Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Lüneburger Heide

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Aside from Hildesheim, which had already fallen by the wayside, our second goal in visiting this area of Germany was to see Lüneburg and the Lüneburger Heide. Well, we made it to one of them! We set the GPS to take us from Celle to Undeloh, a town in the Heide where we were assured we'd be able to find a bike rental.

We wandered there through a lot of pretty, flat land. We drove through Bergen on the way. It was tiny. (For those who know it, it kind of reminded me of driving through Lake City.) I wonder if they will ever be associated with anything again other than Bergen-Belsen. There were potatoes for sale everywhere...and more trees and crosses at the roadsides.

For lunch, we were in a hurry and ended up at a really horrible Burger King off the Autobahn. There were only two places to eat - there, or a sit-down trucker restaurant, and we thought BK would be faster, but it probably wasn't. Apparently the area has a huge demand for fast food on Saturdays, because the line was enormous - and slow. I had the unfortunate experience of working at BK in the past and they worked differently and more slowly at this one. The bathrooms were pretty nice, though. :)

When we arrived in Undeloh, we stopped at a tourist info office to find out where to rent a bike. The woman operating the place was watering the flowers outside when we arrived, and did not see fit to stop watering them just to help us. It was too funny. She just saw no reason to help until she had finished with all the flowers, returned to the office, and adjusted the blinds - she wasn't trying to be a jerk. We got our bikes at a place called Smes Hof for 5 EUR each and rode off down the path toward Wilsede, some town out in the Heide which is said to have stayed in the past. No cars go out there. We thought we might stop there and ride around a few other places too. If you don't want to bike or walk, you can also ride in a horse-drawn cart out there. Undeloh had tons of places offering rides.

Undeloh & Wilsede Aug 09

The rental bikes weren't so hot and the path was either cobblestone or dirt/gravel/dust the whole way, and we had to dodge zillions of pedestrians on the same path, so biking actually turned out to be less pleasant than expected! I never got a cheap bike rental before and the bike paths around HD are usually paved, so I was totally naive about it. The scenery was gorgeous, though - not as purple as what we'd seen near Hermannsburg, but completely idyllic. We made it to Wilsede, which was composed of a few restaurants and barns and a museum. We had a drink and just headed back to Undeloh. On the way there a car came down the road. No cars, eh??

By the time we were done, we decided that we couldn't make it to Lüneburg. It wasn't that far away, but considering how much time driving around to the Altstadt and getting parked had taken in Celle, we thought it wouldn't work out. So we plugged our next destination into the GPS and headed north...

4 comments:

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  2. Undeloh?!? You *were* on my doorstep! If you had biked north instead of south to Wilsede, you would have ended up at my house. On this Google map of Undeloh, our town Lüllau is at the top edge. (We tell people we live in Jesteburg since that's the postal address.)

    If you had asked, though, we would have warned against going to Undeloh, especially on a weekend in August. The place is a tourist trap. You didn't mention the busloads of senior citizens, but I assume they were there.

    We don't often bike through the park, since the paths are sandy and it's very tough going. :-)

    So if you headed north from Undeloh to someplace closer than Lüneburg, you probably ended up someplace else in my neighborhood...

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  3. Scott, hey cool, I didn't know we were quite so close! You live in a nice area! We actually didn't originally plan to go to Undeloh, we just wanted to go to the Heide somewhere and didn't make a plan in advance. We went to Undeloh because people at our hotel the previous night said we could definitely get a bike rental there. It was touristy for sure and there wasn't much interesting about it, which is why I didn't say much! But the scenery was quite nice when we could take our eyes off the tourist-packed trail long enough to look at it. :)

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  4. It's kind of impressive how many things remind me of driving through Lake City.

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