German “Ancient Salt Road”, cycling tour this summer

The epidemic has severely affected the European tourism industry. Most Germans rationally gave up traveling abroad this summer and turned to pay attention to the humanities and natural scenery in the country. Germans love outdoor sports and advocate healthy and environmentally friendly travel, so they have a soft spot for “cycling”. There are mature and complete cycling tour routes planned in all parts of Germany. The “Ancient Salt Road” in the northern region is a very classic theme route. Let’s ride a bicycle and have a green trip (pictured).

Journey from Lüneburg, Yancheng

German trains are equipped with special bicycle carriages or bicycle parking places, so you can start from any city and take your own bicycle on the train to Lüneburg, the first stop of the “Ancient Salt Road” trip. The cycling tour starts from the Lüneburg railway station and crosses the bridge over the Ilmenau River to enter the old town. The first thing you see is the old crane house located on the river, which was used for lifting salt in the Middle Ages Wooden buildings and their mechanical equipment are still functioning normally today.

In an era when humans were not able to extract sea salt, mineral salt was the only source of table salt. Therefore, “salt” that is not worth mentioning today was extremely precious in the Middle Ages and was called “white gold.” If you want to learn more about the history of salt and the relationship between Lüneburg and salt, you can ride directly to the farther “German Salt Museum”. The museum was built on the site of the old Lüneburg Saltworks as an industrial cultural heritage. It was officially shut down in the 1980s. It is said that as early as a thousand years ago, people found salt grains in the hairs of wild boars hunted near Lüneburg. From this, salt mines were mined underground. It was salt that brought great wealth to the city and throughout the Middle Ages. Of prosperity. The most special part of the museum’s permanent exhibition is a workshop that restores the extraction of salt by boiling in the Middle Ages, and the staff dressed in costumes of the time and used lead crucibles to demonstrate the process of salt making.

The old town of Lüneburg is located on the entire salt layer, but with the uninterrupted salt mining for a long time, the foundation has subsided and subsided, and now some houses can even be seen leaning to the side under the action of natural forces. The wall structure showed slight bends and dislocations. If you are not in a hurry, you can slowly ride through the city and look for the strange phenomena that look like a “beer belly” on the outer wall of the house.

Follow the footsteps of medieval salt merchants

Leaving Lüneburg, the bike drove onto the “Ancient Salt Road” cycling path. The salt trade was closely related to power and wealth in the Middle Ages. From Lüneburg, Yancheng to the famous city of Lübeck on the Baltic Sea, it was one of the busiest trade routes at that time. The commonly used means of transportation in the Middle Ages was a horse-drawn carriage, which took more than 20 days to walk. The modern bicycle lane is 116 kilometers long. The road conditions are flat and relaxed. There are no motor vehicles. It is very suitable for novice riders and families with children. Cyclists for exercise purposes can complete the whole trip in three days, and tourists with sightseeing plans can arrange a five-day easy itinerary. Cycling along the boulevards and canal water system, passing through meadows and fields, you can see dense forests, rolling hills and lively small villages in the distance, and also pass Lauenburg, Mölln, Ratzeburg, etc. The small cities with their own characteristics have gained countless natural scenery and cultural customs along the way.

Careful people will find that the cycling section in the small town of Lauenburg is a well-preserved medieval road. The ground is paved with hard gravel, and it has been smooth for many centuries. In fact, the salt roads in the early years had only a few such artificially paved roads. Most of the time, salt merchants could only move slowly on the dusty dirt roads, and they had to worry about encountering robbers blocking the road and losing their money. In contrast, cyclists are now much happier. The road signs along the “Ancient Salt Road” are clear, with numerous rest points, barbecue areas, children’s playgrounds, and facilities for sheltering from rain and snow. The surrounding towns provide bicycle rental and Maintenance services, as well as comfortable restaurants and cafes serving meals, overnight can choose youth hostels, tent campsites and accommodations called “beds and bicycles” specially prepared for cyclists.

End Lübeck, the old town with stories

After more than 100 kilometers of hard and exciting riding, when you arrive at Lübeck, the end of the “Ancient Salt Road”, you might as well sit down and have a rest, taste the special marzipan marzipan, and listen to the story of this famous city. In the Middle Ages, salt mining, trade, and tariffs paid by merchants brought a steady stream of income to the towns along the “Ancient Salt Road”. In the 13th century, a commercial and political alliance between cities was formed-the famous “Han” Saskatchewan”. Lübeck became the capital of the Hanseatic League and the most important port city on the Baltic Sea at the time due to its superior geographical location. Salt transported from the inland would be temporarily stored in the “salt warehouse” on the banks of the Travi River. Today, these six rows of brick buildings with gables still stand firmly on the oblique side of Holsten Gate in the Old Town of Lübeck, witnessing a glorious history of “salt”.

After visiting the old town of Lübeck, which is a world cultural heritage, if you have enough physical strength, you can also get on your bike again and continue to ride to the small city of Travemunde, the mouth of the Travi River that passes through the city. The vast Baltic Sea didn’t really appear in front of you until this moment. Standing on the white sandy beach like snow, looking at the blue sky and sea, on the other side of the sea is the Nordic countries. In the past hundreds of years, the white-flowered salt eventually drifted across the ocean from here and was transported to the countries along the Baltic Sea, where it was used to pickle and preserve the herring caught, or to exchange fur from Scandinavia. . The “Ancient Salt Road” cycling journey is about to end here, and this ancient and beautiful white legend will remain in the memory with this magnificent ocean.