Elbe paddle (day 10): Magdeburg – Niegripp

Today: 20km | Total: 392km

The evening in Magdeburg turned into an all nighter. After my Vietnamese dinner i waited in an Irish pub for the supposed arrival of Laura by train from Berlin just after midnight. Sadly, due to delayed connections this was not meant to happen. So we both ended up waiting for the first morning train – she in Berlin, I in Magde.


By 6am the wait was over. The initial plan though of taking a rest day in Magdeburg (eg in the tent) was not really an option. The sun was just too hot and with 36 degree forecast for the day we decided to relocate to a shadier place by the river.

We found one not to too far down the Elbe – Laura doing quite well on the paddling with her rocketontour baseball cap (how cool is that). A mix of cooling down in the river and catching up with sleep ensued. But we were a little short of water and decided to paddle on mid afternoon.

Sadly, no shop was open (sorry, exists) in the pretty village of Hohenwarthe with its romantic church and well looked after houses. However, we got free water from a nice older couple. Nice gesture indeed. No far off is the Waldschaenke with its beer garden. Nice for a drink, but pricey and with staff that wasn’t trying very hard to be friendly. Laura enjoyed her Würzfleisch though (€13,50!?).

We wanted to get some shopping done and headed 6km further to Niegripp… Only to find all shops and restaurants closed (as in so many villages before). Even the clubhouse of the local soccer team couldn’t help us. However, we got water from the graveyard to get by until the next village.

Dinner, wash, sleep – and well we slept. Tomorrow off Tangermünde. Weather permitting.

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. 🥢 🍜 😋