To Rahlstedt and back by bicycle

One day in Hamburg I went to visit someone in a district called Rahlstedt, which is at the far eastern end of the city.

ADFC cycling map of Hamburg

With the help of my ADFC cycling map I found my way there through the districts of St. Georg, Eilbek, Marienthal and Jenfeld. In Marienthal my route went through a pleasant patch of woods called the Wandsbeker Gehölz (photo above), with lots of paths for walking, cycling and jogging.

The ADFC, I should explain, is the General German Bicycle Club, which promotes the use of bicycles as a means of daily transportation. I am of course a member of the ADFC, but in Frankfurt, not Hamburg.

The ADFC should not be confused with the ADAC, the General German Automobile Club, a scandal-ridden organization which promotes excessive car use at the expense of public health and safety.

Wandse creek

For my return to the center of Hamburg, my friend in Rahlsted showed me on the map how to get to the Wandse creek, where there are cycling and walking paths leading downstream all the way to the Außenalster, near the center of Hamburg.

Wandse creek and mill ponds

A sign along the way said that the Wandse, which today is only a small creek, provided water power starting in the 14th century to run up to eight mills. Today the mills are gone but some of the mill ponds still exist.

Cycling by the Wandse

In the nineteenth century the lower part of the Wandse creek, starting at Maxstraße, was turned into a canal called the Eilbek Canal. It then widens into a pond called the Kuhmühlenteich (literally: Cow Mill Pond) and after that it becomes the Mundsburger Canal for the last 600 meters until it flows into the Außenalster.

Houseboats on the Mundsburger Canal

My photos in this post are from 2011. The text was last revised in 2017.

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