Tour tip: Around Hamburg

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Tour tip: Around Hamburg
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Tour tip: Around Hamburg

Tour tip: Around Hamburg
Village after village

When it comes to the question of calm and serenity, northern Germany is the answer. A little Elbe here, a little Luneburg Heath there. And you can ride a motorcycle there too.

Christopher East

09/11/2008

Endlessly long, straight streets. Horrible landscapes and pure boredom. Only think like that if you have no idea about northern Germany. One thing is certain: the north is calming down. Calmly. He opens the heart to the off the beaten path, lets the eye feast on, yes, what actually? It’s the vastness, it’s the villages and hamlets that exude a very special charm with their brick buildings and half-timbered houses. And the countless avenues that connect them with each other. And the mighty Elbe, on which it all takes place. From the Altes Land to Hitzacker, where water is the dominant element, while in the Lower Saxony part of the Elbe, extensive forests such as the Gohrde or the Luneburg Heath Nature Reserve replace the fascination of the mighty river.

The motto is: Whenever you have the choice, take the smaller street, always go to the tiniest of towns. Then you get close. Get close to the gems of the flat landscape. Then you drive curve after curve, bleat with dyke sheep or simply sail across the Elbe on one of the many ferries just for pleasure. And back again.

Friends of hilly landscapes will not be disappointed either. The Kniepenberg on the Elbe measures a hefty 86 meters in altitude, the Wilseder Berg in the Luneburg Heath even 169 – something’s going on.

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Village after village

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Tour tip: Around Hamburg


Map: Maucher

Tour tips for northern lights: between Hamburg and Luneburg Heath.

It is also the mixture of graceful, endless, even seemingly satisfied nature and the proximity to the pulsating cosmopolitan city of Hamburg that does not put you in the risk of being bored. Because you could jet into the metropolis whenever you wanted. Delight in the contrast between the up-and-coming HafenCity and the historic warehouse district. Or watch really big ships at the port. And in the Duckdalben seamen’s mission, experience seafarers from all over the world in real life and color.

Mighty pines that thrive on the Nordic sandy soils, as well as avenues studded with birch trees, sweeten the sprints between rural settlements and provincial cities. Like Uelzen, for example, where you can be blown away by the splendor of the train station in the style of the artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser. Or the former salt town of Luneburg with all its decorative forms of north German brick Gothic.

So much idyll is good and beautiful. But the motorcyclist himself also needs the technical, the mechanical side of life, away from the oh-so-pretty churches, grazing herds of heather sheep and kitschy sunsets on the Elbe. That’s why he can stop at ZTK – Zweirad Technik Konemann – in Schneverdingen, instead of looking at mopeds properly. Or buy right away if he likes. As long as there is enough change left for the next currywurst at the Elbimbissbude or for the delicious Heidschnucken roast. You probably already have the excellent heather honey in your luggage anyway.

Tour 1: Elbe and Gohrde


Tour tip: Around Hamburg


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Fun ferry ride.

Out of Luneburg and through the nearby Bardowick along the Lower Saxony Asparagus Road to Winsen. If you like, you can do a dangling over Scharnebeck beforehand and marvel at the ship lift on the Elbe Lateral Canal, where with a bit of luck a boat can be lifted 38 meters up so that it can continue on its way after about 20 minutes. From here you cut north to the Elbe and after a few kilometers on the dike you have your first coffee break at the Hoopter ferry pier. On both sides of the Elbe, tons of bikers meet here on sunny days, who like to nibble on fish rolls and meatballs. Only a little later the curves start and there are always sheep somewhere on the dike to graze and trample on them. Further eastwards, the route jumps over the river to Geesthacht at Ronne, only to jump back in Lauenburg.


Tour tip: Around Hamburg


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Even if the landscape is vast – there is no trace of wasteland.

There you shouldn’t miss the historic old town with its sweet little ham. Great: Tripping over the smallest streets and villages through quasi-deserted landscapes, the route through Barforde, Garlstorf and Radegast tempts you to simply drive in the other direction again. Bleckede, like almost all other towns, shines with clinker buildings, and another Elbe ferry even transports agricultural machinery. Now it’s all going: a curve here, a curve there, but those who want to go to the Kniepenberg lookout point can only do so on weekdays, as the absolutely recommendable Elbufer-Strabe between Drethem and the picturesque Hitzacker is closed to cyclists on weekends. Then avoidance via Wietzetze is the order of the day. Grabau, Predohlsau, Dannenberg and off through the Gohrde: equally the name of a place and the largest contiguous mixed forest in Northern Germany, where you can come across wild boars and youngsters while walking. Enjoying the coolness, you can surf relaxed via Himbergen, Weste and Oetzen to Uelzen, where a visit to the Hundertwasser train station is a must, especially since you can dine deliciously in the adjoining restaurant. Just a short distance along federal highway 4, and then quickly return to the warehouse in Luneburg on the more attractive secondary routes via Bad Bevensen and Bienenbuttel – where dinner is already waiting in one of the many restaurants.

