Bike Touring Journals by Neil Anderson and Sharon Anderson Bicycle touring Germany
With shiny new black mudguards installed on Aarecca's (that was what we called them when we referred to them at the same time) bikes it should have been insurance against further rain. Let down by noon we waited in a bus shelter for the heaviest of the rain to pass. It hadn't taken Arran and Rebecca long to collect on their policy.
Saw a great picture in Annaburg by the Schwarze Elster River. A freshly painted orange-yellow church in the background, the lazily flowing mud river in front, and a little girl in bright red knickers holding a puppy on the bank. Next time I resolved to stop, but she would probably be gone.
We came to a war monument from the Prussian war and Arran stopped to read the attached plaque. A map showed a dozen more obelisks in the area. Arran said we could do a memorial tour and when Rebecca and I quickly agreed he said he was only joking.
"After all, they are just piles of rock," Arran protested. His objections went unheard and we did a ride by of each rock pile. Some of the masterpieces were so small and indistinct we sailed past before we realized what they were.
We cooked spaghetti in a well-tended graveyard with many small flowers on each grave. Graveyards are about the only place we can find benches. There are no parks in the towns. A woman didn't look too happy about us being there, but Sharon believed she wasn't happy even before she came around the corner. Arran and Rebecca witnessed their first pump-handle well in action. I even primed it first. Arran and Rebecca thought all those pumps were just for decoration.
In Buxdorf I stopped to take a picture of a windmill still used to grind flour. The owner, sang merrily in his car to a traditional German song blaring from the radio. When I shouted, "Bravo. Wunderbar. Gud. Ya," he excitedly came over to talk with us, amazed to see foreign cyclists in his country. The man talked as enthusiastically as he sang. Arms were waving and gesturing as he struggled to make himself understood. He managed to convey English was difficult for him because he only learnt German and Russian in school. Now, since reunification, students learned German and English. A small gathering examined our bikes and gave shouts of surprise when they discovered where we were from. The singing gentleman pointed down at the ground, indicating the other side of the earth, when Arran told him he was from New Zealand.
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