Mauerfall 2014

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, the city has created a “light border” where the wall used to go, at least for a small (but still pretty long) 15 km stretch of it. The light border is made up of 8,000 glowing balloons, which will be released on the evening of the 9th November, which was the date of the Mauerfall.

Today I took a walk with some friends along a short part of the light border, starting at the light installation’s start at Bornholmer Straße. It was a wonderful autumn day. I lost my friends somewhere in Mauerpark, but hadn’t planned to walk the whole 15 km anyway (which they had), so I went home at Brunnenstraße, where the outdoor wall museum starts.

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The famous Bösebrücke on Bornholmer Straße, where the border guards first started to let people cross the border from east to west on the evening of 9th November 1989. The billboard advertising a musical about these events couldn’t have got a better placement.
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On Bösebrücke just outside S-Bornholmer Straße. This is the first of the balloons.

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Every here and there: Big screens showing footage from the GDR times and from the fall of the wall.

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Schwedter Steg – a pedestrian bridge which was built where the wall used to go.

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Mauerpark, a park which was built on the “Todesstreife” – the death strip.
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A part of the wall in Mauerpark has been saved and is now a graffiti wall, free for everyone to paint on.
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Bernauer Straße between Mauerpark and Brunnenstraße.

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Bernauer Straße by Brunnenstraße – this is where the outdoor museum about the Berlin wall starts, and where I went home. (I’ve seen it many times and it’s very good, but this would do for me today!)

Sunny Caad10 ride from Berlin to Neustrelitz

I’m still exhausted from yesterday’s bike trip, which started at Kottbusser Tor in Berlin and ended in Neustrelitz. Yes, I biked all the way to Mecklenburg-Vorpommern!

  • Distance: 109 km
  • Time: 3:59 hours (3:27 excluding breaks)
  • Average moving speed: 31,7 kph
  • Max speed: 55,4 kph

View more details including heart rate here!

Can’t recommend this route to anyone. I usually like it when there are no bike paths, but this was a bit much even for me. The end of my course followed B96, a major road apparently, full of autos but very narrow. There were some nice stretches too, but I always forget which afterwards…

Had major luck with the puncture I got – it came as I rolled up to the station building in Neustrelitz!

It’s expensive to bike so far in one direction though. Having biked through three Bundesländer – Berlin, Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern – I ended up paying 21,50 euro for the train ticket back. And that’s just me – I figured I’d buy the ticket for the bike on the train, but the conductor never showed up so the bike travelled for free.

Caad10 bike trip around Wannsee

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As usual, view details to choose metrics instead of miles.

It’s really fun to explore Garmin Connect. This time, instead of drawing a course of my own, I searched for other users’ courses in the area. I ended up with a 68 km route around Wannsee that user Benicon had biked the previous Sunday: Um den Wannsee. I loaded my Edge 800 with his course and biked to his starting point. Then I set out.

It wasn’t until I got home that I saw how extremely close we were timewise. He biked the course in 2 hours, 26 minutes and 34 seconds. I biked it in 2 hours, 26 minutes and 32 seconds. Amazing! I had no idea, and the GPS didn’t help me follow his pace at all (though I guess it can). As you can see, I biked slightly longer – that’s because I biked the wrong way at a couple of places, but the GPS quickly redirected me with a discreet beep. Also, notice how much colder it was this Sunday! Quite terrible actually, I should have dressed warmer. The differences in elevation gain must be due to us using different GPS models, I guess. Mine is the latest so it should be accurate.

I actually biked 90 km, cause I had to bike about 10 kilometers before and after this course since it didn’t start and end in my area.

A couple of pictures (I mostly just biked):

Hate the stretches that look like this. There weren’t many of them though, and my Caad10 can apparently take it.

The famous Glienicker Brücke, where the spy exchanges between the West and the East took place.

In the elevator after the ride.

PS: Forgot my heart rate monitor on this ride.

First spring bike trip!

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Berlin is getting warmer and less rainy. For today the Deutsche Wetterdienst had issued this warning:

Winds of 50-60 kph – a great opportunity to get out for spring’s first bike trip! Since the winds came from the west, I biked east. And yeah, it was pretty nice! Strong tailwind almost all the time.

I had no plan as I got out, but had looked at the map yesterday. So I happened to bike all the way to Fürstenwalde – 52 kilometers with an average speed of 25,7 kph (44,3 maximum) – and took the RE-train back for 8,20 euro (5,20 for me and 3 for the bike). Very convenient.

Btw, I used my old bike cause neither me or my road bike were prepared for a real Cannondale Caad10 experience. This was more like an improvised little teaser. And here are the photos:

I passed S-bahnhof Berlin Schöneweide.

Dahme, the stream before entering Köpenick. Dahme (だめ) means “no good” in Japanese.

My GPS Garmin Edge 800. And oh, I’m a velophile.

Coffee break in a Norma supermarket in Müggelheim.

Lots of little streams in the nature reserve Gosener Wiesen.

Gosener Kanal.

Nice layout.

The concept of spring is always nicer than reality.

Gosen.

Vintage graffiti, cute.

The church in Neu Zittau. Sorry for the focus, I’m taking these images as I’m biking, and I’m using an old Nokia N73 mobile camera that is so slow that the picture is taken about 2 seconds after I push the button.

My first photo attempt of that church, you can see the door of it top left.

Dark clouds were approaching. This is also in Neu Zittau.

I found a smart way to cross Berliner Ring – the autobahn.

Hm.

Crossing Berliner Ring.

A house.

A supercool bike path called Spree Radweg, or was it Spreewald Radweg?

Spring…

The last photo – soon I would approach Fürstenwalde.