Riding a Brompton on the Mittelland Route (D4 Fernradweg): Day 15

Day 15: Tharandt to Stolpen, 68 km

Passing through Dresden today, I signalled two achievements: at 1000 km I felt as though I had covered a reasonable distance. And at the end of the day, at 1052 km, I had ridden further on one ride than ever before. By now I had been following, on and off, the D4 sign for quite some distance. I was also beginning to believe what I had read: it is regarded as the hardest long distance bicycle route in Germany.

A mixed day of riding, with city riding (usually not so enjoyable), a fast run down a section of the Elbe, which divides most of east Germany from the western parts, and then the beginning of the mountainous sections of eastern Saxony. The fortress at Stolpen was a complete surprise. Rising out of the fields is an old castle, dating back some 8 or 9 centuries. For long occupied by a local bishop, it also boasted sloping cobbled streets, and the great Burg Hotel. A relative treat for the last night, but immensely enjoyable.

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Riding a Brompton on the Mittelland Route (D4 Fernradweg): Day 14

Day 14: Augustusburg to Tharandt, 68 km

From the mountain top of Augustusburg to the forests of Tharandt. For the first time, I encountered a part of the track completely overgrown with grass. It appeared on the edge of a forest and required me to cross some farms. I had wondered why the cyclists I had encountered earlier had opted to follow the main road – now I knew why. Another sunny day, quiet corners, and a Trabant – one the great symbols of eastern Europe during the communist era (but also a signal of its limits in comparison to China).

I stayed at the Altes Wirtshaus Tharandt, where I was greeted on arrival in Dutch!

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