For me, Eastern Europe still begins in East Germany. In this respect, I have reached the border to Eastern Europe today in overcoming Lower Saxony to Saxony-Anhalt. The mentality is there just different. I do not mean this in a bad sense. But for a Württembergian like me it is normal to have more to do with the Swiss as with East Germans. That was for me like that as I was a child and has changed a little bit today.
Eastern Europe, including East Germany is often forgotten by us Westerners – for example, when it comes to holiday planning. I think you should focus on it more. For Eastern Europe is not part of the EU as a matter of course.
The boundaries of the Cold War might still exist a bit. In Poland – as I know from my family history – there was some mixing between Poles and Germans in some villages before World War II. Also in Lithuania it was like that. At these multicultural traditions you must take up and not on the hidden superpower thoughts of german “Landsmannschaften”. That’s what I mean when I say that you can view Prussia as well from a leftist perspective, which is usually not done.
The cycling is becoming easier. A stretch of 90 kilometers, I see now as quiet short while 130km are though long, but also feasible. I therefore dwadle a bit. Should I just cycling, it would be almost boring. That’s why I like to chat away sometimes. So done in Ibbenbueren, Minden and Braunschweig. Oh, in Deventer and Rockanje (Netherlands) I was starting too late, as I was awake until late into the night.
Minden – Braunschweig 132km
Braunschweig – Magdeburg 89km