Monday, August 14, 2006


Trip dist: 119 kms. Trip time: 8 hrs, 7 min. Tot dist: 4,994 kms.

Die Sorben.

Today was a pretty ordinary ride along the flat lands of Niederlausitz (southern Brandenburg), smack right in the middle of Sorb country.

The Sorbs are a group of European "natives", who still live by their traditions, and are protected in Germany a bit like the indigenous peoples are protected in the U.S. or Mexico, getting their own self-government and schools and everything.

And, as is typical, they (or their culture) was used a bit for propagandistic purposes back in the GDR days, for they were representative of the farm-working, "volk" ideal.

How do I know this, since I didn't even see a single one of them in the fields I was riding through today? Because I did a report on them for German class back in school. ;P

Anyway, as I said, the ride was not particularly exciting. The houses did start to look a bit like the ones in Poland, though (I am indeed not too far from the border, probably 80 kms or less): 3 storied and with very sharp inverted "V" roofs. But mostly it was kind of cool knowing I was riding through a place of people I had up to then only read about before, especially because I knew "a priori", not "a posteriori" as it happened to me when I rode through Charlemagne's birthplace Herstal, so I could appreciate the significance of things a bit more.

What else? Everyone speaks to me in dialect. It was kind of funny (it is funny that they speak so to me, clearly a foreigner, considering I am not as blond or blue-eyed ["as blond", ha ha!] as they). A bit difficult to understand, though.

Then I arrived in Finsterwalde, which appears to be the barbershop singing quartet capital of Germany (except they do not call them barbershop quartets here, of course). That too was a bit funny.

Finsterwalde was rather quiet, though. And cloudy and rainy. Wouldn't be surprised if it rained tomorrow as well.

No comments: