By Marina Aagaard, MFT
The day is dedicated to cycling. Rain or not …
Saturday. It is morning. The time is 7:00 and we are sitting by the window in the Strandhotel Bene restaurant.
Outside, it is cool, windy and rainy weather. Fortunately, we have brought big, warm, wind- and waterproof Helly Hansen sailor coats!
Cycling – 38 km Hafentour
After this optimal breakfast, it’s time for today’s bike ride. Departure from the hotel and to the Hafentour route starting point, the area around Hafen Burgstaaken (with the U-Boot Museum, the Seenotrettungsmuseum and the Übersee Museum).
From here we go north-east through several small towns.
The Hafentour cycle route comes around Burgstaaken, Burgtiefe Yachthafen and along Steilküste from Katharinenhof to Puttgarden Ferry Port (known to many Danes who have sailed on the Rødby-Puttgarten ferry and back).
The maps for the bike ride I found on the Outdoor Active and Komoot sites.
We cycle through Sahrendorf, Vitzdorf (photo), Sahlendorf and Klausdorf and from there to the coast, where we drive along the dyke.
We come to Marienleuchte, where we can see from the map, that there is a lighthouse. However it is hidden behind a closed gate, an old, closed-down lighthouse and behind it a very modern one of the kind of satellite discs and antennas. Not the typical pretty lighthouse sight …
But quite o.k. if you are into ‘historical’ buildings and slightly creepy places …
We cycle onwards to Puttgarten, past the ferry port and into the very small town. There are quite many guesthouses, however, we do not see any cafes or restaurants.
We decide to take a detour from the harbor route and cycle to the little cafe Beltbude at Grüner Brink. When we get there, however, it is closed … Saturday out of season is obviously not an ideal time.
So we cycle back to the harbour route and head south again.
We cycle – like the rest of the trip in soothing rain – through Presen and Klausdorf. Here we see a large coffee shop, Hofcafé Klausdorf (photos above show glimpses of exterior and interior, metal art and embroidery).
We make a halt and go inside.
Here it is warm and welcoming, so we order coffee and cake – apple-calvados-cake and a raisin roll and chocolate muffin. It tastes good.
There is also a large ‘farm shop’ full of local produce. Unfortunately, we are on bikes without bicycle baskets, so we have to leave without samples of the local goodies this time.
We take a break for half an hour; shoes, socks and pants are not yet dry, but we have to get back to the rain so we can move on south.
We cycle through a flat landscape without any special sights – apart from the small towns with idyllic houses and gardens with kitsch ornaments and garden gnomes; a very nice cycling landscape with long stretches of small country roads almost without motorized vehicles.
Cloudy and rainy. Bad? No, not that bad, diverse weather situations and off-season holidays, where you have most things – but not all – to yourself are quite enjoyble.
We come to Burg, which we continue through heading south to the last part of the tour; Burgstaaken and Wulfen. From there we return to the hotel. My upper body is dry, but the forgotten rain pants means that my lower body, from waist to toes – and socks and shoes – is soaking wet. Lack of due diligence does not pay off.
Hot Cold Hot Cold Hot Cold
Now the hotel room sauna comes in handy. Fortunately, I’m able to decode the not-that-easy-to-understand operating manual and get the sauna heated and ready for use. Luckily it works impeccably and I’m ready for my usual spa ritual:
Shower, sauna 10-15 minutes followed by cold bath 2-3 minutes, here in the shower (otherwise in a cold tub). I repeat that 3-5 times. An amazing wellness routine that promotes recovery and may prevent e.g. common colds.
In fact, I planned on going a couple of meters down the road to the FehMare swimming pool and sauna; a place praised by the locals, not least because of the sun lounge chairs overlooking the Baltic Sea and sky.
But the hotel’s private sauna (above) just seemed a little faster and easier today; very warm and very nice on an otherwise cool day.
Wining and dining
After a relaxing afternoon, we go to the small town of Neujellingsdorf early in the evening to have dinner at the recommended Landhaus restaurant Margaretenhof.
A tiny village with a really nice restaurant with fresh roses and candles on the tables. There is an exciting five-course menu, but we are not game for the local deli eel as a main course and therefore chose the a la carte menu.
A nice surprise: In comes an appetizer, three kinds of soft, tasty bread with three kinds of spreads; pate, quark and red pepper cheese.
Starter: Pumpkin soup. A sweet, exotic soup – poured from a small pot by the waiter – with two small veal rolls.
And German white wine.
Main course: American Rumpsteak 300 with honey-nut crust, shitake mushrooms, paksoi and ginger juice with celery truffle cream (mash) (Henrik) and salmon, label rouge, fried with sesame-veal fond glaze and vegetables, trompetenpilz ( mushrooms) and sweet potato ragout. Like the appetizer really tasty. And a intense German red wine; Schneider: Ursprung.
Dessert: Margaretenhof-Quitten Crème Brûlée with nougat ice cream. Delicious, although the creme brûlée was slightly lumpy and with an overdose of sugar on top.
A very nice dinner. Then a 5-10 minute drive by car in the dark, rainy countryside and so we are back at the hotel, ready to turn off the light at 10:30 pm after a day of equal amounts of physical activity and relaxation … mmmhhhhh.
The blog was invited by Natura (Interreg Deutschland – Denmark)