Our arrival in Rostock is greeted by an amazing sight. Looking down into the water from the deck of the ferry there are tens of thousands of jellyfish. The long hot spell may have something to do with this population explosion, but I’m not basing this on any sound science.
Rostock is a busy port and there are some huge cruise ships docked as we enter, one of which towers over us like a floating city. Not my choice of holiday, but each to their own. Behind this is the Costa Fortuna , sistership to the Concordia, a sobering sight. How could a huge vessel like this be wrecked by a rock?
Once I have finally taken the correct road out of the port I find myself in the centre of Rostock,which on Saturday afternoon is a lively place to be. The tourist office has closed for the day, but a very helpful local gives me all the information he can;He wishes me well on my trip. A good start to Germany.
The north of this country is largely flat, so quite late in the day I am riding the cycle route to Berlin along quiet roads and purpose-built paths almost entirely on my own. It is a beautiful evening, and tired as I am, I start to absorb the feeling of this new place. This always takes a while.
Waren is an attractive town on the edge of the Muritz National Park, a large area of lakes, Pine forest and Beech plantations. Large Crane populations live here and I saw a massive formation fly over one evening.
I saw more of it than intended because of mechanical problems. The bike had been making noises since Copenhagen, where I had fitted new pedals and shoe cleats to no avail. It’s a process of elimination. I tried everything and visited various mechanics who couldn’t provide an answer.
Eventually I found Rico in Waren, who spoke good English, and without hesitation had the bike into the well equipped workshop for diagnosis.
The news was not good. The small chainring was worn, the chain had stretched ( necessitating a new cassette on the rear) and worst of all, the free hub on the wheel had major internal problems; basically a new wheel was needed. Way beyond the limited capabilities of my toolkit.
An expensive job, but no bike, no ride, and no story. Thanks again Rico for your efforts at short notice, it was much appreciated. The Donkey is back in harness.
Purely in the interests of investigative journalism, I visited my first beer garden the other day. In the absence of Darjeerling venues, this proved to be a very suitable alternative. In a late afternoon of heat I headed the bike towards the shade and wandered inside. I was the only customer.
A very formal gentleman greeted me and I ordered my beer, which he took great care in pouring from a classic porcelain pump. The room had a very welcoming smell, probably helped by the tobacco products on the counter, from which I chose a cigar for a friend at home. A very memorable stop.
The good weather has finally broken here. A huge thunderstorm seemed to be directly over my tent last night, which thankfully withstood the test. Today as I rode, a torrential downpour soaked me to the skin, but at least it was warm rain. Berlin is in my sights, and I’m looking forward to all it has to offer.