feeling to have made it by your own. At Schwedt we enter the tourist information and two ladies at once start zigzagging around in the bureau. "At first we want to book a hotel at Pyritz" we start. "We will do this by telephone" they say and we feel the sun rising. Then they scroll in a catalogue and cannot find anything. "Hey, that's in Poland" they finally realize. "Yes but only 40 km from here" we state. But there is no chance, they even do not know this town.

There is more success to book a hotel for tonight at Schwedt. We can drop the price by telephone and then around some corners arrive at our port of registry. The ladies of the tourist bureeau  have piled us up with information brochures about Schwedt. Let us discuss the situation of those towns which were hit by the direct fight during the last war. In most cases the inner parts of the cities were destroyed. Sometimes some buildings remained intact or were partly destroyed or have been restaurated meanwhile. Nevertheless the original atmosphere of such a town will never return. At Schwedt they have established a wide promenade for parades, the castle has disappeared and during the DDR-era at its place a festival hall was built. (At our hometown Braunschweig they have built a big store building at the place of the former castle...).

We enter a chinese restaurant vis a vis of one of those old buildings: the Tabakscheune. And we have a meal which is not typical for the local culture and landscape. At last we must make up for the phone call at home. At a telephone box a girl is just telling her life to someone else in the world. We wait for twenty minutes until she has finished. Without hesitating she starts to select the next call number. But this time the bill was made without my wife. She reclaims the rights of the waiting population. And the amazing answer is: "But this is a public telephone and I have none at home". We say "But you behave as if it were a private telephone". We make a compromise that we can use the telephone in between for 2 minutes.

Chapter 3: Pyritz and Inselhopping