Jüterbog to Lutherstadt Wittenberg

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Luther-Melanchthon-Gymnasium, Wittenberg. Existing school refurbished by Friedensreich Hundertwasser, 1997-99

Another lovely day cycling under big skies amongst woods, skylarks and fields of yellow rape.

The road south out of Jüterbog revealed just how much the town was dominated by a Soviet army camp.  It contained up to 40,000 soldiers – four times the population of the town – and the former encampment is now out of bounds. Trees and cuckoos appear to have taken over the site, but you can catch glimpses of dilapidated buildings. Goodness knows what the departing army left behind in the way of tanks and weaponry.

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I had hopes of seeing wild pigs or deer in the woods, but wildlife was limited to a hare and some very young ostriches.

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The ostriches belonged to a farm that also offered Kaffee und Kuchen. I hadn’t realised how big and heavy ostrich eggs are: apparently one is enough for a 10-person omelette.

Then to Wittenberg. I don’t usually see much of the inside of historic buildings on these cycling holidays – partly because by the time I have showered and changed everything is closed, and partly because I prefer to live in the present day when cycling. So, when I looked at the map and saw something marked “Hundertwasser Schule”, I ignored the Luther sights and walked up Sternstraße to find it. As I walked I thought that it might be toned-down Hundertwasser for a public building, but when I saw golden baubles and a coronet in the distance I realised I was wrong.

Ludicrous but fun! I wonder what the pupils think of it?

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Wittenberg is also a place where it is perfectly safe and acceptable for sensible ten-year-olds to cycle on roads by themselves.

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