Kiel Canal

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Kiel Canal

Kiel Canal
Grand Canal

There are no curves in the north? Along the Kiel Canal, tiny tar aisles loop around the moors and the vast country. Motorcycling gets a special kick in the shadow of majestic ocean liners.

Rolf Henniges

01/24/2000

The monsters are colorful and appear to appear out of nowhere.

And they move at a stoic 15 kilometers per hour through the endless north German plain. Pushing their huge bodies ?? longer than two football fields? Leisurely past gloomy moors, stork nests, cycle paths and red brick houses with thatched roofs. Black and white spotted cows and muddy tractors act like ants against the ocean liners who use the almost 100 kilometers long Kiel Canal as a connection between the two northern seas. A sight that seems more than macabre and often takes visitors’ breath away. The idea of ​​a shipping route through Schleswig-Holstein had many fathers. After all, circumnavigating Jutland was once considered to be one of the greatest dangers to seafaring. The Kiel Canal was finally built under Wilhelm I, opened on June 21, 1895 and then enlarged several times. Today it is the most popular sea canal in the world with around 45,000 visits every year. Revolutionary for shipping, unspectacular for tourism. Northern Germany does not seem to offer any attractions, especially for motorcyclists. No curves, no mountains, boredom is being redefined. All prejudice. Because if you follow the winding, little streets along the Kiel Canal, you will quickly be taught better. “From Kiel to Bruunsbuttel, that’s a seven to eight hour drive,” explains a Kiel dock worker on the deepest plateau. With the ship, of course. He checks his thumb and looks over it at my two-wheeler: “You can be in Bruunsbuttel within an hour.” But I don’t want to fly, I want to drive. Two days quickly go by on an exploratory trip, three hours on the country road on the direct route. Not ten kilometers outside of Kiel I am absorbed by the harsh nature of northern Germany. A salty stiff breeze, old half-timbered manors with shady linden trees on the doorstep. Between the individual farms, these indescribably lush green meadows, over which the cows seem to float as a contrast. And seagulls everywhere. No matter where you are? the screeching never subsides, the birds follow the motorcycle like a small, white tail. The sea shines behind every knoll? mountains for the locals by the way? Here, where everyone is building on sand and the phone booths are all still yellow, more storm surge warnings rush through the airwaves than clues to wrong-way drivers. The North German prudence has also carried over to traffic. This often only consists of tractors. Their wind-tanned handlebars with sailors’ caps and green work clothes usually raise their hands from a distance in greeting. This ceremony is so welcoming, so honest, that it never occurs to you that you are not welcome here. You will also be warmly welcomed on the ferries. If you want to cross the canal, you don’t have to pay anything. Nowhere. Not even on the transporter bridge in Rendsburg? Incidentally, the only one in Europe. She commutes under the Rendsburg high bridge every day. At two and a half kilometers and weighing 16,700 tons, it was the largest steel structure in the world when it was completed in 1913. And as if there was nothing better than the view of the Kiel Canal, the people of Rendsburg have set up the longest bench in the world at 503 meters on the bank. Those who prefer to shudder can get shivering free of charge in the many moors that surround the Kiel Canal. As if animated by stimulation currents, hairs on the neck and arms rise up when the howl of dogs penetrates the peat-level moors at dusk. Edgar Wallace, Dartmoor, Werewolves. One of them is just the dreamy purring of the four-cylinder, which is shaken in regular rhythm by the tar bumps through the many pipes for drainage of the moor, which run under the road. In front of one of the headlights that flash the fog like cotton candy, and then enjoy kale and pee with a grain in one of the many small inns along the canal. Because: “It doesn’t go down dry!” In addition, one receives the reference to the deepest point in Germany, not without pride. “Immediately turn right at the Friischee Eier sign.” Once there, a stone with an inscription refers to the geographical lowlight. Far less spectacular than its counterpart, the Zugspitze. But there is also no plus without a minus…

Info – Grand Canal

To the right and left of the Kiel Canal, wet biotopes, bathing lakes, moors and hearty hospitality beckon. Because this area is not yet exploited for tourism. The small, winding connecting roads take you on an excursion into the deepest part of Northern Germany – often in the shadow of huge ships. Although the length of the canal is only 98.6 kilometers, the surrounding area offers driving pleasure for a long weekend. From the south you can get directly to the canal via the A23, the A7 and the A215, northern lights also use the A7. The best travel time is from May to October. In late autumn, winter and spring you have to reckon with extreme gusts of wind.Overnight accommodationGood and inexpensive (from 15 Marks per person including breakfast) can be found on many farms, the so-called hay hotels. Don’t forget your sleeping bag. Tip: Struves Gasthof, Im Kloster 15, 25557 Hanerau-Hademarschen, phone 04872/2733, 50 marks per person. Accommodation agency: Tourist-Information Nord-Ostsee-Kanal, Altes Rathaus, Rendsburg, phone 04331/21120, Fax: 23369. GastronomyA nice view of the canal and very good cakes are available in the restaurant-cafe »Zum Yachthafen« (with beer garden), Kreystrabe 1, 25541 Brunsbuttel. Asparagus dishes and smoked eel are highly recommended during the season. Information tourism association Schleswig-Hollstein e. V., Niemannsweg 31, 24105 Kiel, phone 0431/5600100, fax 5600140, as well as the Tourist Information NOK, Altes Rathaus, 24768 Rendsburg, phone 04331/21120. Activities Excursions on the Kiel Canal can be undertaken on the MS Phonix . The start takes place daily from Rendsburg to Kiel Bahnhofskai, back by train. Information by phone 04331/21120. The only motorcycle meeting point in the region is the port of Eckernforde on Saturdays and Sundays. The whiskey museum with 3333 bottles in Rendsburg, Holsteiner Strabe 18-20, phone 04331/56564, as well as the lock system in Brunsbuttel with attached museum, phone 04852/8850 is worth seeing. Kaminski: The History of the Kaiser Wilhelm Canal 1887 ?? 1914, Itzehoe 1980 (unfortunately out of stock at the moment). The Marco Polo general map sheet 1, Schleswig Holstein, scale 1: 200000, 12.80 Marks, time required: two days, driven distance: 350 kilometers, is suitable for orientation

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