Around the Pond: 5000 km on the North Sea Cycle Route

In the morning the weather has improved, but the tent is still wet as I pack it. What's worse, I wake up with a migraine.

I pack my bike, buy some bread for breakfast in the small shop, and I'm on my way.

My plan for today is to go north to the Elbe river, then follow it north-west towards Hamburg as far as possible. For the first part I basically have three choices: I can follow the Highway B4 north, I can ride on the banks of the Elbe-Seitenkanal, or I can follow smaller roads parallel to the Canal. The B4 has a dedicated cycle track most of the way, but is noisy and a bit boring. I do a bit of the last two options.

I follow smaller roads parallel to the canal and the B4 to Bad Bevensen. Here I look for a pharmacy to buy some pills for my headache. I'm sure I have some somewhere in my bags, but can't find them right away, and I don't want to unpack everything on the road. My migraine seems to be obvious, in the pharmacy they offer me a glass of water to take a pill right away.

I leave Bad Bevensen to the north, then I follow the Elbe-Seitenkanal, passing Lüneburg, and taking a break in Scharnebeck, where a ship lift lifts ships 38m up in two water-filled troughs weighing nearly 6000 tons each.

After that it is only a few kilometers to the Elbe. I cross the river into Lauenburg. Lauenburg consists of a old part located directly at the Elbe, and a modern part elevated 50m up the steep banks. One year earlier I went upstream from here on my first cycle tour, following the Elberadweg. Now I follow the ELbe down river towards Geesthacht. The cycle route follows some nice tracks through the forest on the hills making up the steep northern banks of the Elbe in this part. For the first time I really feel the 30kg of luggage I am carrying. Especially on sand and uphill the ride is much more strenuous.

In Geesthacht I buy some things for dinner, then take the next bridge to cross over to the southern bank of the Elbe. It's time to plan for the night, and there are a few campsites further upstream at the southern bank.

I choose a small campsite near Haue. The campsite seems to be used primarily by caravans that stand here year-round, but I get a friendly welcome. In the evening I write the blog texts for the last two days on my net book. I try to prepare and upload some images, but I'm having some technical problems. I start to realize that keeping a good travel blog will be a lot of work, especially if I want to keep it in both german and english.

During dinner I accidentally cut a hole in my sleeping pad (the self-inflating kind). The night is a little less comfortable than the previous one.

Day 2 - June 4th: Uelzen to Haue


Uelzen - Bad Bevensen - Scharnebeck - Lauenburg - Geesthacht - Haue


Distance: 104.56 km
Cycle time: 6:37 h
Average speed: 15.77 kmh
Total distance: 183 km
© Thomas Stets
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