Day 10: Henstedt-Ulzburg to Neumünster

24·9 fun miles: (cumulative cycling 189·4 miles)

I seem to be getting into my stride just as we are getting towards the end of the cycling part of this holiday. My leg hardly hurts, although I still can’t do any uphill gradients over about 3% without dropping lots of gears. I feel I can do more saddle-time than I could before, and maybe could even get up the hill to Merchiston without screaming at myself for being crap.

The route today was mostly along tarmac cycle paths (again on the wrong side of the road) through multiple villages all called Kaltenkirchen, following a rail-line and listening to acorns crunching under tires, It’s still not entirely clear what surfaces can be cycled on in towns, and when the cycle-path suddenly re-appears on the other side of the road, getting to it isn’t obvious.

Lunch was at an Eis-salon in Bad Bramstedt. (We didn’t see the vampire’s bath, unfortunately.)

We got to our hotel quite early in the afternoon – so early it wasn’t yet ready – so we went to the nearby McDonald’s for cold drinks and to watch the real housewives of Neumünster-Sud smoke while their children played on a climbing frame/slide/plastic extrusion from the id of Doctor Zog. The umbrellas were also useful for sheltering from the rain for an hour or so.

Our insides thus hydrated and our outsides no longer in danger of externally applied hydration, we bumbled into the centre of Neumünster. It’s quite pretty, but alive and modern, with lots of people wondering about but none of the seediness I associate with bigger cities’ centres. Perhaps there should be a Gesetz: cities must be this size!

By the time we had wandered around the Teich in the centre of Neumünster, it was time to bimble back to the hotel, shower and change. (I’m still wearing the kilt.) Our 9-euro train tickets were valid on local buses, helping us head back into the town centre for dinner at Burgergallerie, watching people, Polizei and other fauna interacting. And yay, there were vegan burgers ad Fritz-Kola, so I may not sleep tonight.


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