I forgot to mention that there were none of the usual Radweg signposts yesterday, so navigation required concentration. (The Bikeline book has a detailed written description of the route in addition to its excellent maps, but it describes it in the opposite direction to the one we are travelling in.) However signs appeared by early afternoon . . . which created a different problem, as the signs did not always tally with the map.
One further gripe: the day ended with 7 kilometres along the most brutal concrete surface I have ever encountered: too bad to ride on and too far to walk. It led from Salzwedel to the old border, so I assume it was “built” for military vehicles . . . and not touring cyclists with a dodgy sense of balance.
But no matter. Here I am in Salzwedel again. It presents the same mixture of a handsome, once-prosperous town and open-air drinkers. I took more photos of the Jugendstil villas and stores on my evening walk; I noticed once again how the architects maintained some very traditional elements while embracing entry-level bits of the “new”.