|Sheep on the dyke|
The next day was a Saturday and I followed the dyke for a while, accompanied by avocets, godwits, redshanks and greenshanks, swifts and swallows and starlings.
|Cow on the dyke|
|Ship entering the Kiel canal|
|The mouth of the Elbe|
There were long queues of cars on a sunny Sunday morning, but I glided past them, as did numerous motorcycles, provoking an Englishman almost to apoplexy. He clearly regarded bikers as his mortal enemies, as he made clear to his wife, and it did seem a little unfair to all those waiting motorists. There were lines of waiting cars on the other side too, and I was glad to cycle off into a changed landscape of fields and orchards and then, eventually, back to the coast.
A walker stopped to chat and told me that the old lighthouse was open to the public that day so I detoured a little and climbed to the top where I gazed out over the vast panorama of the Elbe estuary and the busy shipping lanes beyond.
|The old lighthouse...|
|...and the new one.|
Cuxhaven was a nice old town with a busy centre and a very busy industrial area. Cars are exported from here, and thousands glittered under the hot sun. Fish arrive here too, and there was a long row of fish restaurants housed in industrial units as I cycled into town. At lunchtime I met a German couple, Ria and Oliver, who had just reached the end of their bike ride around the world. They'd been travelling for two years and were winding down with a detour through northern Germany before heading back to life in Berlin. They recommended a visit to the Klimahaus in Bremerhaven, and I made plans to go there the following day.
|Ria and Oliver|
Later that afternoon I made a detour through the small town of Dorum, mainly because I saw signs to a dyke museum. I found it, half-hidden behind a school, and it was terrific, although the young man who was in charge was very anxious for me because all the information was in German. There were tools and maps and models though, which gave a great impression of how the dyke was built, and of the process of reclaiming the land. The young man also told me where the post office was (in the supermarket, of course), and then I cycled on to camp on a vast site just north of the container port at Bremerhaven.
|Map in the dyke museum|
|Tent, bike and container port|
Ria and Oliver Kreuzahler's website is www.drehmomente.com.de