Very slow WiFi tonight. Hope I can get this posted.
We had a leisurely 30 mile ride today with a few interesting diversions. After a few blocks of cobblestones to wake us up, we had some pleasant rolling hills through small towns and forested areas until we came to a long stretch -- perhaps 5 miles -- of resort beaches on the Baltic Sea. On our left were beautiful sandy beaches and on the right we saw a succession of extremely nice homes, some hotels that looked very nice and a series of apartments or condos. For the most part we traveled on the "boardwalk," which was actually a surface paved with bricks. It was fairly congested, so we moved slowly.
After a while we came to a pier that went out to a very nice spot for our coffee break -- the Mikado Teehaus. About eight of us stopped there for a long rest, enjoying our refreshments -- Pat and I shared a marzipan pastry which was quite tasty. Our evening destination, Lubeck, is billed as the marzipan capital of the world. (More on that later.)
We continued on until we came to something that can only be described as a strawberry market/festival extraordinary. There was a huge building with all sorts of strawberry related products and activities. In one area, they were making strawberry preserves in small (perhaps two gallon batches), ladling the strawberries out of a huge bathtub. There were also strawberry liquers, candies, drinks, smoothies, wines, etc. In the retail area there were all sorts of clothing and toy items, with a strawberry motif. Moving on a little bit was a large self-service cafeteria with excellent food. Most of us ate lunch there.
Back on the bicycle, we pedaled on (past a large nest with some baby storks) until we came to the river. There is a tunnel under the river, but it has no bike lanes, so they have a free bike shuttle that runs every fifteen minutes. You simply walk on the bus with your bike, or put it on the trailer, and ride under the river, where you depart and pedal on your way.
Shortly afterward, we arrived in Lubeck. After a quick shower we all met for a guided tour of the local museum of the Hanseatic League -- I will skip the history lesson and say only that it was very interesting.
We were on our own for dinner tonight. Seven of us went to a traditional German restaurant housed in a building that dates back to 1525. The food was excellent, and the portions huge. I had roast pork with a prune sauce and red cabbage and some "pancake dumplings." Needless to say, we had no room for dessert.
After dinner I took a short walk through the city center looking for some marzipan. I could not find a single place where I could buy marzipan -- the supposed hallmark of this city. Since we leave in the morning for Hamburg (where we will stay two nights), I doubt that I will get any marzipan here.
The WiFi is too slow to let me add pictures today. If we have better connectivity tomorrow, I will add today's pictures. Here's hoping that I can at least upload this text.
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