Grand Tour de Öffentliche Verkehrsmittel Stage 7/59 – Liebesinsel

Date20.12.2019
Strava Activityhttps://www.strava.com/activities/2944751801
BikeEarp
Distance in km47.1
Elevation in m167
Amount of newly ridden kms in Berlin from wandrer.earth12.8
Blood glucose values throughout Stage 7 of the Grand Tour de Öffentliche Verkehrsmittel

I decided to complete another Stage in the Grand Tour de Öffentliche Verkehrsmittel to further test my legs after my break, sun was also forecast and there wouldn’t be another opportunity to ride outside before 2020. My blood glucose wasn’t particularly well behaved during the night as I woke up with high blood glucose around 3 am and injected too much insulin to correct this. So I was up again at 4:30 to eat something and bring my BG levels in the proper range.

Today’s Stage was one of the shorter ones and covered two bus routes: the 104 going from Brix Platz in Westend to Tunnelstraße in Stralau, and the 347 route starting at Tunnelstraße and ending at Ostbahnhof. The 104 route initially heads south east from Westend, past the Messe, towards Westkreuz. Here I cycled briefly on Kurfürstendamm before taking Westfälische Straße towards Fehrbelliner Platz; Westfälische Straße was just full of cars parked in the cycle land and I also had to content with a taxi driver performing a U-turn. 

Brixplatz, the starting point for the 104 bus route

At this point during my ride, I was following a 104 bus that had set off from Brix Platz a few minutes after I did. I was managing to keep up with it until we got to the Schöneberg part of the route. Here there were too many left turns meaning that I had to stop and wait for two sets of traffic lights to turn green so I could safely make the turns. I cycled parallel to the Tempelhofer Park towards Neukölln, safely navigated the huge construction site on Karl-Marx-Straße and made it to Treptow for some stunning views on the Elsenbrücke.

A right-hand turn towards Stralau meant the end of bus route 104 was nigh – all I had to do was keep following Alt-Stralau till the end of the peninsula where the Tunnelstraße bus terminus is. A side note here: I find the German word for peninsula, Halbinsel, literally translated as “Half Island”, strangely incorrect – a peninsula is 3/4 an island not 1/2! 

Elsenbrücke overlooking the Spree

After chomping down my energy bar in the sun, I looked around the park at the tip of the peninsula where there are two very small islands: Liebesinsel (Love Island) and Kratzbruch (Scratch Fracture – I would love to know where this name came from!). Both the islands are nature reserves and are home to wildlife such as beavers, otters as well as birds like woodpeckers and cormorants. Indeed the Kratzbruch was full of cormorants – one of my favourite birds to spot here in Berlin.

Next up was the 347 bus route, which went through some of the side streets of Stralau. I have to say that given that Stralau is a very old town (around since the 16th Century) it is currently full of very modern apartment buildings. Most of the industrial buildings from the GDR time were torn down and these newer residential buildings took their place. 

The bus then stops off at Ostkreuz, before passing by some of the schools in Friedrichshain and the huge and modern buildings built by large corporations along Stralauer Allee. Warschauer Straße was next with the usual dodging of pedestrians outside the U-Bahn and S-Bahn stations. The bus route then weaves its way up to the Weberwiese U-Bahn station before heading towards its end at Ostbahnhof.

Fernsehturm (TV Tower) from Ostbahnhof

I extended my route back home to take in some new kilometers since it was such a nice day and my blood glucose was being well-behaved. The highlight being the old GDR watchtower at Erna-Berger-Straße having a Santa hat placed on it. Another nice thing about this ride was that I reached my 2019 goal of cycling 10,000 km! I’ve never cycled that much in a year before and I’m very happy to have reached this target. Next up is Stage 10 of the WKG Winter Racing League and then there will be a break over the end of year holidays before getting back to business in 2020.

The % distance I cycled in each district during Stage 7 of the Grand Tour de Öffentliche Verkehrsmittel

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