Kempen-Usedom-Berlin-Kempen Day 7: rest day in Ahlbeck

Today was our rest day on Usedom.  

This meant the luxury of a leisurely breakfast with no mad packing of bags afterwards. Instead we chilled out, sitting outside in the garden and enjoying the view. 

However, by 10:30 it was time to get moving – I wanted to visit Poland which was just 4km away.

So we got the Velomobiles ready, this time with just light luggage rather than our full touring load. We set off and I got held at a junction whilst Klaus rode ahead. Unfortunately when I finally got out onto the road and tried to catch him up, I somehow missed that he was waiting for me and rode past without noticing him. He tried to call me on the radio but I hadn’t switched it on, and then he tried to phone me but I didn’t hear it. So it was only when I arrived in Poland I realised that he wasn’t ahead of me.

I phoned him back to discover he had been waiting back in Ahlbeck for me and he said he would now come to meet me, but it wasn’t a very nice road – he had a better route in mind. 

Here is Klaus making his first foray into Poland. 

Once he had arrived we rode straight back on the same road before turning off towards the sea and then turning back towards Poland. This was a much nicer route, a wide cycle route and pedestrian path which went through woodland. Very soon we had reached the border again.

There were lots of people having their photos taken and generally enjoying the day (it was 25 degrees).

We rode further into Poland and stopped for an ice cream and Swinemünde/Świnoujście which was very good value! This bit of Poland was very German, we were able to pay in Euros and most signs were bilingual Polish and German. The buildings seemed a little different too, not so many were as well restored, but it was bustling and friendly and I liked it a lot.

Klaus is a keen amateur photographer and he has a friend Rebecca who has a jewellery shop in Heringsdorf, just 3km from where we were staying. He had arranged that we would go there after 13:00 so we headed straight there, stopping for me to set up a photo of the two Velomobiles with the Baltic Sea in the background for the header image for this blog. There wasn’t an ideal location as you couldn’t see the sea from the cycle path but we found a place were the sea is just visible, although it was difficult to get a clear shot and in the end I asked the passers-by, all of whom seemed to want to photograph our bikes and talk to us about them, to make a space. Very kindly they did, and so I got this shot.

We cycled on to Rebecca’s shop and had a lovely chinwag with her and her partner Henry for 3 hours. Henry is also a photographer and was driving this lovely Landy.

He and Rebecca had a go in the Velomobiles and they also took several photos. We arranged to meet later in the day at a wine shop, which is of course of more benefit to Klaus who likes wine than me who is a teetotaller, but it will be nice to have a sociable evening with friends.

Here is the track that we rode today.

Here is Klaus’s report:

Ruhetag!!! Und was macht man am Ruhetag????

Richtig…Radfahren!!! Helen wollte unbedingt nach Polen. Ist ja gerade um die Ecke. Und da ja bereits die Niederlande gestriffen hatten, haben wir unsere Tour kurzerhand zu einer 3-Länder Tour ausgeweitet. Nebenbei haben wir den Velomobilvirus etwas weiterverbreitet…mal sehen was daraus wird. Gestern waren wir in Grimmen das Stadtgespräch; heute scheint sich unsere Anwesenheit in Ahlbeck auch wie ein Lauffeuer herumgesprochen zu haben. Laut einigen Facebook Kommentaren sind wir nicht unerkannt geblieben. Morgen biegen wir Richtung Süden ab…Berlin wir kommen!!!! Aber erst übermorgen.

I also received a message today from Wikinger on the Velomobilforum which had some useful information abou place names:

Die Führung der Fahrradwege ist in M-V tatsächlich häufig abenteuerlich. Oft liegt es schlicht und ergreifend daran, dass der Bauer bzw. die Agrargenossenschaft nicht verkaufen wollte bzw. Mondscheinpreise verlangt hat. Also wechselt man auf die andere Seite…

Noch eine Bemerkung zu den Ortsnamen, die Helen aufgefallen sind. Die Namen auf “-ow” oder “-itz” stammen aus der slawischen Zeit. Mecklenburg ist ja erst um 1100 endgültig von den Sachsen (heutiges Niedersachsen, Heinrich der Löwe als Herrscher) erobert worden. Aus dieser Zeit stammen dann die Orte auf “-hagen”. Das sind Orte, die in Waldgebieten (eben Hagen) von sächsischen Siedlern neu angelegt worden sind.

This was all very interesting so thank you Wikinger.

Followers of my blog will have noticed something shocking today – no cakes!!!!! However, this was partly rectified at the wine bar in the evening where we enjoyed some quiche:

Followed by some sweet goodies.

We had a really lovely evening with Rebecca and Henry and a friend Sandra who arrived later. It was good to talk to them over a relaxed glass of wine (or water and tea for me) and the evening only broke up when a storm came in with mega gusts of wind and ominous rain clouds. I was getting a bit cold without a coat and Klaus and I needed to get back to the Guest House to put the rain cover on Millie.

All in all it was a very relaxing day off and it was brilliant to catch up with Rebecca and Henry.

Tomorrow we head towards Berlin, stopping just south of Neubrandenburg for the night. It is the day with the biggest hills and is also at least 133km (the hotel have told us there are roadworks on the approach road and we don’t know if we’ll get through on the bikes) but we have a good weather forecast again and are looking forward to some more cycling. 

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