Salzwedel to Schnackenburg

I heard cranes again today and finally saw a pair in flight near the River Elbe. Given their size, it’s still surprising to me how easily they can fly; compared to swans (so ungainly as they take off), cranes are like daddy-long-legs.I also saw some deer; I had a good look as they didn’t spot us for some time.

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Stresow

There was an interesting information board at Stresow (a name with no village attached: it was destroyed to make way for the wall) showing how much land the DDR took to secure its borders. From Schnackenburg, you would have looked across the Elbe at barbed wire and watchtowers.

I guess Schnackenburg (which is very pretty BTW) is an example of how west German towns that abutted the border remained pickled in aspic. It was a customs point for river traffic pre-1989, and now it seems to be kept alive by cycle tourists: we all stay in the same pension, eat in the same café and take in the same sights on our after-dinner walks.

It’s good to be beside the Elbe again. It’s full of birdsong and beautiful light on water (at least as long as the fine weather holds). Tomorrow’s ride is downstream with – I hope – a tailwind at last.

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The Elbe at Schnackenburg 

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About aides mémoires

This is a chronological list of things I have seen, places I have visited, and thoughts that have wandered through the space between my ears. A reading group of one; an art appreciation society limited by my preferences and prejudices; opera criticism by one who knows nothing about the subject.
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