Cycling in Germany #9 – Country Roads around Niederlommatzsch on the Elbe

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We reach Elbklause, our Radhaus (bike hotel), in Niederlommatzsch around 12.30. Our room is new, large and airy with a wonderful view of the Elb. The wifi works immediately and doesn’t require endless codes. We are directly on the bike path.

Our bike hotel on the bike path

Our bike hotel on the bike path

The hotel’s restaurant on the river looks very inviting. We order two local white wines – a Muller-Thurgau and a goldriesling. We prefer the Muller-Thurgau. I work out from the all-German menu that pork is the local speciality so we order pork cutlets. They are king-size and served with a large variety fresh vegetables – one of the best meals so far.

The view from the terrace of the restaurant and from our window

The view from the terrace of the restaurant and from our window

We set off on our bikes for Riesa, theoretically 14 km away but we end up doing 36 km there and back due to a detour. The ferry is just outside our hotel so we begin with the east bank. Having gone for two days without cycling in Dresden has improved my saddle soreness. Good thing because the initial paths are a sort of crazy paving which is even worse than cobblestones.

The cobblestones are bad enough but the crazy pavement (not shown here) is worse. Sometimes, we have to take our bikes down a steep slope with a bike runner

The cobblestones are bad enough but the crazy pavement (not shown here) is worse. Sometimes, we have to take our bikes down a steep slope with a bike runner

The countryside is very tranquil and takes us past back gardens with their own machinery exhibitions, a surprising building that turns out to be a sawmill with a crane, a renovated windmill without sails and an absolutely enormous chemical refinery that employs 1400 people. I find it very colourful – typically German – but Jean Michel explains that the different coloured pipes are compulsory and indicate what they contain. Ah well. You learn something new every day!

The sawmill and crane built in the late 19th century and recently restored

The sawmill and crane built in the late 19th century and recently restored

Restored windmill of the Dutch type

Restored windmill of the Dutch type – note the patriotic car

Wacker chemical refinery, mostly connected with silicone

Wacker chemical refinery, mostly connected with silicone

Riesa, our destination, is obviously a new town that drains the refinery workers and its only redeeming features are the biggest wisteria I have ever seen, the town hall and an amazing blind wall with a music store painted on it.

Magnificent wall of wisteria in Riesa

Magnificent wall of wisteria in Riesa

A musical wall in Riesa

A musical wall in Riesa

We do however find an excellent eiscafé where we manage to order icecream and mineral water in German. The East Germans, who are obviously not used to foreigners, understand my German even less than the Bavarians! I’m amused by the fact that a man stops me in the street and asks in English where the police station is. Jean Michel knows of course so sends him in the right direction.

Rape and wheat with wild flowers on both sides

Rape and wheat with wild flowers on both sides

Having crossed the bridge at Riese, we are able to cycle back on the other side of the river, through cultivated fields lined with wild flowers. We see corn, wheat, barley, rye, rape, sunflowers, potatoes, peas, sugarbeet and runner beans, and a few sheep and cows. We also smell numerous pigsties. Also an incredibly long barge.

An extremely long barge

An extremely long barge

It’s nearly 8 pm when we get back so we finish off the sweet wine we bought in Bad Schandau followed by a cucumber, tomato and cheese salad. We eat the cherries we bought along the way for one euro outside someone’s house. We sink thankfully into bed at 10.30 pm after an unsuccessful attempt to find a hotel for our next stop at Wittenberg.

Breakfast at Elbklause, the best yet, according to Jean Michel

Breakfast at Elbklause, the best yet, according to Jean Michel

It’s next morning and we learn the downside of our river view. The curtains are thin and the windows are facing east which means maximum light from 5 am onwards. There is also a street light outside which seems to stay on all night. So after the best breakfast so far according to Jean Michel (the usual cold meats and cheese but a better selection, boiled eggs, very compact dry bread, cereal, yoghurt, tomato, butter & jam and fresh fruit), we decide to stay at home to catch up on our travel log and blog and deal with such mundane things as washing and repairing Jean Michel’s inner tube.

Jean MIchel picking cherries along the way but they weren't very good

Jean MIchel picking cherries along the way but they weren’t very good

We have lunch again at the hotel restaurant overlooking the Elb. Jean Michel chooses some sort of pork and sauerkraut and I have duck with cooked shredded beetroot which is excellent. We have the Müller-Thurgau again and try the Weissburgunder (white burgundy) but it’s a bit green.

At least there's a view after that hilltop climb

At least there’s a view after that hilltop climb

As we’re keeping Meissen for tomorrow, we choose to go west of the Elb to Lommatzsch. I don’t think I’ve ever climbed so many hills in such a short time. I’m as red as the beetroot I ate at lunch.

