Alex and Bronwyn's Fantastic Adventures

We eat 32km cycle rides for breakfast

Today, being the 1 May, means a number of things in Verden. The first is that today is a bank holiday and thus a great excuse to drink lots of beer and eat sausage at every opportunity. The second is that the 1 May marks the opening of the ferry across the River Aller by the town of Westen which in turn opens up a fantastic round-route cycle track up the river and back down the other side.

We were all feeling pretty chipper this morning so we decided to head out and make the most of the glorious weather that has finally decided to grace us with its presence.

With our bikes newly serviced, we hit the road and made our way through back streets, farmlands and roads thinking how wonderful this all is and secretly high-fiving ourselves for being so fit and active.

But this is not just any old cycle ride – we are in Germany of course! So, with 10km behind us, we decided to stop at a community run coffee shop for the obligatory coffee and cake – the stuff upon which this great country is built on. Coffee and cake is a lifestyle in Germany. When you go into a café, and even in the case of this community-run one on the side of the road, you are not greeted with day-old scones or the coffee and walnut cake from last week. Oh no! Instead, your eyes are treated to festival of glazed fruits and chocolate swirly bits. It is an art form here and is one that we happily support.

After basking in the sun eating cake and drinking coffee, we hit the road again, energised by caffeine and sugar. We gradually made our way to the ferry point, using the brilliant cycle lanes through the fields. Waiting for the ferry on the banks of the River Aller was an experience in itself. Sausage carts, beer stands, cocktail stands and a local brass band all came together to create a foot-tapping, mouth-watering affair. I couldn’t help but think that I could get used to this lifestyle!

The ferry itself took about 20 people and their bikes at a time and really added another dimension to our ride. After reaching the other side, we hopped on our bikes again and wound our way through the fields, roads and little towns. We had planned on stopping at another café for a coffee and cake top up but alas, it was closed for renovation! So we pushed on and made our way to Verden, riding alongside dykes (and on top of dykes) and the river.

I will say for the record that the area around Verden is incredibly flat which I think is a blessing in disguise when you decide to cycle a cool 32km for fun.

Just as our thigh muscles started to remind us that they had been dormant in the winter, we finally arrived in Verden. Whew! Fortunately, a pizzeria with some outside decking beckoned us over with the promise of Radlers (beer shandy) and cheesy pizza. As we sat down at the restaurant (to be fair, we actually slumped into our chairs), we let out a collective sigh.

We sat on the deck drinking Radlers and eating pizza, contemplating the ride so far and dreading the ride home which was another 5km. Ugh! The stretch home was the worst I think. We were feeling nicely fuzzy from the Radlers and a little bit cheesy from the pizzas so it was pretty hard going.

But I can confirm that we did make in the end. As I am typing this now, Alex’s dad is on the sofa and we are horizontal in bed.

High fives all round!

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