20 June – to Berlin

20 June – to Berlin

Today we made it to Berlin, where we are stopping our cycle tour for a couple of weeks to spend time with Elsbeth.

We first rode around the Straussee lake on our way out of Strausberg. It was very scenic and fresh, and we spied a few people having their morning swim in the lake.

We then spent some time riding through forested areas.

Some of the forest roads were slow tracks

Amazing wood carving alongside forest road

Once we got out of the forests, we began to make good time.

Wind farm undergoing maintenance

We noticed that Kris’s back tire was worn through to the inner sleeve. We decided to change direction and go into the center of Berlin (Alexanderplatz) rather than skirt the city to our accommodation in the north. We knew there is a big Decathlon there, so we planned to get a new tire fitted. Luckily the tire held out – on our previous trip Kris had the experience of a tire bursting.

As in most large German cities, it was easy to ride through to the center, Berlin has good cycling infrastructure with cycle paths alongside most of the bigger streets.

We had Decathlon fit the tire and had to hang around for an hour or so, so we walked around the Alexanderplatz area.

Neptune fountain near Alexanderplatz

Marx and Lenin statue

Then we cycled through to our accommodation in Birkenwerder in the north of the city. Riding north was interesting, we left the tourist route and rode through some very cosmopolitian areas, some a bit rough with a lot of graffiti on the walls. There were many different ethnicities in the city and also some lovely streets with lots of cafes and little shops. The city is BIG!

Part of our route out of the city was alongside the Berliner Mauerweg (Berlin Wall Trail), which runs along former Berlin wall patrol roads. It was a nice park-like area, so close to the city.

Berliner Mauerweg

The total distance of our ride was 87 km.

The accommodation was a unpleasant surprise – we had expected a ground floor flat, as the AirBnB site stated “garden apartment”. When we got there we found that it was in a cellar apartment, with steep stairs. It also had a toilet pump that was a bit smelly and started up each time water was used.  The stairs would be a problem for Elsbeth, so we stayed up late trying to find an alternative. I was very lucky to find another AirBnB apartment in Lichtenfelde (south west of the city). Luckily we could cancel the initial accommodation without too much expense, so we only stayed there for the two nights until Elsbeth arrived from London.

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