Wanderlust war bereits ein mittelhochdeutsches Wort und beschreibt die Lust am Wandern, den steten inneren Antrieb, sich zu Fuß die Natur und die Welt fern der Heimat zu erschließen // A middle-high German word describing the joy of wandering, the constant urge to walk through nature and the world far from home.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Cycling along the River Elbe

     There are many things I am loving about Germany so far (Hazelnut spreads and breakfast rolls are among the top three), but the one thing I am perhaps most grateful for is the bicycle culture here, and the numerous safe, well-marked pathways. Transportation here is a world apart from what I'm used to in the Midwest. Rather than hop in your car, you walk. If walking doesn't work (meaning your destination is over 20 minutes away by foot), then you grab your bike. If biking doesn't work (perhaps over 15/20 minutes by bike), then you take the local train. And if for some reason you either don't like trains or don't know how to work the ticket machine (the second is certainly plausible, been there), then you drive. In the three weeks I've been here I know of one professor who has driven to class (once, missed the train), and that's about it. And why would you, there are separate well-marked pathways next to every road (nearly), and a number of street laws to protect both bikers and pedestrians on these paths, meaning that bike transportation is safe and convenient any where in town.
     Not to mention, out of town. Granted, all the cities are a whole lot closer here than they are at home. But the interconnectedness of these cities in our region is still pretty incredible. Lutherstadt Wittenberg lies on the River Elbe, and is just one stop on a bike trail that runs 860 km along this waterway, connecting such cities as Dresden, Magdeburg, Hamburg, and even farther into the West. And it's a beautiful trail, snaking right along the banks the whole way. I have ventured out onto the trail twice so far, although the flooding here recently has made both trips short. I made sure to take my camera the second time, so here are some photos:

A mural of the trail, too long to get all in one shot, but an idea at least.

A view of the Elbe from the trail.

Cobblestone most of the way.

Flooding along the trail, this is where the road ends for now.

My happy bike and sun coming through the clouds.


  1. julie and kirk knoblauchFebruary 12, 2011 at 5:04 PM

    Hi Kelsey,
    We really enjoyed the pictorial view of Germany.
    Your explanations of the pictures were incredible.
    Carpe Diem!

    Kirk and Julie

  2. Kelsey - love your photos (and of course, your writing)! Bike trails - what a great idea!
    Enjoy your adventure...