Yesterday we took off from Berlin and went south towards Potsdam. We rode on Unter den Linden and through the Brandenburger Tor and took a left. After some time of bad navigation from me, Forest took lead and got us to Potsdam.
Potsdam was beautiful but busy. I pushed Forest to keep going although it was getting dark, and we took the south route by the lake to… places by the lake. It got pitch dark and we passed by cute little towns.
We didn’t have a place to stay, but we figured we’d get into some cool place at a decent rate.
This lead us to a bar by the water that showed us a guest house with pricy deals on rooms. We said no thank you and went to a bar with wifi and got ourselves a delicious onion soup, some pizza and a beer.
We got wifi and checked for hotels. No place to stay.
What to do? We got on our bikes and kept going towards the next little village, Ferch. There could be options there. Google offline navigation lead us onto a dark, sandy road and into the bush. Pitch dark. Lamps on. After two turns on muddy gravel, we stood still under the stars. We were in Ferch.
Ferch was obviously nothing but a dot on the map.
I started preparing for a night in the wild. We could do that! Forest would share his sleeping bag, we could put on all our clothes and try to get some hours of sleep.
We pushed our bikes up a muddy hill. I was quite unsure how we’d make it through this night.
Perhaps the deal at the guesthouse wasn’t so bad after all. Pricy, but breakfast included and we’d have a shower. We went back, but she had closed down. We hit the road again, and decided to pedal towards a town some 15 km north west.
In a corner of a street, we ran into two guys in their teens. I figured I might as well ask if they knew of any hotels. Any cheap hotels.
They started to discuss my question in German. And that’s when things started going our way: the guys knew of some rooms by the sea that they called holiday rooms. They started to explain the way, and what phone number to call, but ended up escorting us. Outside the house, there were three German seniors playing boule in the dark. The guy asked about rooms, and apparently one man was the landlord. And he made a phone call, and the building had a room for us, at a rate cheaper than any hostel we could ever dream of. I practised my crappy German that I had picked up during some train trip ages ago, and the landlord was quite happy because he didn’t know any English.
He showed us around, and prepared breakfast for us, and as he said goodnight and we were left in our room, we could hardly believe that this was even happening.
What if we hadn’t taken that pitch dark detour in the woods? What if we wouldn’t have had that delicious onion soup at that bar? Then we might not have run into those guys. And what if I wouldn’t have asked those guys for hotels?
So many what ifs. But we were rewarded (for what? I don’t know) with this lovely quiet place by the sea. For some reason, things fell into place.
And during today’s cycling on the R1, a cycle route that crosses over from Russia to Germany and Holland down towards Spain, we were even luckier. Smooth paving, away from the roads and digging deep into the forest.
And the forest today was the definition of fall: peacefully going to sleep while the leaves were changing colours: from green, to yellow, to orange, to deep red. Some leaves would even wrap around the teees as if they were hugging them; supplying extra warmt in preparation for the cold season.
I’ve learnt that navigating and stopping to look at the map takes a lot of time from the riding. So this route, this car free route!, is what we’re going to be on for maybe the rest of the trip.
Some photos from the riding before we hit the sack: