Bike tour from Bad Saarow around Scharmützelsee and then to Erkner

Yesterday I was woken up at 11 am (after only 4 hours sleep after my Saturday night out) by my friend Georg, who said he for some reason had a free double room for two nights at a spa in Bad Saarow. Now I’m not the spa type, but it sounded fun, so one and a half hour later he came by and we biked to the train station, me veeery tired. And another hour later we arrived at a luxury hotel and spa. There are lots of spas in Bad Saarow, situated on the northern and western shore of the lake Scharmützelsee.

The station house in Bad Saarow.

The view from our room: Lake Scharmützelsee.

We took a guided tour through the 3,500 square meter spa, but I didn’t see the point with swimming in a pool when there’s a lake just outside your door and it’s in the middle of the summer. A massage would have been nice though, but we never came to that. The first evening, we tried out the sauna department after dinner. It included a hot and a cold pool and three different saunas. But guess what, they were all too cold for a Swede like me. The dry sauna was for some reason supposed to be only 65 degrees centigrade. So I got out and tried the stone sauna, which was a bit hotter, and then finally settled for the steam sauna. Where I almost froze, despite it was the hottest one of them.

As I sat there, all alone, I looked at the stars in the ceiling and the dark blue mosaic tiles on the walls and realized that the sauna was hexagonal in form. That made me think of an octagonal Turkish bath, which was probably the point. But for me it just highlighted how far away I was from a real Turkish bath. Take Kiraly Fürdö in Budapest for example. The stars in the ceilings there are real holes that let in the sunlight. The water is hotter and the saunas almost unbearably hot. The contrast! I suddenly felt like I was at Disneyland, enjoying the family version of a Turkish bath. As to confirm this, the wall behind me gave way just a little when I despondently leant back my head against it – it must have been a plasterboard.

I must emphasize though, that this description doesn’t say much at all about the spa. It’s rather a description of the way I see things, which in turn has a lot to do with my mood. No one else would think plasterboard and I’m sure my spa type friends would have loved the spa, not to mention all the oils and lotions you could buy.

Yesterday (Monday) I did some biking, after a good night’s sleep at the hotel. It’s the lower line going around the lake and then up left:

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Monday morning. I got up at 7 and had the most delicious hotel breakfast of my life – it was even better than the one at Corinthia Grand Hotel Royal in Budapest. There were seven – seven! – kind of sprouts.

Then I biked around the lake and stopped at two beaches to take a bath – in the nude both times since I was all alone. The first beach was a private one, belonging to one of the biggest spas – the only one bigger than ours, I think. I ended up there through the woods, and on my way back to the road I realized that the whole area was blocked by at least a dozen turnpikes, each with its own surveillance camera. Gardeners were watering the plants along those roads. I didn’t like it – I got the feeling I was in Thailand, where the contrast between “hotel nature” and ordinary nature, between rich and poor, is huge.

And what about private beaches – is it even allowed in Germany? Do they have a price? In Sweden, the “beach law” prohibits land owners to build anything within 150 meters from the shore line. Also, that stretch must not be blocked, but open to everyone. There are exceptions of course, but the basic rule is that all beaches must be accessible to everyone, since, I guess, you can’t just produce a new one once they’re sold out.

I wasn’t supposed to be here, but I was anyway.

So picturesque you can die!

I had the pier (is that what it’s called?) in Diensdorf-Radlow all to myself.

Monday afternoon. After some time in the hotel room, I took Georg with me to the beach in Diensdorf-Radlow. It wasn’t empty anymore, but soon people left and I could do some FKK again.

He only smiles when I tell him not to.

Monday evening. For some private reasons I decided to go home the same day. I had planned to bike back to Berlin, but it was getting late and I decided to only bike to Erkner and take the train from there, not the least since I had already “paved” the rest of the way from there since it’s the same way that goes to Müggelsee.

It was so hard to get out of Bad Saarow – i biked the wrong way several times. But I eventually found my way. The road to Kolpin was lovely, but so small I couldn’t draw the line there on the map. Small yet paved – the way I love it. (That’s not the road pictured below though.)

At Erkner, I had maximum luck in catching a RE train back to Berlin; the time between me reaching the platform and entering the train was about 7 seconds – just enough to validate my tickets (one for me and one for the bike).

Love these smaller roads with little traffic and no bike paths.

Sunset in Fangschleuse.

And here are the stats – first time I break 50 kph on this bike:

1. Morning ride around lake Scharmützelsee:

  • Total time: 8:55 – 12:25 = 3,5 hours
  • Biking time: 1 hour, 16 minutes
  • Distance: 29,6 km
  • Average speed: 23,2 kph
  • Max speed: 49,6 kph

2. Afternoon ride to the beach with Georg:

  • Total time: 15:00 – 17:30 = 2,5 hours
  • Biking time: 1 hour, 6 minutes
  • Distance: 18,9 km
  • Average speed: 17,2 kph
  • Max speed: 50,6 kph

3. Evening ride from Bad Saarow to Erkner (Berlin):

  • Total time: 19:00 – 21:00 = 2 hours
  • Biking time: 1 hour, 41 minutes
  • Distance: 42,0 km
  • Average speed: 24,8 kph
  • Max speed: 41,6 kph

Making a total distance of 90,5 km (56,2 miles) in one day. The energy never dies …

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