- Distance Instructions
- Distance 45 km
- Time 3 h 10 min
- Speed 14.0 km/h
- Min altitude 0 m
- Peak 0 m
- Climb 831 m
- Descent 819 m
Very mixed day.
After a small but delicious breakfast with homemade orange and strawberry jam, my cycling day started off with a construction site forcing me to push my bike up the hill I had just cycled down. Followed by some missing signs and a road full of stones in the middle of the forest. After half an hour into my cycling day, I was already annoyed. And after I had just put on all my winter cloths (warm jacket, wind jacket and winter gloves) because of the cold wind at the Elbe bank, I soon began to sweat and swapped the winter versus the normal cycling gloves.
But afterwards I was rewarded with an absolutely beautiful ride on a forest trail, winding it's way along the high coast of the Elbe. Around me, only warm sunshine, a well maintained cycling path, the Elbe on my left and bird song in my ear. All of this I would have missed if I had followed the suggestion of an elderly gentleman who told me that the cycle path signs were not very well maintained which I can absolutely not confirm.
After this short excursion to cycling heaven followed a veeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeery long and veeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeery boring ride between the road and the Elbe on the dike and "surprisingly" - against the wind - until Luetjenburg where I crossed the Elbe via 10-minute-ferry ride.
On the other side of the Elbe followed a very nice ride with lots of small farmer's markets, cafés and - no wind. In the sun it was pretty warm and I started to think about packing away my winter cycling jacket but was to lazy to actually do it.
Because of that and the lack of ANY helpful signs in Hamburg-Harburg, I was soon steaming. After consulting my phone about every other minute, I miraculously found the center of Hamburg-Harburg. Obviously not may tourists seem to wander the area. There are absolutely no signs leading to the "city" center and there are also no hotels visible or accessible on the Internet. The only hotel I found, both on the Internet and by cycling by, was the Panorama Hotel which would even have had room for me, for a small fee of 197 Euros (for one night) which I declined. But at least the lady recommended another hotel to me which I found after only another 20 minutes of scanning a small area.
At the Apartment Hotel am Sand I got the last remaining room for "only" 80 Euros (including breakfast) on the fifth floor, without elevator. The room was tiny and hot - because the sun had heated it up all afternoon. I could only get the internet working on my phone (and only after I had gone down to the ground-floor and connected it there), there was a half-empty water bottle on the desk in my room and the shower cabin was a curious experiment including a regular shower cabin and a shower curtain. If I had any other option (and not payed beforehand), I would have left, right on the spot.
To be fair: On request I got a new (full) water bottle and the receptionist tried everything to get the WiFi working on my laptop.
But with the things being as they are, I took a quick shower, changed into my "normal" (=not cycling) cloths and went outside on search for the palace. Once again I was confronted with the odd Harburger way to guide tourists through their part of town: I arrived at an intersection where a sign pointed to the left for the "Schlossinsel" (= palace island), I followed the sign and after a few hundred meters I found another marker showing to the right, just the direction I was coming from....hmmmm....luckily there was some fast food joint and a woman who was cleaning there could tell me that the path to the palace island was actually at the right hand side of the first marker....
In finally found the bridge and the island and the "palace" which consisted of one building, everything else had already been brought down in the beginning of the 20th century. The building looked so unspectacular that I didn't even bother to take a picture. You can just google "Hamburg-Harburg Schloss". I sat on a bench near by just not to be there entirely in vain and walked then back and roamed a bit through the three shopping malls near by.
The reconciling ending of the day consisted of half a bar of bio chocolate and a good movie on Arte about (cyber) mobbing.