Gardelegen to Wolfsburg


Company town

After ten days in the Altmark, rush-hour Wolfsburg was a BIG culture shock. It’s the epitome of a company town: Volkswagen dominates everything. Whether it’s the enormous factory complex, the adventure playground for cars beside the waterway, the giant underpass thingy that is the science centre . . . VW is everywhere. And, after the unfashionable Altmark where I felt at home, Wolfsburgers looked so chic and cool and affluent (with certain exceptions). It’s all rather overwhelming, so I’m glad to have taken refuge in Fallersleben . . . although, even here, the menu choice is determined by the VW factory holidays.

imageThe journey from Gardelegen was fine but uninspiring. The last 20km were on a rideable but unsurfaced path beside the wide Mittellandkanal, which takes you right past the VW factory. I like continental waterways and seeing the enormous barges that travel up and down them, but cycling beside them for any length of time becomes soul-sappingly unvarying.

But it is rather satisfying to be working my way back to Hanover, even if I don’t make it all the way in time.


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