Tour 2: Altes Land and Luneburg Heath


Tour tip: Around Hamburg


Iron ham

Stiff breeze without being directly on the ocean.

And again we leave Luneburg to the north, but this time drive directly via Bardowick to Artlenburg on the Elbe. Then hard to port and nestled against the Elbe to the Hamburg district of Harburg, where the cobblestones and pubs paved Lammertwiete invites you to stop in the evening. First, however, we make over to the island of Wilhelmsburg, bordered between the North and South Elbe. From there you can drive over the Kohlbrand Bridge and also catch an incomparable view of what is happening in the port of Hamburg. It continues maritime if you allow yourself a detour to the seaman’s mission Duckdalben in Waltershof. Shortly afterwards we cross through Finkenwerder, past the Airbus site and into the old country, which is characterized by fruit growing. From Jork we turn our backs on the Elbe and dash south. Leave Buxtehude, Hollenstedt, Tostedt unnoticed and always curve nicely on the side streets.


Tour tip: Around Hamburg


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Hamburg warehouse district.

The route stretches even further south via Otter, Wesseloh and Insel until you finally reach Schneverdingen and thus also the huge motorcycle dealer ZTK – almost a must for bikers. One would think that ZTK has deliberately settled there, as the motorcycle dealer is practically at the gateway to the Luneburg Heath Nature Reserve: perfect asphalt worms and flaky to densely wooded nature at its best. Heather and heidschnucke complete the picture. Once again it is the small towns such as Ober- and Niederhaverbeck, Welle or Inzmuhlen and Undeloh that accompany the tour and convey peace and tranquility in their own unique way. Before we leave the Heide Nature Park via Egestorf to end the tour via Ameling- and Salzhausen in the direction of Luneburg, we stab into the center of the Luneburg Heath in Wilsede, where delicacies and delicacies from the region are on sale.

Info tour 1


Tour tip: Around Hamburg


Map: Maucher

Tour 1: Elbe and G authority; Route length: approx. 250 km.

In the middle
The base camp for all tours is located in the enchanting Luneburg. Between the countless cafes and restaurants in the beautiful old town, it is easy to endure. The range of accommodation ranges from private rooms from 25 euros per person to multi-star wellness hotels in the middle of the city with room prices in three-digit regions. The homepage www.lueneburger-heide.de is recommended as an orientation not only for overnight accommodations.

Worth seeing
As the world’s largest, the double vertical ship lift was built in Scharnebeck in 1974 to overcome 38 of the total of 61 meters of height difference between the Elbe and the Mittelland Canal. The journey over the Elbe Side Canal saves 217 kilometers on the waterway between the Port of Hamburg and the Ruhr area.

Stylish
For those who want to enjoy a sophisticated view of the Elbe, a visit to the Zollenspieker Fahrhaus is a must. In addition to delicious Hanseatic cuisine, the house on the Elbe also offers rooms for overnight stays. You can also take the ferry from Hoopte to the northern bank of the Elbe to the Zollenspieker.

Heidschnucken
They are sheep of the north German heath, but are also bred and eaten elsewhere in Europe. Their meat tastes like game and is a treat for the palate as a ragout, roast or fillet. And otherwise? Heather potatoes, mushrooms at mushroom season, asparagus at asparagus season. The sea is still a corner away, but many Heidelokale have their own fish ponds, so that even flakes can be put on the plate. After eating, a sip of Ratzeputz helps – a brew made from herbs, ginger and lots of alcohol.

Info tour 2


Tour tip: Around Hamburg


Map: Maucher

Tour 2: Luneburg Heath; Route length: approx. 250 km.

metropolis
Hamburg. If you can’t get enough of crooked half-timbered houses, get an ice cream or have a coffee in the Lammertwiete in the Harburg district. Brick en masse overwhelms you in Hamburg’s Speicherstadt, with wanderlust, seagulls and large steamers, the port serves along the landing bridges. With a bit of luck, you can meet real sailors – mainly from Asia – at Duckdalben, the seamen’s mission in Hamburg-Waltershof. A little further west, and you are at the gates of the Airbus site. No matter how you feel about big cities, you should definitely make a detour to the port city.

Look
Zweirad Technik Konemann – better known to many under the acronym ZTK – has just about everything on motorcycles from Aprilia to Yamaha that makes the heart of committed bikers beat faster. With a little luck you can be there when new motorbikes are delivered from overseas in large wooden boxes. The best way to explore the surrounding heath with the heather sheep is to take a test drive.

shopping
For edible and usable souvenirs, the market in Wilsede in the middle of the Luneburg Heath Nature Park is just the thing. In addition to sheepskins, blueberry wine and liqueurs, there is delicious heather honey from local beekeepers. Carriage rides with an average of two horsepower give the soul a break. If you climb the 169 meter high Wilseder Berg, you will not be spoiled with the alpine panorama, but you will get a good overview of the expanse of the heather with juniper, pine and birch forests. If the weather is great, you can even see the towers of Luneburg and Hamburg.

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