A weekend on the Baltic Sea Coast Cycle Route: Three-day father-son tour from Lübeck to Rostock.
Malte looks at his watch. "It's just before 1 p.m. now. Do you think we'll make the 50 kilometers to Boltenhagen today?" he asks his father. He laughs happily: "Of course, by 4 p.m. at the latest, I want to be there looking out at the sea, completely relaxed." So the two nod resolutely to each other, and off they go. Malte and his father Robert have taken the train to Lübeck to cycle from there in three days along the Baltic Sea Coast Cycle Route to Rostock to drive. The two of them are a well-coordinated team. So it goes. They pedal silently.
How to get to Lübeck by train: Plan arrival.
Once a year, Robert and his adult son meet for such a time-out together. For example, they have already cycled in the Eifel and hiked through Saxon Switzerland. Now they're looking forward to Mecklenburg-Vorpommern's coastal forests, seaside resorts, wind and sea and salty air, a stop or two at the beach and, of course, fish sandwiches straight from the hand. In the late afternoon - that is, with a very slight delay - the cyclists actually stand on the 290-meter-long pier, the landmark of Boltenhagen. Somewhat exhausted, but satisfied, the men enjoy the view, breathe in the fresh Baltic Sea air, and think about which restaurant they'll go to for dinner. Once again, it went fast here: Everyday life has suddenly become a distant memory. Instead, there's finally time for some good father-son chats ...
The Baltic Coast Cycle Route is a total of 1,140 kilometers long, 695 kilometers of which run between Lübeck and the Usedom island through Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Most of the time, the well-signposted long-distance cycle route runs directly along the Baltic Sea, but every now and then there are charming detours into the green, picturesque hinterland. If you cycle the entire route, you'll need one to two weeks, depending on your pace - and you can enjoy "experiencing" the maritime beauties of the state.
Particularly worth seeing on the way are the UNESCO World Heritage Cities Wismar and Stralsund, the dreamy fishing villages on the peninsula Fischland-Darß-Zingst, the Chalk cliffs on Rügen as well as the seaside resort architecture in Zinnowitz and the Kaiserbäder. But there are also many "little things" that make the trip an unforgettable experience: the often intense light at the sea, the dunes, fine sandy beaches, nice cafés along the way, small towns and Bodden harbors with fish restaurants invite you to take a break - and sometimes make continuing the journey a difficult task. Because all too often, the places along the water simply tempt you to do nothing and want to stay. By the way, the Baltic Coast Cycle Route runs mainly on quiet country roads, on asphalted or water-bound cycle paths and easily passable forest and field paths.
Some impressions of beautiful stations on the Baltic Sea Coastal Cycle Route can be found here in the picture gallery:
The next morning Robert and Malte continue to the next destination of the day: the UNESCO World Heritage City of Wismar. On the way, the two make a brief stop at Bothmer Castle, the largest preserved baroque complex in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, with its famous festoon avenue of ancient linden trees. It's tempting to spend the warm late summer day in the park, but it's still a long way to the island of Poel. So on we go. In the afternoon, the father-son duo reaches the Hanseatic City of Wismar.
How about a better overview there for a moment? From St. George's Church, Malte and Robert have a great view over the old town and the entire surrounding area. Many buildings in the city have gone down in architectural history as "North German Brick Gothic". During the Hanseatic period, the wealthy burghers created graceful gabled houses and sacred masterpieces out of brick: the main churches of Wismar. On their way to the Old Port, Robert and Malte pass the Brauhaus am Lohberg. "Do you know the Roter Erik?" asks Malte abruptly. Robert shakes his head. So with a meaningful smile, Malte pushes his father to one of the free tables. "A beer they only brew here. Says Google, anyway. Are you thirsty?" Shortly thereafter, the two sit in front of a freshly tapped "Roter Erik" and a "Wismarer Mumme." Even though it's hard, they call it a day after one beer. The men want to arrive on Mecklenburg's largest island before dark.
We made it! In the evening, Robert and Malte drive over the Poeler Damm to Timmendorf. The salt grass meadows, which thousands of seabirds use as breeding and resting grounds in spring and fall, are already quiet. "It's a shame that tomorrow is our last day," says Malte as he bites into his second fish sandwich at the Timmendorf lighthouse. What's more, it's time to make a real run for it. It's just under 100 kilometers from the island of Poel to Graal-Müritz. The special thing about it: The Baltic seaside resort is located in a coastal forest that stretches all the way to the Baltic Sea and is home to many windbreakers - trees whose crowns have been combed by the storm in the direction of the wind. Famous writers such as Franz Kafka and Erich Kästner have spent their summers here from time to time in the spa with its very special mixture of forest and sea air. Satisfied, father and son sit on the beach in the evening and review their impressions. "Sure, longer would be nice," says the father, "but we've also had everything: the sea, beautiful stretches through salt marshes and forests, culture, fresh fish, good beer ... what more could we want?" "Come again," Malte says with a laugh and toasts his father. After all, there's still the stage from Graal-Müritz to Usedom.
Cover photo: The Baltic Sea Coast Cycle Route runs directly along the water for long stretches © TMV/Süß
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