After leaving Berlin we’ve experienced a lot. We’ve had some amazing biking days and are now in Hannover. An extremely beautiful city – which surprised me since I’ve never heard anyone talk about Hannover. We’ve got a few photos to show you later.
But first, let’s have a look on our four biking days. We had two long days and two shot days, which actually balanced everything quite well. We had the greatest experience in Genthin but that will get its own post.
Enjoy! Lots of pretty photos since the weather has been amazing!
Here’s a rough overview of our route from Berlin to Hannover. Below is a detailed description of each day + awesome photos! Yay.
DAY 6: BERLIN – GENTHIN (94 km)
A looong day trying to get some distance to Berlin. We experienced that campsites seem to be very rare on our route from Berlin and across Germany. When we went from Rostock to Berlin there were lots of campsites to choose from. Here, not so many!
Jonas had found one in Genthin. A long drive but we were up for it. It was our first day on our new “program” and we got up even before 7 am! Our campsite was very close to Berlin Airport and the 6.30 flight woke us both up. With 2 minutes between them they continued to fly over our heads.
It really sounded like they were all going to crash in our tent.
Interesting routes thanks to Google Maps
Before we left on our trip we thought we would average around 16 km/h (10 mph) but we were way slower everyday. Our trip to Genthin made it very obvious why.
We’ve been following Google Maps and have made directions using it. The iPhone app doesn’t support a bike-route (which the online version does) so we’ve mostly been using the walk-route. And while it’s possible to walk nearly everywhere, the same can’t be said about biking.
It started out nicely. We were led down a lovely trail that was actually ok to bike at. The best part was the view! The German nature is absolutely fantastic and we’re really enjoying seeing so much of it.
However, we suddenly were driving around in grass. Jonas was looking at his iPhone, confused.
“I think it wants us to go this way…”
It made no sense. We drove around and it was hell! Grass in not funny to bike around in. Not funny at all. I decided to just stand still and wait for Jonas to figure it out… The sun was crazy and I was tired.
“Yay – found it!”
We were on our way. But at a very slow pace. When Google Maps led us through a forest with toppled trees blocking the nearly non-existing trail (causing us (*cough* Jonas) to unload our bikes and carry them over the trees) we were both really tired of it all.
Because of all the interesting routes Google Maps led us through we decided to form a new rule:
- Don’t follow Google Maps blindly. Find small cities and drive on the small roads connecting them. There are few cars on them and you can go way faster this way.
It doesn’t hurt to ask…
When we reached Genthin it was already getting dark and the clock was pushing 8 pm. The campsite we had planned to stay at didn’t exist. Damn. I asked a lady for the nearest campsite and she told us it was far away.
Another rule was formed:
- Check in advance that the campsite does exist.
You learn something new everyday…
We checked out some of the local guesthouses, but they all wanted 50 € or more for a double room. The weather was great and we didn’t feel like spending a lot of money on a guesthouse when we have a tent that is perfectly fine.
We started looking for hidden spot where we could put up our tent. We would leave early and hoped not to get caught. When we finally found a spot I was too chicken to do it. I would hate getting caught, pissing somebody off… I could see tons of bad things happening as a result of this.
Just outside of Genthin we found an area with holiday houses and heard some voices from a garden. We asked them if we could put our tent up in front of their house and something amazing happened. It deserves its own post though… So stay tuned for that! ;)
DAY 7: GENTHIN – JERSLEBER SEE (51 km)
We tested out our new rules and everything went fine. We were moving fast, the sun was shining and all was good – until Jonas’s front carrier started moving around. We had to stop and fix it.
The weight from the bag Jonas is carrying was too much. We’ve already removed some of the weight since we didn’t want it to break. But the screws gave up and we had to fix it.
Even if that meant to remove the beautiful wooden details on it… (We could have taken it off and put it back on if we’d had the right equipment. But we didn’t)
Not so pretty without the wooden details…
The route was probably the most beautiful we’ve tried so far. We drove on a bike lane right by the Elbe-Havel Canal and it was beautiful! There were lots of bikes on the road, the weather was great and we really enjoyed the view. Wow.
We arrived at our campsite early even though we’d lost some hours (!) while repairing Jonas’s front carrier. And that’s why we start early!
DAY 8: JERSLEBER SEE – WALDSEE (101 km)
This was a very perfect day. We had a few cities to drive through and we saved a lot of time just following the signs. Great! After 80 km (49 miles) we hit Braunschweig and spent some hours at Starbucks to get some work done.
Braunschweig was quite surprising for us since it was way bigger and fuller of life than we’d expected. It had a real European feel with a lot of old buildings and narrow streets. We would have loved to walk around and see more of the city but we had no time.
Tired and ready to leave Braunschweig
As mentioned earlier in this post, campsites here aren’t as common as in other parts of Germany, and we had to leave Braunschweig at 8 pm and drive the last 21 km to Waldsee and camp there.
DAY 9: WALDSEE – HANNOVER (50 km)
Luckily, we were close to Hannover and only had 50 km (31 miles) to our campsite just outside Hannover. When we were approaching the city we oversaw a sign that led bikes away from the road (maybe there was no sign since we’re both very aware to read the signs!) and ended up on a crazy road that was definitely not for bikes!
We stopped and went as far away from the road as possible. Unfortunately for us, there were fences and we couldn’t escape the road. We spotted a McDonald’s on the other side of the road which was our only hope for escape.
When the road was clear, we ran across and pulled our bikes through the knee-high grass to McDonald’s. Damn. That was close! Always be aware where you’re going… The roads can change quickly! Safety first. Ouch.
Phew – made it!
We booked two nights here in Hannover and are leaving this beautiful city tomorrow. We’d love to have more time here, but we need to move on in order to make it to Rome before October!
Photo Essay with pics from the days from Berlin to Hannover is coming up! We drove through sooo many small towns and I couldn’t help myself – I had to capture it! :)