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A few paddling pics – part II

There was, of course, not only paddling and looking at scenery and architecture. There was also hanging out to relax. And, importantly: There was coffee, and cake, and knitting.

Cake, coffee, and knitting socks in Torgau – not my knitting, mind you.

With 2019 being the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus, and the Most Patient Husband enjoying this style of architecture (I do, too, by the way), of course we had to plan enough time for our visit to Dessau. We did a little walk around the city and then went to visit the houses, which are partly turned into an info centre and partly into a museum, so you can get an impression of how they looked when they were in use originally:

Meisterhaus in Dessau

That was a very interesting part of the journey!

On the next day, we came back onto known territory: last year, we ran out of Saale before we’d run out of holiday time, so we continued down the Elbe to the outskirts of Magdeburg. This time around, though, we knew about the Pretziener Wehr before having paddled past it – and we took a little turn off the river into a flood canal to visit this very impressive weir.

We got stopped by the water levels, though – even for our canoe, it was too shallow for proper paddling. So we left our trusty Serenity and had a little walk.

Which was absolutely worth it. This weir was built in the early 1870s, and it is still in use, having been refurbished (somewhere between conserved and reconstructed) between 2003 and 2010.

Pretziener Tafelwehr

You can read more about the weir (in German only, unfortunately) on the Wikipedia page – and you can watch a video of it being opened during a flood in 2011 here.

Just like last year, we ended our trip in Magdeburg (though this time, we paddled to the other end of the city before stopping). We had a bit of a tour around, especially looking at the Otto von Guericke memorial spots:

Otto von Guericke and the Magdeburg hemispheres.

Since we were there, and it was on, we also visited a pottery market on the plaza in front of the cathedral. There may have been some buying of pottery (very restrained, though, knowing you have to carry it all home yourself makes restraint rather easy)

… and then our tour was over, and we cleaned and dried and folded and packed everything again.

Ready for the trip home… all packed up.

This time, we did a better job packing than the trips before (you learn as you go…) and getting through the train aisles was not a problem anymore. It’s still a lot of luggage to handle, and you still need luck to have enough free space to put it, but that we did have and our ride back home went smoothly enough.

It’s about 80 kg of stuff taken all together, by the way, with most of the weight being carried on the trolley thing – the boat, the paddles, the tent, and the kitchen equipment including some food. That makes the bulk of our stuff; the two backpacks are at about 15 kg each, and the stray blue IKEA bag contains our personal flotation devices plus some lighter-weight odds and ends, plus things that we need to have handy during the trip.

Our complete tour: a bit more than 330 km in 11.5 days of paddling.

It was a wonderful tour, and I loved being able to just pack up everything, hop onto the train and go home – no annoying fetching of a car from the start point of the trip. Which would have been another day, almost, as well: Going back by train all the way to Schmilka and then by car all the way to Magdeburg, and then home. It was definitely one of our better ideas to get a folding canoe!

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