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Start of the season in New Five Lands

The first tour in spring is always something very special. Frank Klose drove his favorite lap to the east of Germany for the first time with his son, a new 125cc pilot.

Frank Klose


Braking, clutching, downshifting, steep lean angles and then accelerating into spring. Finally leave the must of winter behind and escape the icy talons of frost. When the crocuses carefully lift up their pretty chalices after colorless winter days and the winter heather spreads its purple sea of ​​flowers in the gardens. And when the sunlight is finally reflected in the tank again: Welcome on the road again. Or maybe in this particular case it would be better to say it in Russian. Because since the fall of the Wall, the first turn of the year has taken me east every year. In an area that for many West Germans is practically just around the corner, but ages away before the fall of the Berlin Wall. It was a tingling feeling, back in the year one after Erich, when you suddenly met courteous and friendly people at the still existing but open border, even though they were still in the uniform of the GDR border troops. But that was very different at the time of the Iron Curtain. The first thing we did in the first spring after the turning point was the detour down from the plate freeway, right behind Helmstedt, which had been punished with prison up to then. Which, however, also gave us a real scare. Because to the right and left of the transit route – financed by the West – things started right away with these ultimate potholes that could swallow whole 16-inch front wheels up to half a trabby. Up to a measured 80 (!) Centimeter depth, these things sometimes managed. And in return, the pulse rate to a relaxed 180. Alexander doesn’t believe a word. But at the time when the GDR was exhausted, he was just at elementary school age. And now he is on my annual New Five Country Tour for the first time, has just had the first motorcycle winter behind him, the first crusts of salt on the bend and the first biting cold disillusionment. Freedom has its price. He gratefully soaks up every breath of spring, looking forward to tours that are finally fun again and on which there is something to discover. And the “new” federal states and especially Saxony-Anhalt have plenty to offer. If you follow the little yellow or white marked streets on the 200,000 general map, you will quickly end up where time seems to have stopped sometime in the middle of the last century. Of course they still exist, the ugly prefabricated housing estates and streets so crumbled that they don’t really deserve the name. But we ignore both for now, because we are practically riding motorcycles and thirsting for enjoyable slopes. And Saxony-Anhalt is exactly the right place for this. Because next to old pothole slopes one increasingly encounters cleanly tarred stretches which, thank God, have kept their winding old routes instead of being straightened in a car-friendly way. That promises real course swing. Sometimes in four-quarter time, sometimes in waltz rhythm, then again hard cobblestone hard rock. Young pilot Alexander is fully involved and lets the footpegs erode away in a carefree frenzy. There are more slopes than there are on the round, which, unlike my first turn, starts this time in Seesen at the exit of the A 7. At that time you had to use one of the last border crossings. Today all the roads that were once cut are reconnected, the scars of the division have healed and there are no longer any limits to the choice of route. First we chug up into the Harz region, wanting to know whether the winter has barricaded itself up somewhere. The Brocken, which was formerly occupied by the army, now lives peacefully, wrapped in white snow. But the icy wind soon drives us over Herzberg down into the wide open country, where it is at least a few degrees warmer. We roll through Pohlde, Brochthausen, and suddenly we feel the difference with all our senses. There is a hint of burned coal in the air, the streets are getting narrower, the guard rails less frequent – we are in New Five Lands. Finally, the journey for Alexander is a little fairer, because on the small streets his ten horsepower is easily enough to keep up with my bandit. Shortly after Bockelnhagen, a long-forgotten village in the former restricted area, we discover one of the old watchtowers on a gentle hill that remains like a monument. At Bartolfelde and Osterhagen we go a little more through the former west, then we finally dive into the east between Walkenried and Ellrich in the direction of Ilfeld. Sometimes fancy new houses fly by, then again splendidly renovated old buildings and occasionally still dilapidated buildings from the time before the reunification. Stolberg, the »pearl in the southern Harz«, is rightly named. At the sight of the pretty half-timbered town, Alexander asks whether we have passed the former border somewhere again. We dont have. The place was already pretty spruced up in GDR times. The socialist nobility thanked the place that Thomas Muntzer saw the light of day here a little more than 500 years ago. Already in 1525 the man moved with a peasant army against feudal dictatorship, injustice and oppression and fitted perfectly into the ideology. Meanwhile, Alexander has had enough of history, and so we arrow through the Eastern Harz and promptly discover a dream route with perfect curves between Stolberg and Sangershausen. Unfortunately, after the initially posh piste, at some point the tar quality leaves a lot to be desired and we go looking for the sweet lake between Lutherstadt Eisleben and Halle. In the absence of alternatives, it was once the Costa del Sol of the East, but today it is an almost forgotten spot, at least in spring. We cruise over super serpentines towards Schwittersdorf. Now at the latest, Alexander registers that father was right. Because here they still exist, streets almost like in 1989, on which the very deepest potholes have just been defused a little. Matching houses are lined up along the street. Gray, crumbly and real GDR reality TV. Alexander is not badly amazed. Also a few kilometers further, near Mansfeld, a group of barren hills piled up next to the country road, some even marked with a summit cross. Mountains as witnesses of the times. These are the dumps of the Mansfeld copper slate mining, which was still intensively operated before the fall of the Wall. It was horribly deficit, but copper could be exchanged splendidly for Westmark. From Ballenstedt we dive even further into history and follow the Romanische Strasse for some parts, discovering beautiful castles. And in Quedlinburg, probably one of the prettiest half-timbered towns in Germany, once everything has been restored. We take our time on this detour through the deep Middle Ages, as the northern Harz foreland was once one of the most important regions of the German Empire and is accordingly magnificently equipped. But then all of a sudden it gets a little darker, because we have reached the famous Devil’s Wall. Originated from a legend after a bet between God and Satan, in which the latter claimed that he could build a wall around the Harz in one night. If he is successful, he will gain dominion over the kingdom of heaven. Which, thank God, did not work because of a premature rooster cry, but the geological mystery of an elongated rock ridge made of ashlar sandstones can still be recognized over many kilometers between Blankenburg and southern Weddersleben. Our journey is coming to an end, Blankenburg and Wernigerode appear, wonderful medieval cities, but Alexander can no longer really be won with memories of the weekend residences of Braunschweig princes. He just wants to enjoy the first warm rays of the sun. To be honest, me too. Finally turn the handle again and accelerate, brake, couple, shift. Into the bend, flip over and out with the gas – and continue towards spring. See you tonight – and tomorrow again.


