Taking a “Siebenrad” dinghy-bike along the Saxon river Mulde. Hiking the so-called “Heath-Beaver-Tour”. Those who still believe that the Germans are merely “stiff & serious” are proven wrong here. In the Leipziger Land, in any case, they are quite creative! “Actually, we were just tinkering,” Christine Bretschneider laughs in explaining the so-called “Siebenrad” bike. This oversized vehicle has four tires, seven seats, a large beverage roulette – and has been registered as both “car” and bicycle! Thus, we can travel on almost all paths between the villages Grimma & Podelwitz in the Saxon Burgenland. Magnificent. Riding through the beautiful nature and along the river Mulde, my travel companions Kathleen, Kathi, Daniela & Lisa already laugh a lot during the introduction to this peculiar bike. We do look very funny after all – and promptly harvest amused (or pitying?!) looks of the local people around us.
#Deutschlandaktiv: Top Travel Tips for visiting the Leizpiger Land.
The Saxon Burgenland, however, has much more to offer than just five cheerful girls whizzing past on their “Siebenrad” bike! Another cool activity is making your way back from Podelwitz to Grimma on a rubber dinghy, which takes about three hours for the 15 to 20 kilometres ride. In the morning, we have all but trained our leg muscles, whereas now we give everything to make those arms work, too: Especially young Lisa is really satisfied with our fitness level that day. Paddling the boat is an invigorating exercise for the entire upper body – that is, if you do it right and not just choose to drift whenever you can. 😉 It does become a full body workout, though, once you choose to land the boat for a photo session on an island in the river. Or when you get stuck in the middle of the river and Kathi, while trying to free us, takes an involuntary bath … Laughing, kicking, slumping, lurching, paddling but with a stoic sense of perseverance, we master this boat tour along the river Mulde in the Saxon Burgenland.!
“Eckbert, go get the wine will you? After our wonderful hike along the Beaver Tour, I take you must be really thirsty?!”
Oh, Karin! It is as if you could read my thoughts (that often revolve around a good glass of wine, yes!). Of course, we have to have a glass of wine, toasting to this new friendship of ours. That is really what I love about travelling: Each day offers you the chance to get to know great people with unique stories who, at best, turn into new friends and enrich your life in the process. Karin has truly fulfilled this potential. On this beautiful summer day in the Saxon heathland, she is our hiking guide for the day along the “Heathen Beaver Tour“, welcoming us at the open air museum of Bad Düben.
The “Heathen Beaver Tour“, on which we are travelling for the comfortable distance of around six kilometers (after my recent pilgrimage in Lower Austria’s Mostviertel district, nothing of that sort or distance scares me any more!), has been certified for the third time in a row. The signs and condition of the trail are really excellent and worthy of this quality award. The tour, as the name suggests, is dedicated to the gently rolling landscape of the Saxon heathen country as well as the beavers living here. Instead of the nocturnal rodents, all we get to see this morning are a few goats, chickens, dogs and lovely Asta. Asta is the oldest and most beautiful Haflinger horse that I have ever seen! She belongs to Eckbert, Karin’s husband. Both of them are eagerly waiting for us at the local Tornau Chainsaw Sculpture Park, where Eckbert has prepared a picnic for all of us. Again, magnificent. Having just arrived in Leipzig & the city’s beautiful surroundings, I find myself sitting in the midst of a creative wooden sculpture park, with the most charming couple from the region, Karin & Eckhart (and their horse Asta!), indulging in beautiful regional delicacies. Life is good.
“Go get the wine, will you Eckbert?! Elena here, she loves Portugal as much as we do, and I’ve still got the Vinho Verde in the fridge. Sure we need to have a toast! And when we drive back to Bad Düben with the coach, let me tell you everything about the locals in the Saxon heathland. This lady living over there has a girlfriend, now that is quite something don’t you think … and this chap here, he travels along this road every day with his bike, rain or shine!” Good old Karin really knows how to tell a story (or two)! We relax during the coach ride, smiling, watching Asta’s mane wave in the wind. A day to remember !!
Disclaimer: Thank you GNTB German National Tourist Board & Leipzig Tourism Board for inviting me on this trip to discover the Leipzig Lake District. All opinions are my own.