Dedicated to a wonderful Mother Jean Noble 31/5/1929 - 20/8/2007 - may we never take our mothers for granted. - Goodbye Mum

Danish Flag Coat of Arms Germany Queen Mary


Germany, has had a huge influence on the world. In the 1800's the Otto Cycle was invented and made to work – no not a bike, but the pre-cursor to the engine we use in our cars today. Do you wear “Jeans”? Or Contact lenses? Had an X-Ray recently?? These were invented by Germans. I do not have the space or time to list all the inventions that have come out of this nation over the centuries.

The German people have a lot to be proud of. President Kennedy of the USA made a speech in 1963 "Ich bin ein Berliner," that still rings in my ears today. Who can forget the reunification of this nation? A moment in history like few before. We, once again, are here to learn. Perhaps we will be lucky enough to peel back a layer or two on our journey amongst them, to get an idea of what they are all about? Lee and I sincerely hope so. Whatever happens we will continue to report things “as we see them” Warts n' all.

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Monday 5th November 2007 Flensburg City “Backpacker” Hostel (We moved out of the Youth Hostel).
Approx. 5.33k's Average Speed 7.31kph Cycling time 0Hrs. 43Minutes Max speed 24kph Max temp we recorded 3ºC
A rest day today for repairs and to plan our route through Germany. Repair's started with the Brakes on Mal's bike, a quick trip to the local bike shop (LBS) effected a quick successful repair.

Lee lost her back light so that was replaced and a pair of “Overshoes” for Lee to keep her feet warm(er).

Took Lee to the Doctors for treatment on her feet. The cold has caused early frostbite in three of her toes, resulting in something akin to “Chilblain's”. Rare in Western Australia (If at all), this condition is well known by many of those people that dwell (or did dwell) in Britain/Europe and New Zealand. Many of you therefore will know what she is going through. Lee is one tough girl and will NOT let this defeat her, we will of course do what is necessary to prevent their recurrence and to give her the BEST care I can. The doc said keep her warm for a few days so we booked into here......

A backpackers hostel rather than a YHA.. which truly is dictatorial here in Flensburg Breakfast 7:30 to 8:30 – ½ hour to pack and get out? Yes, 9am checkout??.. No kitchen, they said not allowed in Germany too un-hygienic. Communal “everything”, i.e. Showers, toilet, lounge, etc.. No internet, army style “Bunk Beds”... On and on.... This Hostel we are in has a beautiful communal kitchen Big room with full bathroom TV double bed and loads of extras.. it is €6.00 more ($AUD 9.50).. no comparison really. More tomorrow, Catchya later...
Tuesday 6th November 2007 Flensburg City “Backpacker” Hostel
k's Average Speed kph Cycling time Hrs. Minutes Max speed kph Max temp we recorded ºC

Lee's feet are healing beautifully – only two toes are still a bit red and sore. Remarkable how quick she has got over this, they looked terrible before we sought medical advice. We do not know if it will re-occur more easily? We ARE taking a lot more precautions. Three nights in a warm environment has done exactly what the Doctor “guessed” (Yes guessed) it would. It took a couple of Doctors to initially diagnose “frostbite” and I am thankful that they took the time to help her.. They only charged €10.76 (about $17.00)... which was a relief :-) We walked around Flensburg looking for maps...

VERY hard to find. NO camping store in Flensburg, so stuck with the poorly performing “gas:” stove.
Wednesday 7th November 2007 Flensburg City “Backpacker” Hostel
k's Average Speed kph Cycling time Hrs. Minutes Max speed kph Max temp we recorded ºC
Rest day for Lee's feet and Mal's weary body :-) + some personal maintenance, haircuts etc..

and stock up on provisions for tomorrows departure
Thursday 8th November 2007 Flensburg City “Backpacker” Hostel to Schleswig YHA
42k's Average Speed (unknown)kph Cycling time Hrs. Minutes Max speed kph Max temp we recorded 10ºC
Lost data again, Lee had taken a mental note of her start k's and of course the signage (for bikes) said 42 k's... We usually do a good bit more than the signs say :-) But they are close enough

Deluge is not the word for the rain we encountered, I thought “Noah” was coming back, we got completely drenched, despite our wet weather gear... Booked into a YHA for tonight as it is the best compromise. Lee is still in a tiny bit of pain in her toes, so opted for the warmth of a room rather than our tent. Took the bikes downstairs

and into a room

to dry them as well :-)

We are the only guests in the YHA. I am staggered that an entire continent (Europe) closes down from Nov to April... Except of course for the skiing. A magnificent opportunity for Australia to “more aggressively” promote tourism during these months :-).

We have noticed a significant degree of aggression in many areas. The tourist bureau in Flensburg, the lady “lost it” when I asked more than two questions.. I apologised for getting her “wild” but she responded that the “language” (English) was the problem.. Other “isolated” and rather insignificant episodes of a similar nature have taken place. However it is early days to make any assumptions just yet. Conversely there have been a good number of pleasant encounters...
Friday 9th November 2007 Schleswig YHA (Known in Germany as DJH) to Deusher Hof Schleswig.
.15.26k's Average Speed 8.83kph Cycling time 1Hrs. 42Minutes Max speed 27kph Max temp we recorded 6ºC

One of those days when everything goes wrong.... Everyone gets them now and again (I know YOU don't :-)). Left the youth hostel at 0830 after they put on a nice breakfast for us.. and headed for what was to be Budelsdorf, some 60 ks away. We needed some shopping and had spotted a “Lidl” (The name of a cheap supermarket) coming into town, the day before so we headed for it. True to form they had the stuff we needed.

This is where our troubles began! We left the store to heavy “sleet” coming down in sheets, coupled with a few “flurries” of snow that took the edge off things... A little later this turned into freezing rain. Add to this some of the strongest gusts of wind we have ever experienced... we were not happy chappies.. Heading back we took a wrong turn and it was many kilometres before we realised.

We then attempted to use the map, coupled with the signs (cycle) and ended up going round in circles... Then during a particularly heavy thunderstorm of freezing rain, Lee got a puncture, in the rear tyre (hardest to fix)...

We got everything soaked whilst we repaired it. Now Lee was cold and her gloves were wet, PLUS her feet were wet, even though they are surrounded by a waterproof (not) overshoe. Nothing to do, but go on and hope for a short steep hill (to warm up)... STILL going round in circles, utterly bewildered as to why the roads lead back on themselves, Lee shouted MAL....... - I did NOT want to hear and even considered cycling on, hoping perhaps, I did not hear anything... Yes, you guessed it, another flat, same tyre, more rain and heaps more aggro. This time in the freezing rain, I calmly fixed the puncture, all the time laughing and singing, having a great time........ If you believe that you probably believe the Earth is flat too!!!! The day completely shot and both of us freezing by now, we decided to cycle back into the town we left this morning. The late afternoon turned into a calm beautiful (but very cold) day..

This last pic. Is at about 3:45pm and darkness is almost upon us... Lets hope tomorrow is a better day....

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