Today’s ride started alongside arable fields. I’ve noticed enormous open-sided sheds full of cows for the past few days but there is no pasture for them. All fields are full of crops, so presumably the cows spend all their lives in stalls. Not a pleasant thought as I pour milk in my coffee.
A change in vernacular architecture is quite interesting. Fieldstone churches have given way to half-timbered churches today: obviously there’s no shortage of wood around here, but there is of stone. Fieldstone with brick trim, however, is used for village buildings.
Happily the fields soon turned into a small wooded valley – the Schlaubetal. Then more woods and even, briefly, heath – but not before I had spotted a crane. Although it’s very quiet around here (no coffee stop at all during the ride!), these small lakes have obviously been a favourite destination for holidays for decades. There are signs to Feriensiedlungen and, yesterday, there were streets called Wochenendsiedlung beside the Schwielochsee. Indeed, so quiet and bucolic was it that it was a bit of a shock, on the approach to Peitz, to see a Braunkohlekraftwerk on the other side of the lake.
Peitz is very interesting. It’s another dual-language place – German and Lower Sorbian (is there an Upper Sorbian?) – with an enormous network of ponds/lakes originally built for defensive purposes but now the source of freshwater fish (hence the varied fish menu this evening). It was also the site of Prussian ironworks (now a museum with guesthouse attached).
So you have a former ironworks beside great-crested grebes . . . and other birds: