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03.07.2020 The Spreewald experience. The easiest way to get from the Elbe valley to Berlin was, in our opinion, to cycle to the city of Bautzen and then follow the river Spree to the capital. The morning we set off, we got to know two like-minded travellers: Lena and Hendrik from Kempten in Bavaria, who are also cycle touring the East for a couple of weeks. We promised to meet again at the Bautzen campsite in the evening, having no idea that we would actually spend quite some time together in the days to come. On our way to Bautzen, the two of us actually left Germany for about half an hour, as there was a shorter and flatter route on Czech soil. The next day, we explored Bautzen in a group of four, and we found that with its numerous historical towers, a unique cemetery in and around a church ruin, and – with Bautz'ner Senf mustard being the city's most famous product – the inevitable mustard shop, it is a place really worth visiting. From Bautzen to Cottbus, road signs are bilingual: Due to the presence of a Sorbian minority, most places have a German and a Sorbian name. North of Cottbus, in an area called Spreewald or 'Spree forest', the river shows some weird behaviour: It splits into several small branches which, together with a bunch of artificially built channels, form a dense grid of waterways. This area is well known for its pickled cucumbers, incredibly cute little villages and endless opportunity for leisure paddling. So yesterday we rented a paddle boat for a day and toured the area, stopping when we felt like it for drinks or a picnic. It was so much fun, and exercising our arms instead of our legs made for a nice change. And although we had gone for different campsites, we bumped into Lena and Hendrik again, and did so once more today, when cycling on towards Berlin – a good occasion to share a jar of Spreewald pickles with them. #scoutbound #spreewald #bautzen #cottbus #sachsen #saxony #lichtenhainerwasserfall #storkowersee #spremberg #spreeradweg #gurkenradweg #cycling #worldbycycling #kajak #kanu #paddleboat #sunset #lake #see

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