Oranienburg – Furstenberg: Into Lakeland

A lovely day’s cycling. Late start. We lingered over excellent breakfast at the Turkish cafe then faffed at Gesundbrunnen station. Took a one stop hop to Oranienburg on a very crowded train going from Wittenberg to Rostock and thought about how few our experiences would have been if we had whizzed between those two places in a few hours instead of pedaling for 6 days.

Oranienburg was familiar. We came here on our previous trip to Berlin in order to visit the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. An Australian tour guide was giving his introductory speech on the platform today.

The weather was warm and sunny by the time we finally rode away at around 11:30. Smooth tarmac trails through the woods and alongside the Havel; a canalised river with pleasure boats chugging up and down. They call this the German Lake District but it’s really the Norfolk Broads. Holiday villages and small towns could be Hunstanton or Potter Heigham.

We are staying in F├╝rstenberg / Havel (two towns are really one, divided by the river) in an extraordinary place called Coeur de Berlin (Google it) run by Frank and Rosemarie. It’s like a gigantic family home with standard bedrooms but an enormous ballroom-sized lounge, more like a ballroom really, with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. They bought the house dilapidated five years ago and restored it, only finding out later it had been a hotel in the early 20th century.

F├╝rstenberg has a very 1920s resort feel, although the main square is surrounded by older buildings on three sides: the Rathaus (town hall), an early 19th century church, an old hotel and on the fourth side a big Netto supermarket, where we bought tomorrow’s breakfast!

Weather is looking good for the next few days as we ride deeper into the Mecklenburg lakes.

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