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Eastern Germany

Cycling tours around
Schwerin, Wismar, Fischland-Darss-Zingst, Brandenburg, Potsdam
14-27 July 2018

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Saturday, 14th July, was the first day of summer vacations in NRW region so we got an early start at 5 a.m. to get ahead of the traffic. At 9:15 a.m. we arrived at Volker's parents. In the afternoon we did a bit of cycling. It was sunny at 26 °C. In the evening we had a barbecue.

On Sunday the 15th it was sunny again. In the late morning we drove to Quedlinburg, one of the main towns in the Harz region. We climbed the Sternenkieker Tower at the Schlosshotel and had lunch at the Pfannekuchen-Café. At the Käsekuchencafé (cheese cake factory) we bought some cake to take home: blueberry-lime and rhubarb/white chocoloate. In the afternoon we took out the bikes again and we had another barbecue in the evening.

Tangermünde and Rühstädt

On Monday, 16th July, we left shortly after 9 a.m. It was forecasted to be another sunny day at 28 °C. Just before 11 Uhr we arrived at Tangermünde on the Elbe river where we spent an hour. There were some storks on the roofs and towers! Shortly before 1:30 p.m. we stopped in Rühstädt and walked around the largest stork village in Europe.

Lake Schwerin

At 3 p.m. we arrived at the Haus am See, our accommodation for the following three nights situated right on Lake Schwerin. We had reserved one of six Finn huts for 110 euros per night plus 50 euros fee for final cleaning. The huts are pretty large and well equipped. On the first floor there are two small bedrooms with a total of four beds. On the ground floor is the living room area with kitchen and the bathroom. Just outside of the hut is a small patio with a view of the garden. This is right beside the lake with a landing stage for boats and roofed wicker beach chairs. At the Netto supermarket right around the corner we did some shopping, then we had coffee and cake on our patio. At 5 p.m. we cycled through the forest and along the lake to Schwerin which took 20 minutes for the six kilometres. From Franzosenweg there's a great view of Schwerin Castle. At the Pfaffenteich lake in the old town we had a baked potato with salmon and curd.

On Tuesday 17th July we started on the cycle path from our hat shortly after 9 a.m. It should be come a sunny day at 29 °C. We cycled to Schwerin again and once around the Inner and Outer Lake via Lübsdorf, Wiligrad Castle, Bad Kleinen and Hohen Viecheln, 61 km in total. It wasn't an easy ride due to the often loose ground and much of the way wasn't very close to the lake and there are no pretty villages along the way. The best part was on the north-eastern side through the Döpe nature reserve. We stopped at the restaurant Seeblick for lunch but it wasn't good. The fish shack which we passed by shortly afterwards would probably have been the better option. Not far from our accommodation in the village of Mueß we stopped at the ice cream factory Schwerin-Mueß. After a total of 6 hours we were back in our hat. It was just past 3 p.m. We went for a swim in the lake but the water was fairly cold and had a coffee. We had dinner in our hut.

On the 18th it was partly cloudy at 25 °C. We left after breakfast at 9:15 a.m. We cycled along a canal to Banzkow and through the nature reserve Lewitz to Goldenstädt, Göhren and Crivitz, a total of 56 km. We hardly saw another soul but road stops were also rare. The official cycling loop is 95 km. Via Pinnow we returned to Mueß, not without stopping at the ice cream factory, plus Netto to buy food for dinner.

Wismar and Bad Doberan

On Thursday, 19th July, we left Schwerin. It was sunny, up to 24 °C on the coast. At 10 a.m. we stopped in Wismar and visited the old town and the old harbour where we had a fish roll (Fischbrötchen). Then we continued to Bad Doberan to see the Molli steam train puffing through the town centre. We had cake at a café with a view of the train and shopped or food at the Lidl supermarket.


On the way to the Fischland-Darss-Zingst peninsula we stopped at Dierhagen Dorf and walked to the harbour. At 3:30 p.m. we arrived at our accommodation in Prerow. For 5 nights we had booked a vacation rental at Grüne Straße 54 for 85 euros per night plus 62 euros final cleaning fee. The flat on the ground floor of a 2-story house is big with full kitchen and separate bedroom. From the patio you have a view across the backyard to horse pastures and the nearby woods. In the late afternoon we took our bikes to the nearby beach at the end of Bernsteinweg. For dinner we had fresh rolls, scrambled eggs with tomatoes and chive.

20th July started cloudy but then the sun shone from a clear blue sky again with up to 24 °C and there was a cool breeze. We left at 9:40 after breakfast on cycle paths far from the roads passing through saltmarsh, forest and the pretty villages Wieck, Born, Ahrenshoop and Wustrow with thatched roof houses presenting great photo stops. We climbed the steeple in Wustrow and made a short detour to the old fishing village Barnstorf. At the harbour we had fresh smoked makarel. In Ahrenshoop we cycled along the cliffs and had a break at a café. Then we cycled through the old-growth Darß forest and stopped at the Weststrand, a natural beach area which is also frequented by nudists. Back in Prerow we dropped into the Penny supermarket to buy chicken breast, courgette, tomatoes and pasta for dinner. At 5 p.m. after 58 km we were back at our holiday flat.

