Today’s cycleways were as good as yesterday’s were bad. We made great progress, although the prevailing north wind is building (we fear it will hit us hard next week on the east coast of Denmark).
Approaching Decin at around 10.30, a tall German student, with panniers, pedalled up beside us. Let’s call him Hans. He knocked our trip into a cocked hat. He had come this morning from Prague (yes, the whole trip we did yesterday, and 20km more, he had completed between 5am and 10.30). Hans had started out in Istanbul, intending to hitch back to Berlin. But he “got bored”, so bought a bike and panniers at a hostel in Belgrade, and proceeded to ride back.
As we passed imperceptibly from the Czech Republic into Germany we cheered Europe’s open borders. 70 years ago there was genocide in these parts. 30 years ago the iron fist of Communism. OK, so we may crave a bit more democracy from our EU commissioners but let’s not turn back the clock.
Dresden is a mix of brutalist tenements and Baroque monuments. The lady who checked us in to our hostel was shocked and disappointed that we didn’t even have full day for sightseeing, but luckily Caroline’s idea of tourism matches mine. A two mile walk to a fantastic bike superstore, a wild goose chase to two veggie restaurants, both closed, and a locally-brewed beer drunk at a biergarten with a view of the 18th century river front, were all we needed to to take in this splendid City.