Town hall in Lommatzsch

Town hall in Lommatzsch

Not much to see in Lommatzsch. The town hall looks exactly the same as the wooden village I had as a child. I feel I deserve the ice-cream at the Konditorei more than other. We’re amused to see that it comes from large containers of Carte d’Or ice-cream.

Jean MIchel picking cherries along the way but they weren't very good

Jean MIchel picking cherries along the way but they weren’t very good

The ride home after shopping for dinner at Netto is much easier, mainly downhill of course. Jean Michel stops at practically every cherry tree along the way to see if the cherries are edible. He can never resist free food, particularly in the country. All he manages to do is to get stains on his shirt …

Three combine harvesters all in the same field of barley

Three combine harvesters all in the same field of barley

We’re amazed to see three massive combine harvesters in a barley field. We also see a hare.

Our Meissen weissburgunder aperitif on the window-sill

Our Meissen weissburgunder aperitif on the window-sill

For our apertif we try the Winzer Meissen weissburgunder (pinot blanc) we bought in Reise for 11.50 euro the day before in a most unlikely looking shop. It’s much better than the one I had a lunchtime – certainly not as green – but no nose to speak of.

Elbklause Hotel, Niederlommatzsch
 

OTHER POSTS ABOUT CYCLING IN GERMANY

Cycling in Germany – Tips & Tricks
Cycling in Germany #1 – Kobern-Gondorf on the Moselle
Cycling in Germany #2 – Rhine from Saint Goar to Lorch
Cycling in Germany #3 – Cochem to Zell on the Moselle
Cycling in Germany #4 – Koblenz where the Moselle meets the Rhine
Cycling in Germany #5 – Bad Schaugen to Pirna along the Elbe
Cycling in Germany #6 – Bastei Rocks, Honigen and over the border to Czech Republic 
Cycling in Germany #7 – Dresden: accommodation & car trouble and Baroque Treasure  
Cycling in Germany #8 – Dresden Neustadt: Kunsthof Passage, Pfund’s Molkerei, a broom shop & trompe l’oeil
Cycling in Germany #9 – Country roads around Niderlommatzsch on the Elbe
Cycling in Germany #10 – Meissen on the Elbe
Cycling in Germany #11 – Martin Luther Country: Torgau on the Elbe
Cycling in Germany #12 – Martin Luther Country: Wittenberg on the Elbe
Cycling in Germany #13 – Wörlitz Gardens and the beginning of neo-classicism in Germany
Cycling in Germany #14 – Shades of Gaudi on the Elbe: Hundertwasser
Cycling in Germany – Turgermünde, the prettiest village on the Elbe
Cycling in Germany #16 – Celle & Bremen
Cycling in Germany #17 – Windmills & Dykes
Cycling in Germany #18 – Painted façades from Hann. Münden to Höxter
Cycling in Germany #19 – Bernkastel on the Moselle: a hidden treasure
Cycling in Germany #20 – Trier & the Binoculars Scare
 
Cycling along the Danube – A Renaissance festival in Neuburg, Bavaria
Cycling along the Danube – Watch out for trains!
Cycling along the Danube – Regensburg & Altmuhle
Cycling along the Danube –  The Weltenburg Narrows
Cycling along the Danube – from its source to Ehingen
Cycling along the Danube – Ehingen to Ulm
Cycling along the Danube – Singmarigen to Beuron
Cycling along the Danube – Binzwangen to Mengen including  Zwiefalten
Eurovelo 6 – Cycling around Lake Constance
Eurovelo 6 – Moos to Stein am Rhein and Steckborn on Lake Constance
Heading home to France after a month’s cycling holiday
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38 Responses to Cycling in Germany #9 – Country Roads around Niederlommatzsch on the Elbe

  1. Lorri says:

    I love your updates! I really like the building with the musical motif.

    Like you, I found that the people in this area weren’t used to foreigners. Although it has been such a long time since reunification, I reminded myself it was former DDR. Thankfully, I can speak enough German to make myself understood and to get around. Can’t wait to see what you post about Wittenberg. I really enjoyed visiting there a few years ago. As a matter of fact, I met a bunch of Aussies that were riding bikes from Prague to…hmmmm…somewhere that the Elbe goes to! Quite fun and some of them joined us for dinner. They didn’t have much biking experience and what started out as a father-adult daughter adventure turned into a big group.

    • Rosemary Kneipp says:

      We can definitely see a very big difference between what we experience last year cycling along the Danube in former West Germany and what we are seeing here in former East Germany this year. There is a different in mentality, in customs and in accommodation in general, which is really only normal. Twenty-four years is not that long.
      We met a bunch of Aussie cyclists on the Danube last year.
      Wittenberg coming up tomorrow. I was pleased to finally find a hotel.

  2. That town hall in particular is stunning!

    • Rosemary Kneipp says:

      I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Germany, William, but some of the best architecture is to be found in their town halls – far more than in their churches.

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