06. 09. 2020
After we have strengthened ourselves with the rich breakfast buffet, we go on our first bicycle tour. For a short distance we drive along the Elbe river with a beautiful view of the city. We cross the Elbe river, drive through the Neustadt and then through the Dresdner Heide, an extensive wooded area with beautiful cycle paths. We continue towards Pulsnitz, where we take a lunch break in the restaurant “Schuhmann’s Genußwerkstatt”, which Hans had recommended to us. There we enjoy a Lusatian speciality, the mushroom swallow. The restaurant uses only fresh ingredients and the plate is decorated with loving decoration.
Freshly strengthened, we visit the castle park in Pulsnitz and drive past some “pepper cuisine” for which Pulsnitz is known.
Now it is not far to our stage finish Kamenz. Our hotel “Goldener Hirsch” is centrally located opposite the town hall in the style of a Venetian palace.
After a walk through the pretty little town we let the evening end with a good meal in the restaurant of our hotel.
Today we go through Lower Lusatia to Spremberg. First of all, the trail leads us through an idyllic lake landscape. From a distance we hear the call of cranes and then see them standing on the shore of a lake. An osprey circles above us. Then he stops in the air for a short time and rushes his claws into the water – this time he didn’t catch any fish, but for us it’s an unforgettable experience of nature. We continue through pine forests, then again along fields with fruit trees until we finally reach the “Krabatmühle”, a Sorbian open-air museum and cultural centre. We visit the mill and then follow a small educational trail about the Sorbian legends. After a short picnic we continue along the Partwitzer See, a former open pit, which was flooded for 10 years.
We reach the vantage point of active lignite open pit mining near Welzow. From afar, we can see the Black Pumpe power plant, in which the 22 million tonnes of lignite produced annually in Welzow are supplied with electricity. After an eventful day we reach our stage destination Spremberg.
On today’s stage to Bad Muskau we first follow the Spree. Then we come to the Sorbian Museum in Schleife, where we learn a lot about the Sorbian culture. As a small souvenir we buy one of the colourfully painted Easter eggs. Then we continue to Kromlauer Park, a 200-hectare azalea and rhododendron park, which is still very impressive at this time of year. We make a short break and then continue to our current destination Bad Muskau. A special highlight is the Fürst-Pückler-Park. The 830-hectare park belongs to UNESCO since 2004 World Cultural Heritage Site and stretches from Germany to the border to Poland – separated only by the Neisse. We explore the park by bike and are impressed by the huge old oak trees and the vast grounds of the very natural park.
After our tour we enjoy the classic Fürst-Pückler ice-caking in the Café des Neues Schloss. From there we have a wonderful view of the park.
We drive to our present hotel, the “Hotel am Schloßbrunnen”, which is located in the immediate vicinity of the park. In the evening we end the day with a delicious dinner in the in-house restaurant.
Today, the Neisse will be our constant companion. The bike path is very well developed and offers always beautiful views of the river. We cycle through forests, past sunflower fields through an almost untouched nature. Several times we can even see white-tailed eagles circling in the air.
Slowly we approach our current destination Görlitz. Our hotel “zum Goldenen Strauss” is centrally located in the beautiful old town. We stroll through the many small streets with the beautifully preserved houses, which date back to different eras. It is easy to imagine that this city is often chosen as a film set.
After we have refreshed ourselves with the rich and lovingly prepared breakfast buffet, we leave for Bautzen. We cycle through a slightly hilly and sparsely populated landscape with magnificent views of the Lower Lusatia.
We make a short stop at the historical site, the “Monarch’s Hill”, where Tsar Alexander and King Friedrich Wilhelm III watched the course of the great Battle of Bautzen in 1813. Then we reach today’s stage destination of Bautzen, the political and cultural centre of the Sorbs. So far I have associated Bautzen with the famous mustard or the prison, but Bautzen has much more to offer, such as the grain market with the Reichenturm and the main market with lovingly restored houses. Our hotel “Schloßschänke” is centrally located, where the hostess warmly welcomes us. We get a nice room with an idyllic roof terrace.
Tonight we want to taste a Sorbian speciality and have reserved a table in the Sorbian restaurant “Wjelbik. ” We enjoy the good food in the cozy ambience of the restaurant and then stroll through the beautifully lit city again.
After a great breakfast we go to the most demanding stage of our tour. It goes through the Oberlausitzer Bergland to the Elbsandsteingebirge. We have great views and drive through lonely forests. The forest paths are sometimes a bit bumpy, but the beautiful nature compensates us for this. We spend the well-deserved break in the beer garden of the restaurant “Bockmühle” in the valley of Polenz. Then we go uphill again until we reach the highest point of our tour: the viewpoint Hohburkersdorfer Rundblick. From there we have a magnificent view of Saxon Switzerland. We continue to the bastion, which is located just 200 m above the Elbe. Here again we have a fantastic view over the Elbe valley.
Now comes the descent to the Elbe, on a well-developed path through moss-grown rock faces it goes down to the Elbe. As Hans told us, Wagner is said to have gotten his inspiration for his enormous stage designs. You can imagine it very well!
Arrived at the bottom, we take the ferry to the other side of the Elbe and cycle relaxed to Pirna, where we meet in a beer garden with my colleague Aaron.
Normally today’s stage ends in Pirna, but since all the hotels were fully booked, we continue with Aaron to Dresden.
We pass the “Blue Wunder” in Dresden and then it is not far to the Hotel Maritim, the destination of our stage today and unfortunately already the end of our tour.
We got to know very different landscapes, beautiful unspoiled nature and interesting cities.