Cycle Tour Bike weekend 2014
Day 2: Damp-Eckernförde-Damp
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Added on 31 May 2014
on 03 Jul 2014
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by Ottocolor on 31 May 2014
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Damp, Schleswig-Holstein, DE (1 m NHN)
Damp, Schleswig-Holstein, DE (2 m NHN)
24 May 2014
Sunny all day long, almost no wind and warm, 23-25°C.
First an earth track along the beach, then a bumpy bike path all the way to Eckernfoerde. Here along the quayside and on small town streets. Out of town again on a bike path and along a main road with heavy traffic. We abandoned that and chose a small road down to the coast. Here we cycled on the road, as the bike path was occupied by long distance runners. At last again the path along the beach back to Damp.
Slope Gradient Distribution
The bike weekend's main day with the common bike trip Damp-Eckernfoerde-Damp. A pitstop both on the way out (beer) and on the way home (coffee and cake) at the manor house of Ludwigsburg.
After breakfast on the boat were we three brother ready to bike off on our annual bike trip. And the weather was very inviting for such a tour. We planned to go to Eckernfoerde with a pitstop at the water manor Ludwigsburg. First we had to get away from the harbourg of Damp, though, where everything was made ready for the runners' arrival in the afternoon. So we wheeled all the way around the harbour, where we found an earth track along the beach. There is a fine sandy beach here, but I guess that's why the put the holiday resort of Damp here. When it was planned in 1968 i got the name of Damp 2000, which in the eighties was changed to the present name. At a camp site we swung into the countryside. Bernhard cycled on an older race bike after all, and then tarmac is really preferable. Soon we made it to a somewhat bigger road, which luckily had one of the typical for Schlewig-Holstein bumpy bike path along the road. But we were not going so far, so it was okay. There were painted white arrows on the tarmac for the runners, and at a football field we saw a relay changing zone. One of the race run arrangers explained to us that the relay run was at about 100 km, and each runner had to run 10 km. On our way home we would surely see them.
Now it was not far to the manor house of Ludwigsburg, where we had plans of oozing around and have a beer in the sun. After all we're not that serious.
Ludwig's castle turned out to be an obvious place to pause, not least for Bernhard, since the goods had a nice large stud farm. So when we sniffed around on the large castle yard, we discovered immediately a corral. A young woman came out of the corral, whom Bernhard immediately fell into conversation with. She let us look into the stallions stable where 4-5 stallions were standing in their stalls instead of jumping around outside in the nice weather. But the girl explained to us that they were so horny that they would jump over the fence and find a mare to breed before they could prevent it. Except one of the stallions, which she thought might be gay, because it seemed just to let the mares go. Without jumping on them as a normal, heterosexual stallion apparently does on a regular basis. A voluptuous life, horses live, I found out. Even when they are being transported in the trailer, a mare can allegedly not stand next to a stallion without trying to conceive a foal in the running trailer. We also saw an old, 28 years old, stallion, which the girl said was world famous. Bazar, it was called. What a piece of news. Outside the barn were a number of horse carriages lined up. After this little excursion into the horse world we were a little closer to the main building. It seemed rather neglected, but I thought it only made the place more authentic. You could really see how old it was. And it was not supposed to represent a fairytale castle. The castle just stood there in the water and looked inhabited. The weeds sprouted, but weeds bloom well too, and it fit in well here with wild roses and a few planted flowers.
But now it was time to rinse our throats, as the air was really incredibly dry here in Ludwigsburg, Schwansen, South Schleswig. Therefore, we went into the castle cafe, which was really nice inside. But the weather was too good to sit inside so we ordered beers and sat out on the tables outside in the tall grass. My brothers had Helles, that is the ordinary light bottom-fermented beer. If you want lager, you have to order Pils. Typically, though, you get a bottle instead of draught beer. I ordered wheat beer, and the waiter came with an Erdinger. In an original glass. It was extremely refreshing to sit and relax here drinking beer. It was only 11 km to Eckernförde, so it was not insurmountable. Yet we finished our beers and walked back to our iron horses in the stud bike racks and rode further on.
Shortly after we saw the first runners in the Run between the seas. Hell, they must have been early up or been running really fast or both. So we might cheer a little on them. From there, they had a short 15 miles to go to Damp and approximately 5 km to the last change zone. All runners carried a great baton as it befits in a relay race.
But we let them run and rolled to Eckernförde down a decent hill. Now we looked for a place to have our lunch we had packed after breakfast on the boat.
And we found a long sunlit bench overlooking the harbour and a strange round silo-like building with a gold figurine on top that stood on the other bank. We were quite happy to having our packed lunch, especially Michael and I, for Bernhard had bought lard and salami. Then lunch does not get any better.
