|From Hamburg via Lübeck to Schwerin|
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The Hamburg-Lübeck-Schwerin tour leads through three provinces in the former German-German borderland. The unique flora and fauna of the border area with its nature reserves (Elbe River, Schaalsee Lake) alternates with the cultural and architectural highlights of the towns Hamburg, Lübeck, Schwerin, Dömitz and Ludwigslust. The tour's highest spot is 80 m above sea level, though there are few short climbs. Mainly in the nature reserves there will not always be fully developed cycle paths, but the tour doesn't require a special fitness level.
Your journey begins near the airport of Hamburg, a city with over one million inhabitants. Explore the "Storehouse city", the "Goose Market" Square and the famous Reeperbahn Street. After a tour through the Old Town and the harbour, you will start the next morning and ride on the Alster Cycle Path to Lübeck. This city is the main location of the Nobel prizewinning book “Buddenbrooks” of Thomas Mann.
The whole town is a place of interest. The old Hanseatic city was pronounced as a World Heritage Site in 1987. In the Old town - which is surrounded by water - you will find narrow alleys and more than 1800 listed buildings.From Lübeck you will cycle on southwards to a beautiful lake. There you can visit the lovely town of Ratzeburg, which is located on a little island. The town is full of charm and character and because it has not been destroyed in World War II, you will find many interesting sights, like the cathedral.
Then you follow a pearly string of crystal-clear waters up to the deepest lake of Northern Germany. It gave its name to the UNESCO biosphere reserve. It seems as if the sparkling gem wants to protect itself from all too curious spectators. Dense reed beds allow one to get only a vague idea of its size. Among wooded hills, the Schaal Lake extends far from the north to the south, repeatedly interrupted by small islands and promontories. A lively host of birds, frogs and fish rule this fabulous realm.
The route leads through the former no man's land between east and west. In the isolation of the iron curtain remained a landscape which could not be more original and peaceful. No barrier blocks the way through forests and meadows, along avenues of fruit trees and country lanes. The ravishingly beautiful villages and small towns are today open to everyone again. In the museum courtyard in Valluhn small reed-covered cottages and barns whisper of long-past times. The Cistercian monastery in Zarrentin is still older. It nestles romantically into the steep south bank of the unfathomable Schaal Lake.
Soon you reach Boizenburg - a town of timbered houses. The hills of the Elbe River rise here to heavenly lookout platforms, while the eye is caught primarily by a church tower in the lowlands around Neuhaus. The unrestrained river Elbe pays no attention to frontiers. It meanders in majestic calm sometimes through Mecklenburg, sometimes through Lower Saxony. The natural impressions are also boundless. Storks clack and cranes breed; beavers and otters are once more at home here, and sea-eagles and grey herons float over the labyrinth of oxbow arms, lowland forests and backwaters.
In the hinterland, flower meadows, deciduous forests and moats form a green-blue mosaic. To stand on the shifting sand dunes near Klein Schmölen or on the imposing Dömitz, fortress is to have one of the most beautiful river valleys of Europe at one's feet. The Griese area offers a delightful contrast. Pinewoods, peat bogs and heathland give it a harsh aspect. Ludwigslust in the middle of the Mecklenburgian sand is home to a terrific baroque castle and a fabulous park. The fairy-tale castle and the unique architectural highlights of Schwerin mark the end of our journey.
7 cycling days, 8 nights, 405 km - 253 miles
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|Last Updated ( Wednesday, 22 October 2008 )|