Tandem Tour 2013 – Dessau to Magdeburg

Route Dessau nach MagdeburgThis is a very quiet stretch of river in every sense. From Dessau we took a bit of a short cut to Aken where we crossed the Elbe on one of the ubiquitous ferries. The larger villages and towns are on the opposite side such as Schönebeck. But it is very green and peaceful. There is also a campsite at Plötsky, an option we wanted to keep open. It also promises a quieter approach to Magdeburg through the Stadtpark Rotehorn.

We arrived in Magdeburg again quite late and in the dark. Finding a hotel was not so easy, though we headed towards the railway station and came across the Roncalli Haus with vacancies. Roncalli became Pope Johannes XXIII. The Haus is a hotel, conference/seminar/meeting space, restaurant, etc. My misgivings about the religious affiliation dissolved quite quickly. The people were friendly – they actually put themselves out to help us on more than one occasion during our short stay. The adjacent café served up some good vegetarian fayre. They cook to order; suffice to say, this is not a place to get through in a hurry.

Magdeburg itself seems to have come of age. The cathedral tells a different Lutheran story to that found in Wittenburg. Clearly Luther was not universally loved; indeed, the panels in the cathedral go out of their way to highlight some of his less-endearing characteristics.

DSCF0291More secular is die Grüne Zitadelle (right), the final building by Austrian architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser (http://www.gruene-zitadelle.de/englisch/). Inside one finds over 100 dwellings, visitor accommodation, workspaces, shops and a theatre. Hundertwasser never saw it built, but his rejection of symmetry and straight lines is clear from the outside. Though we did not venture inside, there is plenty more unsymmetry if the photographs displayed in the foyer are anything to go by.

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