July 31 – Plau am See to Berlin (150 km, 93 miles)

Most of the local roads are lined with trees on both sides of the road. This provides much relief from the sun on a hot day.


My longest day yet – 150 kilometers, and 11.5 hours due to hot temperatures and riding into a 20-30 km/h headwind all day. It was more of the same as yesterday – wheat and cornfields, with widely scattered patches of forest that provided temporary relief from the sun and wind. Most of the local village-to-village roads that I traveled are lined with trees on both sides of the road – very scenic. There are also many wind turbines in this part of Germany, in order to take advantage of the constant wind.


Wind turbines in the wheat and corn fields are a common sight in Denmark and northern Germany.


View of a typical wind turbine. The towers are about 300 feet tall.


I’ve gotten into a routine of riding through several villages until I find a Netto food store. Then I make a quick trip in to stock up on bananas, cherries, and sandwiches for the road. It’s interesting how they do things here. For one thing, all four wheels on the grocery carts spin around the vertical axis, unlike in the U.S. where only the front two wheels spin. As a result, the carts here in Germany are much more maneuverable, and it’s easy to move them sideways and to do a zero-radius turn – cool German engineering! Another thing the grocery stores do here is that they don’t bag your groceries. Everyone arrives at the store with their own cloth bags or wicker baskets, and then the customer puts their purchased goods into their baskets. They do have plastic bags at the stores, but you have to pay 1 Euro for each bag. There is also a cash refund for all plastic and glass bottles, so it’s common to see people arrive at the store on their bicycle with a wicker basket full of plastic and glass bottles to be recycled, then they use their basket to haul their stuff home. In this regard, Europeans are much more environmentally aware than are most Americans.


The first sighting of a sign for Berlin, which is still about 75 kilometers away.


After a long day riding, I arrived at Werner Stempfhuber’s house on the northwest side of Berlin, near the town of Spandau, at 7:30 pm. Werner and his wife Dunja were in the back yard tending to the barbeque grill and within 30 minutes we were eating grilled chicken and sausages. Very tasty after a hard day of riding.

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