Elbe paddle (day 9): Barby – Schönebeck – Magdeburg

Today: 38km | Total: 372km

Half of the journey is in the bag after today. It is also the end of my solo effort as Laura will be paddling with me from tomorrow (assuming transport works 🤔). My main focus that has emerged more and more is how to get through Hamburg harbour. The people i spoke to all question if it would be reasonable to do in an open canoe. Much to think about over the coming week. Is there a way around?


Otherwise, it was a very hot yet short day as i am waiting for my 2nd paddle here in Magdeburg and covered a longer than planned stretch yesterday. Good progress in the morning, a look around Schönebeck (also dead quiet) & shopping (drinks + crushed ice) and a long rest in the shade to evade the afternoon heat.

I am staying at the grounds of SC Magdeburg with loads of professional paddlers (though mainly on training camp in Brandenburg right now). They paddled from the Czech border to Hamburg over two summers (2017/18), but did not paddle through Hamburg harbour. I have the place to myself basically. Sorted all gear and had a shower first time since Wittenberg (meanwhile Elbe shower that seems to add to my tan 🚿😒).

I have only been to Magdeburg once for the house-warming party of my sister. She studied here. Naturally, little sightseeing. Didn’t know they have such a huge dome here though i had heard about the Hundertwasserhaus. Cool. Generally, the first city in a while with people about including loads of immigrants.

Tomorrow 36 degrees are expected. OMG! Better just do swimming in the river. But i hope with amorcita on board the pace will pick up and we make good progress towards Tangermünde (though too far for one day).

So, now back to my Vietnamese dinner. Change in diet for tonight. 🥢 🍜 😋

Elbe paddle (day 8): Coswig (Anhalt) – Dessau – Barby

Today: 53km | Total: 334km

What a stormy night. Seems like it rained all night and the wind bent the tent properly. I woke up a few times. Going to toilet from your sleeping bag into the nightly rain is not the nicest thing, but heh. At least I had a pretty early start in the morning and got onto paddling 8.15am and managed to break through the 300km mark.


I made mileage quickly, enjoyed many animals on the way including a herd of donkeys and another beaver (sadly he escaped my camera… Yet again) and even comorans.

By lunchtime i reached Dessau. Sadly no Klaus-in-town. On weekend holidays. Such is life. Last time we met in berlin (Berlin: A concert, a wall & an old friend). I had a look around anyway. The city was a lot bigger than i expected. Partly because i parked my boat in the yacht club… A good walk from the center. I saw the Bauhaus building (🤔), but liked most the town hall. The city was empty though. Hardly any places opened (Sunday as well). But overall, not bad. I enjoyed lunch and a beer before making my way back to the boat. Also saw one of the old east german mopeds that i used to ride.

By 2pm i was back on  the river. After 22km in the morning, it was another 31km in less than 5h. It was beautiful and included a stop for laundry and a swim. Music dictated the pace. Böhse Onkelz, Romeo Santos and Irish music. Loved it.

At Barby campsite i saw the Dresden paddler couple again. Not a lot of love to be frank. Instead i met Stefan and his son. Stefan works at commerzbank and knows quite a few people there that i know as well as an old commerzbanker. Great chat. Small world.