8 July – riding with Andreas and Silvia

Today was the last big ride of the tour, and our first ride together with Andreas and Silvia.
The ride took us from Hitzacker to Andreas and Silvia’s home in Stella (Hamburg) – 100km in all.

We started along the Elbe cycle path again, with some hill climbs just outside of Hitzacker.

We stopped at Bleckede for a break, and sampled the beer at a local craft brewery and beer garden. The locals can bring their own bottles to buy beer here, just as we do at home – except they use glass not plastic.

Quirky decor at Bleckede brew pub

Beer garden Bleckede

From here we left the Elbe cycle route and headed towards Lüneburg.

We stopped to admire the Scharnebeck twin ship lift, which can lift two ships up to a height of 38m between the Elbe and the Mittellandkanal – really impressive.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scharnebeck_twin_ship_lift

Ship lifts in lowered position

Both ship lifts raised

Our route from here to Lüneburg included a stretch alongside the Elb canal.

Lüneburg is a special historical town – incredibly picturesque.

View on entering Lüneburg

This is where Andreas and Silvia got married. It is also the site of a favorite brew pub and restaurant – Lüneburg is quite accessible to Hamburg by train. It began to rain as we were exploring the town, so we had to stop to sample some soup and beer at the pub. This is definitely one of those places I would like to visit again one day.

Lüneburg Rathaus (town hall)

Lüneburg brew pub and restaurant

The rural route from Lüneburg to Winsen was uneventful, apart from a sudden heavy shower that had us seeking shelter under a car port again. At Winsen we saw where Silvia works and bought some groceries before carrying on to Stella (about 9km away).

Statue in Winsen town center – of people catching a goose

Rest stop at canal on way to Stella

Amazing wood carving on the side of the road on the way to Stella – there were squirrels and owls on the sides of the tree as well

After 100km ride home – tired but happy to have made it

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