After lunch we rolled slowly into the port head and rode out on the opposite quay, which was very wide. There wer a pair of beautiful wooden boats moored, and there were many people out. Where the port ends and the beach begins, we left the coast to take a look at Eckernförde's town centre. I saw a beautiful gable and read that the house, of which only the facade was old, had won an award for great restoration. That it was a bank, Commerzbank, which had financed it into a branch to itself, without ruining the facade with large advertising and other signs, I was delighted about. The maligned financial sector does indeed something for city beautification in between ripping off its customers. Shortly after we passed a bakery where it smelled lovely of cakes and coffee. And a cup of coffee, Bernhard and I could fancy now. Michael thought it was too close after lunch. But I was beginning to look for my money, in case we decided to pour into the bakery, but I could not find it! Had I forgotten my purse on the boat, or had I left it at the cafe in Ludwigsburg or a completely different and even more improbable place? This was a break from the carefree weekend mood. Bernhard was a friend and immediately called the cafe at Ludwigsburg to inquire there. But they had not seen it. Well, it had to be for now, but it was gnawing at the bit. I had all my credit cards and driver's licence in the purse plus more than 100 euros in cash, so it would be really, really sad if it were gone. So we looked whether it lay on the bench where we had eaten lunch. It did not. If I had left it here, it had surely been found strapped for cash and thrown into the harbour. The clientele around was of the kind. But now I took the decision not to think about it anymore and continue the ride, and hope that the purse was at Volare.
But we also felt we had seen enough of Eckernförde and found a route on the map, we wanted to back to Damp. It was indeed a major road, but there was bike path. Perhaps it was better than the bumpy one we had cycled on the outward journey. So we went up the hill to a big road junction where Michael happened to go in the opposite direction. The signposting was also a bit strange. But the road was a disappointment, because it was full of heavy traffic and fast cars and perfectly straight. So even though the bike path was excellent and we made good progress, we abandoned it and cycled down through the village of Loose towards the coast. I could see on the map that we would hit the coast road just shortly before Ludwigsburg. And a visit to the castle café we could really fancy now. Then I could also just ask for the damn purse, I missed.
As soon as we came down the coast road the bike path was packed with runners in the run between the seas. It was not so easy to get past them, as they ran in the same direction as we cycled. But now Ludwigsburg popped up quickly, and we found that the lovely café where we ordered coffee and a piece of cake. Naturally, we chose a table out in the sun. And the thought of the runners out on the bike path who gave their best on their feet while we rested ours in the café and, when we had gulped down our coffee and cake "aber bitte mit Sahne" (with whipped cream, please!) we looked at horses of which the manor of Ludwigsburg had so many. We knew that, but that a mare with her only 36 hours old foal jumped around in the central enclosure in the middle of the courtyard, the girl, who we had talked to in the stallion barn on the outward journey, made us aware of. And it was jolly well nice to see the little foal jumping around very closely followed by its mummy mare. Whether it was a filly, was not to determine. And here Bernhard, who also has horses at home, told us that they were expecting a foal being born just at this time. So he waited for exciting news, the 'It happened in those days' when he was exiled in Germany.
Well, my purse was not here. I was now completely fatalistic and thought if it was gone, it was gone. And if it was on the boat, there was nothing to worry about. As long as I had my brothers to lay out all my expenses.
Bernhard described also how we were going to arrange a barbeque on the boat, and I remembered the specialty beers that I had bought for my brothers having dragged them all the way from Odense in my spacious new Ortlieb bike panniers. So we had better 'hit the road' again with our bikes and steam off to Damp.
The many runners who had the same goal as us, Damp, were all over on the bike path, and we decided to ride on the road. It was best for everyone. We avoided the bumpy bike path, and the runners avoided being run down by us. A few cars certainly did not grasp our idea and overtook us too fast and close. But it had to be. In the transition zone on the football field, there was much fanfare and runners pushed to find the right partner to hand over the baton to. We could see that there were many company teams in smart uniform running shirts. In particular, we noticed that the Airbus factory in Hamburg had many teams in the race. Now there were ten kilometers left of the race, and we were happy to have our bikes. It was easy to ride in the sunshine and hardly any wind or climbs, while the runners must have felt the heat troublesome. We followed them all the way to the finish along the beach path from the campsite to the port of Damp. Only the very last piece in the harbour itself the runners got rid of us and the other cyclists, because of the steel fence that was put up. We rolled just a detour around the harbour, and then it was not easy for us to get the bikes clambered out on the jetty, as we had to wait for a sufficient 'gap' between the runners. But it went okay. And while I was taking my handlebar bag off and locked my bike, Bernhard came up from the lounge with the happy news that my wallet was in my shorts. Phew, that was good news.