Saxony-Anhalt is not only an ideal travel destination in spring. Even in summer, perhaps combined with a detour to the cult race track Oschersleben or to the highly attractive Harz, a tour is worthwhile.

The region is particularly interesting for pilots who prefer, or want to complement, committed cornering over the high-speed thrills of Oschersleben. Because mostly small streets meander over gentle heights, through dark forests or typical villages that often still look as if the clocks have stopped. The well-signposted avenue road is also tempting for occasional stages, but is ?? because mostly dead straight – more visually than technically attractive. Friends of the Middle Ages can turn back the journey through time a few centuries further on the Romanesque Road. Arrival / travel time The quickest way to start the tour is via the A7 Gottingen-Hanover and at the Seesen exit, which can be driven from spring to autumn depending on the weather conditions. Accommodation The offer is quite large, so we limit ourselves to a few motorcycle-friendly hotels: Hotel “Zur golden Sonne”, Steinweg 11, 06484 Quedlinburg, phone 03946/96250, fax 03946/962530 or; Altstadt-Hotel Ilsenburg, Wernigeroder Strabe 1, 38871 Ilsenburg, phone 039452/9690, fax 0039452/96999, Altstadt-Hotel Wernigerode, Unterengengasse 14, 38855 Wernigerode, phone 03943/69660, fax 03943/696620. Room directories are also available from the tourism associations (see information). Organized tours New to the market is Sachsenbike-Tours from Dresden, which are currently preparing various tours in the region. For more information, call 0351/8031017 or Literature At the tourist office (see information) you can get an extensive list of all kinds of special literature about Saxony-Anhalt. In addition, some Harz travel guides cover the tour area presented, such as the HB-Bildatlas Harz or the Baedeker guide of the same name. The Marco Polo general map sheet number ten provides the best orientation. Information TASA, Tourismus Agentur Sachsen-Anhalt GmbH, Grobe Diesdorfer Str. 12, 39108 Magdeburg, phone 0391/7384333, fax: 0391/7384310 or The Harzer Verkehrsverband, Marktstrabe 45, 38640 Goslar, phone 05321/34040, fax 05321/34066 and, can help, especially with hotels that can also be queried on the website. Time required: 1 to 2 days about 350 kilometers.

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