Day 17: Schleswig-Holstein’s Countryside

Sunday, August 21

Just SOME of the lakes in Schleswig Holstein (about a 5 mile x 10 mile area). We rode around the little ones on the left, and walked a tiny portion of the large one on the right.

Today was my only 24-hour, dawn-till-dark day with my sister Judith (and her husband Michael) and we had a wonderful time. First off, we walked to the bakery in their village and bought rolls for breakfast at home. Bakers have a special dispensation in Germany and can be open on a Sunday morning, even though all other stores have to be closed. The rolls looked ok, but Michael and Judith were skeptical–they have only tried the bakery once and it was disappointing then, and as it turned out, the rolls, which should be crisp and fresh, only baked a few hours ago, tasted “pappig” (like cardboard) and bland. Much joking and discussion ensued (not unlike Mark and I, they really discuss everything that happens in their life in great detail, although sometimes with more philosophical and zen-like depth), and we decided the bakery is really a cardboard or wallpaper factory. Of course, this is relative–their “pappig” is still superior to any roll I’ve ever bought in the Super Saver bakery, for example! But they will not give that bakery another try, even though it is the only one in town. We did enjoy the food we put on the rolls–an assortment of cheese, jam, and a special liverwurst that they like (they eat mostly meatless).

After breakfast, Judith and I gathered the necessary things for a bike ride–she has two bikes, one of them a mountain bike, and a woman’s 10-speed, with a more easily adjustable seat, which was perfect for me. We took what eventually ended up being a 13-mile bike ride to a couple of lakes, on beautiful tree-lined country roads and bike lanes, and at the second lake (Belausee), we stopped at the little bathing area, complete with a rope that cordoned off a small non-swimmer’s bay for little kids, and went in for a quick swim. But mostly it was about the beautiful landscape–on yet another gorgeous day–and then also about the suprise garage sales that we found all along the roads we took, obviously a coordinated “junk jaunt.” Judith ended up finding three things, including a sort of pilot’s briefcase, leather, with wheels and locks and a smaller “satchel” inside, perfect for getting her things back and forth between work and home, which was undoubtedly very expensive when first purchased. Getting it home on the bike was a bit of a challenge, but we managed. (She also found a little plated tabletop dustpan, decorated in art-nouveau style, that she assumes is actually period rather than a remake. That was easier to transport.) And we also had fantastic ice cream just before we got home, at a little hut (not quite a stand, a permanent structure, right in her new hometown, where people were lining up to get their waffle cones to either take them home or sit on nearby benches. Delicious–and how lucky that the marginal rolls are offset by the wonderful gelato.

Lake Belau from the bike trail

We got home around 3 pm and rested for a bit, and later I helped chop vegetables for what we jokingly called an Asian/Northern German fusion meal: a tofu veggie stir-fry and potato pancakes, which we’d bought ready-made on Saturday. It was yummy. We followed up with a little yogurt, and had a great time sitting out at little makeshift tables on their deck/balcony. (Their beautiful sturdy deck table is sitting in their garage–my sister’s first-ever garage, as she excitedly pointed out–until their deck gets a tile surface in the next few weeks.) Then we took a short drive to a nearby town at another lake (Plönsee), which I knew a little from a boat trip we had taken there a few years ago). We walked around a small portion of it to a spot, near a village called Dersau, where you can see most of the lake (the largest in this area) from up above). On the way we picked and ate wild blackberries from the roadside and admired little tucked-away farmhouses and beautiful old trees and hedges lining the road. It was a nice way to wrap up the evening. But I WAS tired when we got home, and while the other two still watched an old movie (a Western spoof with Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster?), I went to bed, and chatted a bit with Mark, who was holding up ok throughout the day Sunday and dealt with all kinds of preparatory things, before falling asleep.

Michael and Judith with their Nordic Walking sticks at Lake Plön
Antje at Lake Plön
Cell Phone photos do not do justice to the beautiful view at Lake Plön

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