19 April 2023

Day 8 Inner German Border Tour

Yesterday our human went for a walk around the village, which has an old Monastery which also part of the World Heritage Site.

It was originally a Cistercian Monastery which became very commercially successful and so in the 16th Century was destroyed during the Famers War in Germany.

This type of double nave cloister is unique to this place.

Joy of joys the sun was shining when our BBF went for breakfast. It stayed that way too.

Being a hunting lodge the wall decoration is still a matter of taste. Not our’s, or our human’s we are pleased to say.

We had a hearty breakfast, madness not to when it is included in the price. Our human said that there was no need to rush, so we all took our time.

Our “wire donkey” slept well protected in the former stables. Not that Alan locked it up anyway.

We set off for the border and just there BAOR used to maintain a “Hut” for troops who were tasked with patrolling the border. It was generally known as the Walkenried Hut.

We think this is it, right by the sign.

Caretaker, caretaker, why are you here?
Caretaker, caretaker, have you no cheer?
Visitors, if you come, bring your own cleaner
And cook, rations and washer, and pad-locker;
Visitors, if you come, please do remember
The duties and the food for the caretaker.
Bring your own maps and binos for the Border
And sleeping bags for the overnight sleeper;
An adventurer be, if not the Border;
And, please, fail me not and bring your own weather.
Caretaker, caretaker, have you no beer?
Caretaker, caretaker, why are you here?

We found this poem by Chris Green, who clearly must have been here, as it describes how BAOR would have used the hut.

It wasn’t all flat today, so what’s new, but again the views compensated for the effort of getting there. In this village we were welcomed by their tame witches, for they had many of them dotted around it.

In the distance we could see the Broken. Would we ever make it to the top?

Our Human had made a change to the way he navigated and controlled the bike. He now used Komoot to plan and navigate and used the controls on the bike directly. This meant he di not have the Looney Toon voice in his ear, but it also meant he had no idea of which motor strength he was using, unless he carefully counted the times he pressed up or down. Nor did he now have a voice telling him how far he could go.

The navigation though was perfect and we learned that the bike said we could travel 100kms, while the COBI said 54kms! Clearly there is something wrong with the App and Alan said he would take it up with the Bosch when we got back.

Another lovely view of the Broken.

The sun shone, but the wind was around 19kmh and freezing cold out of the North.

Pity about the droopy finger, but he stopped to take the picture of this sign outside of al old NVA Barracks.

Then suddenly we found ourselves right by the station in Sorge! We now could not believe our luck as the train going to the top of the Broken was due in 20 minutes!

Alan immediately cancelled the stay for that night he had planned and we waited for the train.

There were a group of ladies who also wanted to take the train.

The beautiful old steam train came in and then our BBF had to struggle to get us all aboard. Us and the luggage was taken on board first and then he struggled to get the bike up three steep steps and into the carriage.

The train was not that full yet. But  we eventually stopped at a station where the engine was taken to the other end of the train and many more people now got on. Our BBF now had to get the bike out of this carriage and into the adjacent good wagon behind the engine. Getting the bike down the steps was hard and not only did the front mudguard get caught on the step but once Alan stepped of with the bike on the platform which was cobbled and uneven, he lost control of the bike and had to let it fall, or else it would have dragged him down too. As. It was he just stepped over it.  There were guards to help get the bike onto the wagon now, as there was no ramp.

Around midday we set off again. This time to go via Schierke, which Christopher will remember, for that is the station that he took with our human when they were here last year.

Schierke Station.

It is sad to see so many dead trees, but the area is being left to itself to regenerate.

The wind at the top was really fierce and cold. There were a lot of people about queuing to get their photos taken but the big Rock with the Broken sign on it.

We didn’t wait but walked round to find the London sign where we had been photographed the last time we were here with Christopher.

Our BBF took another picture of us.

And then we left the coloured stone we had found behind, for someone else to find and take.

The Border when right over the top and the NVA had lots of listening devices here, now all gone thankfully. The Americans had a post on the next highest hill and the Brits had one near Torfhaus. We now set off to go down the hill. Alan says that it was the ultimate in cycling adrenaline rushes he has ever had.

At first we were on tarmac roads where we had to navigate slalom style through the countless tourists, but once we left that road to go on forest tracks it was more hairy as it was gravel. The photo does not do justice to the steepness of the path. A great ride and worth all the effort to get here

Our beds for the night in the Waldhotel Ilsenburg.

We are now at point 37 on the map.

1 comment:

  1. Good to see all are well and enjoying? the journey. I certainly don't envy you the cold wind, but good to follow your adventures.