Berlin Wall 100
07 December 2017 / Berlin, Germany
It’s been 28 years since the toppling of the Berlin Wall, a 155 kilometer barrier that stood to separate East Germany from West Berlin for nearly three decades. Constructed seemingly overnight, this wall transformed West Berlin into an island of western ideals and governance, cut off on all sides from the surrounding GDR (German Democratic Republic).
Throughout its history, The Berlin Wall stood as a powerful Cold War symbol and provided the world with countless harrowing, tragic and triumphant tales of attempted escape.
Today, little of the physical wall remains. However, its history can still be traced—and best of all, on two wheels.
The route begins in Mitte near the Berlin Wall Memorial and zig-zags its way past some of the more notable city landmarks before heading south along the East Side Gallery, where some of the most in-tact sections of the Wall still stand. From there, it’s not long before you are out of the city and cycling through the quiet suburbs of former West Berlin.
Some famous sights include the Brandenburg Gate (pictured above), Checkpoint Charlie and the Reichstag.
Pro tip: Always bring a friend who brings snacks.
The route is well marked and dotted throughout with bright orange signposts that offer details on the historical significance of certain sections of the trail. If you’re expecting a road ride, as we were, you might be surprised to find that large sections of the route are unpaved gravel and dirt, which can become very muddy, and exciting, during the wetter months of the year.
Our original plan was to meet Staffan at the Glienicke Bridge, a.k.a. the 'Bridge of Spies' (pictured below). Due to a late start and a flat tire, however, we opted for a less exciting rendezvous at a small Indian restaurant on the western edge of the city limits.
A slight detour leads to Krampnitz, an old abandoned Soviet army base (pictured above).
For more details on this route, be sure to check out our ride on Komoot. Stay tuned for more #FarRideCityExploration in Volume08, out soon.