After a mere two kilometers, we had our first stop at a place called Gorleben, an important landmark in the region´s struggle against nuclear waste deposition. One of our riders, who has been involved in the resistance against nuclear power for several decades, gave a short presentation on the history of how a local struggle developed into a nationwide, or even international, movement. The struggle against deposition of nuclear waste in the region is not just an example of the so-called NIMBY-syndrome: opposing the deposition of nuclear waste implies opposing nuclear power generation in general, for German legislation requires a designated deposition area prior to the production of the waste. More than about mere self-interest, the resistance is supposed to be about worldwide solidarity and concern for posterity.
We continued on our way, leaving behind Lower Saxony on a ferry crossing the river Elbe at Schnackenburg, the smallest town of Lower Saxony. We followed the water, switching from the river Elbe to the river Havel. They continued to provide us refreshing lunch stops. Having not packed any lunch that day, we arranged a Tortilla buffet with beans, vegetables and spreads. Having to face strong winds along the rivers, this was much needed energy. The scenery did not hold back parading its lush and vast beauty in front of us. Sheep were running alongside the bikepath encouraging us to press forward against the wind to not give up.
The strong smell of rapeseed fields and lavender accompanied us like a waymark, also assuring us, that we are heading in the right direction. The rewarding goal of that day’s ride was a warm welcome by Winfried and Helga in their big self-built house situated in the small idyllic village of Berge. We not only had comfortable beds for the night but also a wonderful dinner on their porch provided by them. It was an evening filled with great conversations, where we learned more about their long commitment against black coal and the protection of the environment. A few beers got everybody into a mellow mood as we watched a gorgeous sunset.