Now our plans were to relax on the boat, and I found the beer in the refrigerator. We chose to divide them into three all four of them, then we all tasted the beer. Bernhard got a special gift: a "Weak piddler" from Pladderballe brewery. It contained only 2.3% alcohol! Then there was more life in Sorteper (Black Peter) and Bock from Thisted brewery. It was great to sit in the sun bare-chested and letting it bake us through in the cockpit along with good beer. We did really deserve this now, we thought. Shortly after Bernhard lighted the barbeque, although he was a little nervous about the harbour master would complain, for not at all ports, it is permissible to have barbeques on the boats. But nothing happened, and soon there were sausages on the grill. They tasted good with potato salad and more beer.
While Bernhard had lit the barbecue, I had just popped into the wellness department to inquire when they closed. It was a bit special day for them because of the race, the runners were obviously having a bath there after the run. But they were open till 10pm as usual.
So when we had eaten sausages and potato salad and drunk beer on the boat to your heart's desire, we packed our swim gear and walked the short trip up to bathing facilities. Bernhard and Michael had been there before, Michael even several times, and I was told there were many different saunas, two with a view of the beach and the Baltic Sea and two beautiful swimming pools. Trunks were not necessary, actually it is not allowed to wear anything in the saunas of German wellness centers, while one is usually dressed in swimwear in swimming pools, but that was not the case here. So we got naked and went outside to the two view saunas in our 'birthday suits'. In one there had just been another German sauna specialty, a saunagus, as it is called in Danish, or Aufguss in German. This implys that an employee pours a specially scented liquid, such as eucalyptus, on the sauna stove and then a lot of water, so the sauna air grows wildly hot and humid. Then he whips the air around with a towel, so you get bang hot air in the face. A hot experience, but here it was all just had happened for the last time today, we were told. There were still a couple of guests in there, but we did well notice how empty the spacious sauna landscape was. Aw, we had also come to enjoy the experience with others, especially women, so we had to amuse ourselves, and we fooled around a lot on the benches and mooned the poor runners and all the good people on the beach, who could see us from down there. But nobody took notice of us. That's great, because I love such a relaxed atmosphere in the altogehter. That's one of the, well, hot aspects of saunaing in Germany. At one point we sat in the bar, where a boring lady in boring clothes served three boring beer for us. But you get the thirst in the sauna. Payment is made with a chip you have on your arm like a watch. Witty, as you do not bring any cash to the sauna. Right next to the bar was the wellness pool with jets and nozzles where we relaxed afterwards. At last we tried the "Klabautermann-sauna" where you did not have to bring a towel with you, as it has no wooden benches, but hot 'body shaped' stone seats. Otherwise it is another German sauna-rule that you have to place very large sauna towels under both your backside and feet in the sauna, in order to avoid sweat on the benches. However, time was up for us, and soon we were asked to go leave and get dressed again. Fine, because now, we'd like to see what was going on in the very large party tents on the beach. In the dressing room I had put my trunks on top of the closet when I realised I would not need them today. But now they were gone. Argh! Luckily, I got them back at the counter, since an employee was about to hand them in there. Well, thanks.
Nicely clean in body and soul we walked out onto the beach and into the marquee where a party was in full go. On stage a live band was playing with a lead singer, Joe-Cocker-like in both appearance and especially movements. To the right of it there was a large screen where the end of tonight's Champions League final between the two Madrid clubs was shown muted. Cool, I could just follow the of that all along. Many of the youngsters had drunk a lot, but they had run and had got plenty of fresh air today, so of course they had to restore their fluid balance. And so did we, by the way after our sweaty trip to the sauna, but it took some extensive walking around in the extremely spacious tents, as you first had to exchange cash to chips in order to get first a plastic mug and some beer into it afterwards. When you had a mug, it was easier. As long as you had chips to pay with, for they took no cash in the many bars. But we took turns to trudge to the bar past a lot of partying people standing on benches and tables and dancing to the music. Sometimes when Mr. Joe-Cocker-look-alike and his colleagues were taking a break from playing, a disc jockey performed, and oddly enough, the mood among the very young audience rose when that happened. We three brothers found the live band much better. This was more our kind of music. Some drunk younsters were not able to stand upright on benches or tables anymore. I actually saw one flop down off a bench onto the wooden floor. Fortunately, he did not hurt himself seriously. Well, the atmosphere in the tent was bold and we got carried away with it. the CL-final had ended long ago with Real Madrid as the winner, but how exciting it had been, I found out only on the following day. We stood up all the time, as it was completely impossible to see anything other than swinging, dancing bodies sitting down, so eventually I could feel my lower back, which is my weak body part. Bernhard and Michael did by no means look like they were about to leave the party, on the contrary, they still carried beer in large quantities, but at one point I was a chicken and contorted down on the boat. Here you could still hear the music, but still I fell asleep in a second and was oblivious when my brothers came on board in order to bunk in the cabins. It had been a long and action-packed day with a perfect men's program.