We took our first rest day in Magdeburg. These rest days have been important so far, not so much because cycling is too exhausting, but because the cycling days really leave nearly no time for bicycle maintenance, photo sorting, trip planning and blog posting.
Our hosts in Magdeburg were passionate cyclists themselves and had once followed a route fairly similar to ours, but finally turned south into Pakistan and India instead of continuing through China. Unfortunately, they fell sick after we arrived (not sure if it was because of their recent trip or due to our cooking), so they couldn't share all their stories... But this finally gave us some time to sort through our photos. In the afternoon, we explored the city a bit with our friend Andrea, who came over from Helmstedt to meet us. In Magdeburg Cathedral, a kind lady who runs the guided tours gave us a free, separate tour of the building so that we would have enough time to translate everything for Hannah.
The following days were then mostly just cycling without much sightseeing, because the distances per day were a bit more than before and we had lots of headwind. With all our panniers and bags attached to our bicycles, headwind really makes it much harder. So unfortunately, we had to skip many interesting places along the way due to lack of time, since we didn't want to cycle or arrive at camp sites in the dark.
One notable exception to this was the Dessau-Wörlitz Garden Realm, where we did stop and explore for a little while. The realm is a huge park area created in the 18th century by Duke Leopold III of Dessau-Anhalt, filled with various structures inspired by the memories of his Grand Tour around Europe.
Our next rest day was in Dresden, which was quite busy again with photo sorting, trip planning and bicycle maintenance, so we didn't really get to explore the city. From there, the next day's ride took us across the Czech border, passing through the impressive rock formations of the Elbe Sandstone Mountains, which was a nice end to the German part of the trip.