The Journey or the Goal?

People travelling I find generally seem to fit into one of two camps:

love the journey

love getting to the goal

(or occasionally staying in bed)

I always thought myself as a journey person but on reflection prior to Hamburg I feel I missed and forgot the pleasure of the ride.

From Hamburg to Berlin I decided to slow down, open my eyes and change my goal seeking perspective.  It is a beautiful ride for 300 kilometers along the Elbe river which runs the length of Germany from Cuxhaven on the North Sea  1400 Km to Prague.

For 3 days I was blessed with some great warm and clear weather combined with  autumnal colours of falling leaves. As I cycle through small woodland trails I enjoy listening to the crackle of fallen acorns, deadwood and conker shells under my tires. I am very happy with my decision making of fatter mountain bike type tyres to avoid punctures.

Ive never really been into bird watching but I can’t help but notice all the different types and particularly the big hunters swooping from high in the sky on unsuspecting prey. I’m curious as to how flocks of birds  turn en masse simultaneously. All of them. In perfect unison. The hypnotising effect watching them potentially conflicting with not falling off my bike.

Bird Watching

For a brief moment I find some short David Attenborough podcasts. A true legend talks for 9 minutes about how Swiflets of South East Asia make their nests in caves from ‘spittle’ and this what Birds nest soup is made from. Completely irrelevant to what I can see but the voice  only enhances the memory.

I realise a benefit of Autumn cycling from Dannahbur to Wittenburg. The abundance of  fresh apples, pears, berries and plums ripe off the trees have that distinctly tart flavour as I saunter along. I feel like a naughty school kid as I clamber over a wall to pick fallen fruit from a garden.

An ongoing theme  I notice as I ride is that I seem to have everything to myself, no traffic, very few people and just sheer natural beauty. I seem to constantly wonder where all the people are.  Some villages I will pass though and not see a single glimpse of life. The only sense being the massive old red brick buildings with wooden cross beams and engravings that although static carry a character that makes them almost alive.  Is overpopulation really a potential world problem?

I thought I had this whole place to myself…

It is all mine...

Until this group of burly bikers crept up behind me and demanded a photo…


In reality its a bit of both journeying and goal achieving as they both do a different job. Im not going to get anywhere with my head in my experiential cloud and Im not going to have anything to write about if Ive got the carrot and blinkers on.


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