Zeitz to Greiz

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Although it’s slightly harder work, I prefer cycling upstream when following rivers: I like the transition from wide flood plain to narrowing valley. Today was a day of two such halves: well-surfaced roads and paths mostly on the flat to Wünschendorf, and then an abrupt change to forest paths and undulations. It’s good to gain height and to have a bigger view, even if it is sometimes exhausting.

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One thing I’d forgotten about in this part of Germany are the eyesore overground pipes. I’m not sure if they are water pipes or utility pipes, but these ones outside Gera led to/from a (former?) water-power station, and I liked the way they hoisted themselves up to allow access to the allotments beyond:

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Some Thüringen wildlife:

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Greiz, like Zeitz, is a shrunken town – and this despite  having two palaces. After dinner (in a bustling Greek restaurant on the second floor of an otherwise deserted shoppingg mall – weird!), I wandered around the centre and found some wonderful Jugendstil houses:

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Sometimes I think I can see why Angela Merkel thought it a good idea to invite Syrian refugee families to settle in towns like these – presumably she hoped that they would bring energy to start a new life and rejuvenate their new home towns. Goodness knows how it will work out in the long run, but it’s undeniable that Greiz and Zeitz need some kind of shot in the arm.

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