In some cases jetlag is a wonderful thing. I was wide awake at 5am and what better way to make use of an early start than to get out on the bike to (re)discover my old home town. Balmy 23C inside my parent’s apartment made me wonder whether to choose sommer or winter clothes for my ride. But when I stepped outside the building I was glad I wore my full finger gloves and winter jacket.
Dad had mentioned something about the Rusty Nail and the Radwanderweg around the newly created lakes. Senftenberg is surrounded by former open coal mines, which were useless waste land a few years ago and are now slowly transformed into a beautiful recreational landscape of lakes, bike pathes, canals, hotels and campgrounds. After the wall came down and Germany reunited, the coal mining industry went bust and there is hope that tourism will create jobs and new prosperity for the region.
And they are doing a great job. The lakes are still in the process of being filled but the infrastructure is already there.
A quick detour via the town centre and then I headed out of town the direction my dad had pointed me. The Rusty Nail turned out to be an observation tower of unique and stunning design, something the locals apparently don’t quite appreciate. Hence the name…
The sunrise was just as scenic and once the village churches were dipped in orange hues. The fog slowly lifted off the fields and I felt content and entirely at home.
I had promised my parents to be back by eight and bring fresh bread rolls. Five to eight and there was already hustle and bustle at the local market. I was tempted to stop and check it out but the smell of coffee hang in the air and with 33 leisurely kilometers in my legs I was not quite ready but ok to make my way home down familiar street for breakfast.