On the 21st it was sunny at 25 °C. We left at 9:40 and cycled 8 km to Zingst which took 30 minutes plus another 18 km which took an hour to the Pramort viewing platform where you can see cranes during their migration in spring and autumn. We also walked the 1.3 km (15 mins) to the Hohe Düne viewing platform which overlooks the dunes and the natural beach. We returned to Zingst on the old road that has been closed for cars. For lunch we had fish and chips at the harbour in Zingst and on the way back we stopped for an ice cream. Back in Prerow we shopped for food at Penny. At 5 p.m. after 57 km we were back at our flat.

Sunday the 22nd was overcast but warm at 27 °C. We left at 10 a.m. and it took us about an hour for the 20 kms to Barth on the other side of the bay from Zingst. We had fish rolls for lunch and took the 12:30 ferry back across the bay for 11 euros per person including the bikes. 45 minutes later we were back in Zingst and had another ice cream. At 3 p.m. after 34 kms on the bikes we were back in Prerow. In the late afternoon we went to the beach at Bernsteinweg.

On the 23rd the sun was shining from a clear sky at 26 °C. We left at 9:45 a.m. and cycled via Bernsteinweg and the local campsite in the dunes to the Ottosee viewing platform at the former Darß emergeny harbour. Then we continued to the lighthouse at Darßer Ort (approx. 6 km from Prerow). The entrance fee to climb the lighthouse and visit the Natureum exhibition was 5 euros per person. Afterwards we hiked the 4 km loop through the marsh and dune landscape and back along the beach. At 1 p.m. we continued through the forest to the natural west beach. Volker took a quick bath in the Baltic Sea. Then we returned 4.5 km back to  Prerow. We stopped at a fish smokery where we shared a cod with potato salad. For dinner we stopped at a local fish shop to buy fresh plaice fillet. For afternoon coffee we bought two pieces of cake at the bakery. After an hour's break in our flat we took the bikes to the east side of Prerow where the beach is a little quieter compared to Bernsteinweg or the pier in the centre of Prerow. We took a swim in the Baltic Sea and bathed in the sun. At 6 p.m. we were back at our flat.

Malchow am See and Fürstenberg an der Havel

24th July was the day of departure. It was sunny at 30 °C. We left at 9:30 a.m. After an hour's drive we arrived at Ribnitz where we had a quick look around. At 11 we continued on our way. At 12:15 we reached Malchow and walked around its old town which was built on an island in Lake Malchow. We had fish rolls and an ice cream sundae. At 3 p.m. we arrived at the B&B Villa Ingeborg in Fürstenberg an der Havel. The double room including breakfast was 99 euros per night. The old house was beautifully restored. We did a short loop of 16 kms on our bikes around Lake Röblin. For dinner we went to the Greek Hellas restaurant on the market square. At 8 p.m. we watched Shakespeare's „A Midsummer Night's Dream“ open air in the municipal park. This was a modern version of the play staged by the theatre troupe Spielbrett from Dresden who was on their summer tour with horse, wagon and bikes.

On the 25th the weather was sunny again at 33 °C. There were a few clouds in the afternoon. After breakfast at the hotel we took off at 9:30 a.m. and cycled to the remains of the Ravensbrück concentration camp for women which can be visited and to the village of Himmelpfort where the ruins of an abbey can be seen and which is mostly known for its Santa's post office where you can post letters to Father Christmas. In Bredeneiche we crossed the Havel river and continued on sandy forest paths along Lake Stolp back to Fürstenberg. We had a snack at a café on the market square, then we picked up our bathing stuff at the hotel (got there at 1 p.m. after 28 kms) and cycled back through town to the hotel's own sunbathing lawn at Lake Baalen. We took a dip into the lake and relaxed for a couple of hours. Back on the market square we had an ice cream before returning to the hotel. We had dinner at the Alte Schleuse restaurant right on the water. The pork fillet and fresh fish from Lake Stechlin with roast potatoes and salad were very good. We ended the day on the hotel patio.


On Thursday, 26th July, we checked out around 9 a.m. and drove to Potsdam near Berlin. At 10:45 a.m. we started on a cycling tour around the town. The sun was shining from a clear sky at 31 °C and it was very hot. We mostly followed the signposted route F1 „Alter Fritz“ passing through the Dutch Quarter and stopping at Sanssouci Palace. After savouring an ice cream sundae in the pedestrian area at Brandenburger Tor we cycled back to our car. The loop we picked was 17.5 km which took us 2.5 hours to complete. At 1:15 p.m. we returned to Volker's parents where we stopped for another night. It was 34 °C when we arrived there at 4 p.m.

On Friday the 27th we returned back home.


We had nearly perfect weather for this trip. You cannot expect many sunny days in a row in Germany so we were very lucky. But 2018 was an unusually long summer period in Germany from April to October reaching 35 °C at the end of July. But on the Baltic Sea temperatures were a little lower which was very pleasant.
But we realized that the cycle paths in eastern Germany were not great. Many are not tarred so you have a lot of gravel, sand and forest tracks.
But the
Darss can be recommended for cycling. The cycling paths are often far from the roads and many areas are a long way on foot and not accessible by car. The area has great beaches and many pretty historic villages.


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