It’s been quite a while since my last post, but I finally decided to get back to writing on this blog a little more regularly. A lot has happened since the last time I wrote. I moved back to Hamburg in northern Germany a few weeks ago. To get reacquainted with my new surroundings, my boyfriend and I spent the Easter weekend cycling through southern Schleswig-Holstein.
To start our little trip, we took the train to the village of Wiemersdorf to avoid cycling through Hamburg’s hustle and bustle for too long. Although we had to change trains twice, it went surprisingly well with our two bikes. After a brief lunch break with some leftovers from home, we finally started on our tour.
We cycled mostly on quiet country roads, some paved, some only dirt tracks. We soon passed the city of Neumünster, where we enjoyed a break in the sun and some cookies. Near Bordesholm, we had to cross under or over the highway a few times. Once, the road was closed due to construction work. But as there were very few alternative routes available, we tried our luck anyway and could pass the construction site without a problem.
In the afternoon, we reached two little lakes, the Einfelder, and the Bordesholmer See. It was Good Friday, so the paths around the lake were quite crowded, but we really enjoyed the still somewhat relaxed atmosphere. Shortly after, we already reached our campsite for the night – rather close to a busy train track but hidden behind some bushes from the path and the nearby cow herd.
Although wild camping is usually forbidden in Germany, we found out about a pilot project in Schleswig-Holstein recently, which actually encourages people to put up their tent outside of traditional camping grounds. “Wild Schleswig-Holstein” (in German “Wildes Schleswig-Holstein”) collects such places on their website – sometimes provided by the state, sometimes by private people. Regulations may vary depending on the site you choose: Sometimes a prior registration is necessary, sometimes you can just show up (and hope nobody else had the same idea). Some sites even provide a toilet or shower facilities.
It turned out we were lucky and stayed the only campers at our chosen site. After dinner and a brief walk to the Eider river close by, we went to bed early. It was surprisingly cold at night, and the trains woke us early in the morning. Maybe that was why it took us quite some time to get started the next day.
On our second day, we stayed on quiet roads and didn’t pass any large cities. The landscape of Schleswig-Holstein can be quite monotonous, so the most noticeable change in view was when we passed a forest that day. In the afternoon, we arrived at a traditional campsite, where we had to pitch our tent next to the ubiquitous caravans. But after two days of cycling, that was a small price to pay for a warm shower close by.
From our campsite near the Klüthsee, a lake close to the city of Bad Segeberg, we started on our third and final tour day the next morning. The area is usually quite flat. A traditional saying goes something like this: “It’s so flat around here, you can see in the morning who is going to visit for afternoon tea.” So we were surprised by how many hills we had to climb until we reached the city of Bad Oldesloe.
Finally, we met with my father in the city center for some well-deserved ice-cream. We cycled the rest of the way to my hometown together while making a few detours to look at the surrounding villages as well.
All in all, this was a great bike tour. The distances we covered were moderate, so it was a perfect start after a winter of not doing too much exercise. The concept of “Wild Schleswig-Holstein” is an excellent way for hikers and cyclists to explore the area independently and is highly recommended!