Travemunde, Rostock, Berlin
This is the last blog post of the trip. I’m on the train to Berlin and from there directly back into my normal life as I’ll go straight from the train station to the Symfony User Group meetup.
I slept unbelievably well in the tent last night, I didn’t feel particularly hungry despite my inappropriate diet for the past few days, but then I hadn’t been moving or expending any energy, so what I had was likely enough to sustain me.
I woke to the sound of rain beating on the sheets of the tent at around 7am and would have laid there more but wanted to get a relatively early start. I had intended to visit the supermarket early before leaving the campsite, but as it was 1km away and raining, I decided to see if the campsite had any breakfasting facilities.
As I walked out of the tent field I could see a group of people in a shelter, with tables and chairs and drinking coffee from cups served from the shop behind the shelter, so I approached hoping there would be a hot breakfast of some description, but there was only filter coffee and bread. But there were a few different types of bread, and I got a cheese bread and some kind of herb bread, I sat down in the shelter with the other campers and quietly drank my coffee and ate my cheese bread, then went back to the tent to eat the other bread with a liberal amount of strawberry jam.
It had now stopped raining, and I packed the wet tent up quickly. It was quicker as I didn’t really unpack much stuff, did no cooking, and if I would have done anything I would have made coffee, but unfortunately I left my coffee maker in the Imaginary hostel in Tallinn. It had served me for two years, even after the handle had fallen off on my trip to Norway last year. But at least I now have an excuse to buy one with a handle, so I’m not particularly sad about it.
I made may way north from the campsite to what I thought was a bridge, but it was a (short) cat ferry crossing. The ferry was there, and I rushed to buy a ticket, it said €0.90 unfortunately I knew I had spent all my euros and was in need of a cash machine, but I had various coins (including Polish ones) and managed to find €0.80, but the remaining €0.10 eluded me and I ransacked my bags looking for it, the machine spat my money out after a certain period then I noticed it accepted card, the ferry was still there and I paid with card quickly and ran up. I didn’t have to rush though, it seems they were waiting for several fire engines, and I waited for some minutes before the fire engines boarded with sirens flashing and the boat promptly speeded off across the short distance, the engines rushed off the boat, and the attendant rushed the passengers off as they had to go back immediately to ferry the remaining engines.
From here I was able to ride 25km on a dedicated coastal cycle path with no cars at all, most of it was asphalt, some of it gravel, but it was a nice change and I was able to see the sea and the empty sandy beaches.
I wanted to attend an even in Berlin, which would start at 19:30, so ideally I wanted to get a train that would facilitate this, ideally one that would allow me to return home before the event, but failing that one that would allow me to attend the event directly from the train station.
It became more apparent as the day went on that the first option was out, at the rate I was going (maybe ~22kmph average) I would be able to get a train that would arrive at 19:00/19:15 and here there was no hurry, as I would have an hour or two to spare.
I passed lots of cyclists, as it was evidently a busy holidaying cycling route, at one point I was overtaking some cyclists when we were presented with a hill at which point our speeds matched and we were riding apace, I felt obliged to speak, “Are you German?” “Yes” “Where you are going?” I didn’t understand the response, but then he said “.. must turn here” “You or me?” (I had assumed we were all following the cycle route) I carried on and checked my map, I should also have turned, so I went back, and overtook, waved, and in the process nearly ran into a car which beeped at me. Further on I took another wrong turning, and overtook them for a third time, but this time I decided not to speak or make any gestures, but ignored them with a benign smile on my face.
The tent was wet, and it wouldn’t be seeing the sun in a long time now, it was in the waterproof bag. It had stopped raining and I remembered to take it out of the bag, tie it up and put it on the back open to the air, hopefully it will dry out.
When I arrived in Rostock I went straight to the train station, found the train station, wheeled my bike in to the station, and then wheeled it into the ticket office, approached the counter “The bike cannot be in here!” the woman exclaimed after consulting her colleague, I looked incredulous, but accepted it and wheeled the bike outside of the office, locked it, and removed the expensive bag and my phone and went back in, noticing a very obvious “NO CYCLES” sign on the floor. Maybe it wasn’t that obvious when it is on the floor.
The ticket cost €32 with the bike, cheaper than it had been on the website, and I had a few hours to wait. I decided that I could drink a beer and use a toilet, not finding the toilet in the train station I hoped to find a bar, not finding a bar I found a Chinese restaurant, I got my beer, some spring rolls, and the use of the toilet. I sat outside and smoked a roll-up and relaxed.
When I got to the platform 45 minutes before the scheduled departure the train was already there and I boarded, and now I’m on the way to Berlin and due to arrive in two hours.
And so ends this cycle tour. I’ve cycled across Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and visited Finland, I visited 4 capitals and cycled at most 2,500km. As always it seems like I have been travelling longer than I have, and Poland seems to be a very long time ago.
It’s been a good trip, as far as the cycling went it was not very adventurous, and I encountered no problems to speak of. There were no mountains to climb, no deserts to cross, the weather alternated between overclouded and raining for much of the time. In the first few days I contracted sun burn in the extreme heat of those days, but it was not particularly hot for the rest of the time, and I had no more problems with the sun, though to be honest I would have preferred more of it.