|Distance in km||73.5|
|Elevation in m||281|
|Amount of newly ridden kms in Berlin from wandrer.earth||22.2|
This Stage of the Grand Tour de Öffentliche Verkehrsmittel would take me to the Tegel Airport for the first time. Another milestone is that this would be the last Stage that includes public transport routes starting/ending in the district of Buch (literally Book). I will be passing through Buch in future stages but none of them will have a terminus within Buch.
After breakfast and the usual reductions in basal and bolus insulin, I headed out towards the main bus hub in the west of Berlin – Zoologischer Garten. I could also take down my winter gear a notch by not wearing overshoes! The cold northerly wind from the previous Stage was still around though, so we’re still not in spring just yet.
The first bus route of the Stage was the X9, which is the express bus service between Zoologischer Garten and Flughafen Tegel (Tegel Airport). Nadja and I know this bus route very well since we use it when going to Tegel Airport. The X9 heads directly towards Ernst-Reuter-Platz (named after the former mayor of West Berlin who brought the Berlin blockade by the Soviet army to the attention of the other Allies, instigating the Berlin Airlift) along Hardenbergstraße.
The X9 then heads towards Richard-Wagner-Platz before turning north towards the Jungfernheide U- and S-Bahn station. The final stretch of the route, after Jakob-Kaiser-Platz (named after the politician who was part of the resistance to the Nazis), passes along the Autobahn. This bumpy cycle path is separated from the Autobahn by a fence and continues up towards Wedding – more of that later – but for the X9 route I had to use the General-Ganevela Bridge to head towards Tegel Airport.
I was expecting the airport to be pretty empty because of the huge reduction in air travel due to the Covid-19 pandemic. But this was even more of a ghost airport than I thought – although the buses were still running, I didn’t pass a single taxi. I also didn’t see or hear a single airplane taking-off or landing the whole time I was in the vicinity of Tegel Airport – including the first section of the next bus route.
The 128 bus route that starts at Tegel Airport was next on my list. This bus takes passengers from the airport towards Osloer Straße in the Gesundbrunnen district of Berlin. The first section took me back on the bumpy cycle path along the Autobahn and then on Kurt-Schumacher-Damm sandwiched between the Tegel runway and the large Julius-Leber-Kaserne (Army Barracks).
After a quick pass by the transport hub at Kurt-Schumacher-Platz, the 128 bus heads eastward on Holländerstraße (Dutch Street) – along which some of the side streets are named after British and Irish cities like Dublin, London, Edinburgh (you can only imagine how residents pronounce this!) and Belfast! The final stretch of the 128 bus towards Osloer Straße is along Residenzstraße where the bus terminus is located next to the tram and U-Bahn stations.
Whilst at Osloer Straße, I decided to eat a homemade energy bar so that my blood glucose would be in a higher range for the rest of the Stage. Similar to the previous Stage, my CGM alerted me to my falling blood glucose values in the early part of the X9 route. But this time I waited to see if they would stabilise before taking on lots of carbs. This did happen but now I needed some slow-acting carbs to fuel the rest of the Stage.
The 150 bus route was next. It started at my current location – Osloer Staße – and terminates in the northernmost district of Buch. The bus route heads along Provinzstraße towards the Schönholz area that I visited during Stage 6. Provinzstraße was not much fun to cycle on as it has single lane traffic, no dedicated bike lane, parked cars and often double-parked cars too.
The 150 route then heads towards the Niederschönhausen district and passes the very impressive building of the Schönholzer Schießverein (Schönholz Rifle Club). Next up were the similarly residential districts of Blankenburg and Karow – each one retaining a more “villagy” feel than the urbanness at the start of the 150 bus route.
The final stretch of this bus route was towards the Buch S-Bahn station. As mentioned in Stage 12, Buch houses numerous hospitals and research institutes related to health. It also has numerous plattenbau apartment blocks – it was part of East Germany after all – and beautiful parks and forests. The 150 bus route terminates at Am Sandhaus just a few hundred metres away from the S-Bahn station of Buch.
The next bus route, the 353, started at Pölnitzweg which is slightly further north from Am Sandhaus and right next to a residence for refugees and high rise apartments which are surrounded by some very fancy housing. Nice bit of cognitive dissonance going here. This bus route then heads on roads next to the forest before turning back towards central Buch, passing the S-Bahn station before heading to its end stop in the very large and modern Medical Campus.
I headed back to the Buch S-Bahn station for the next bus route – the N58. This is the night bus service connecting Buch to Prenzlauer Berg. The N58 starts by following the same roads through Buch, Karow and Blankenburg as the 158 bus route that I tackled in Stage 12. The final stretch of the N58 route (the limits of Prenzlauer Berg) passes by large shopping centres and huge office blocks which really contrast to the quieter residential districts from the start of this bus route.
I passed through Prenzlauer Berg towards Alexanderplatz which was the start for the final route of today’s Stage – the 245 bus route. Prenzlauer Berg was not as heavily destroyed during World War II as many other districts in Berlin so there are many buildings from the early 20th Century still standing. I passed some of these including the water tower – known as “Fat Hermann” – and the Kulturbrauerei (culture brewery), which used to be a brewery but nowadays hosts many clubs, a cinema, concert venues and the like.
The first part of the 245 bus route follows the same roads as the 100 bus route (Stage 21) and passes many of the museums and sights of central Berlin. It parts ways from the 100 bus route by heading north up Luisenstraße and through the Charité campus around Robert-Koch-Platz. The rest of the 245 bus route is very familiar to me as it passes along many roads of Moabit and Charlottenburg that I regularly use.
The 245 bus route services the Berlin Hauptbahnhof (Central Station) before heading towards Kleiner Tiergarten (Smaller Tiergarten) and then into Charlottenburg. The 245 bus route passes next to the Landwehrkanal (Land Army Kanal) on Einsteinufer (Einstein Bank) until heading towards Ernst-Reuter-Platz and Zoologischer Garten for its final stop.
It was a short cycle home after finishing the 245 bus route and I was looking forward to some lunch and coffee! My blood glucose was well-behaved after the food stop at Osloer Straße but now I was hungry after all this cycling. Not wearing my overshoes was a good choice as I was getting quite warm by the end of the Stage – it was also nice to have a tailwind for the final stretches as well. The next Stage should take place in proper Spring weather where I could once again wear shorts.