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Grand Tour de Öffentliche Verkehrsmittel Stage 31/59 – Cherry Blossoms

Strava Activity
Distance in km108.5
Elevation in m551
Amount of newly ridden kms in Berlin from wandrer.earth34.9
Blood glucose values throughout Stage 31 of the Grand Tour de Öffentliche Verkehrsmittel

The weather over this Easter weekend was forecast to reach a high of 23°C on Easter Sunday, so rather than join all the other cyclists on Sunday, I chose Easter Saturday for Stage 31. This meant I cycled in slightly lower temperatures (max of 17°C) but it was still warm enough for short sleeves and shorts! 

Fraunhofer FOKUS – Nadja’s pre-pandemic office

I did the usual insulin preparations of lowering basal and bolus insulin for the cycling ahead. Once ready, I headed out to the Jungfernheide bus terminus for the start of the M27 bus route. This bus route heads past Nadja’s office building – she hasn’t been in the building since the home office decree in March to limit the spread of Covid-19, but I’m happy to report that it’s still standing. 

Pankower Früchten / Pankow Fruits – a childcare centre in Pankow

The M27 bus heads through the historical industrial section of Moabit that includes several lovely red-brick complexes. I then passed through some main roads of the Wedding and Gesundbrunnen districts. There was not much traffic on the roads which made it more enjoyable to cycle on. The final stretch of the M27 route is in the Pankow district which includes stops at the S-Bahn stations of Wollankstraße and Berlin-Pankow. The M27 bus terminus is located next to the train tracks and also has some great architecture too.

Pankow S-Bahn Station

Before starting the next route – the S85 – I ate a homemade energy ball. I was happy with my blood glucose but some carbs were needed for the next section. The S85 S-Bahn runs between the Berlin-Pankow and the Grünau stations. It uses the east tracks of the Ringbahn for the middle section of the route.

Bornholmer Straße S-Bahn station

It was a short cycle to get to the Berlin-Pankow S-Bahn station from the M27 bus terminus. I cycled along the beautiful and aptly named Kirschblütenweg (Cherry Blossom Path) towards the Bornholmer Straße S-Bahn station. The Kirschblütenweg is part of the Berliner Mauerweg (Berlin Wall Trail) and the cherry blossoms are blooming at this time of year – so beautiful!

Ernst Thälmann Park plus his giant memorial!

I passed through Prenzlauer Berg and the Ernst-Thälmann-Park along the eastern section of Ringbahn tracks. This time I was not surprised by the huge monument of Ernst-Thälmann as during Stage 25! The S85 route leaves the Ringbahn tracks at Treptower Park and continues south eastward into the Plänterwald district.

Elsenbrücke / Elsen Bridge

The final stretch of the S85 route between Schöneweide and Grünau was primarily on the long and straight Adlergestell road. This is not the most fun to cycle on as the cycle path is pretty narrow and bumpy. I did make a little detour through the Gemarkung Köpenick forest to make things a little more interesting. This detour ended right in front of the Grünau S-Bahn station and that meant the end of the S85!

Flash at the S-Bahn station Flughafen Schönefeld / Schönefeld Airport

The next planned route – the S9 – would be one of the longest single routes of this Grand Tour. The S9 travels between Flughafen Schönefeld (Schönefeld Airport) and Spandau – two important transport hubs at opposite ends of the city. I cycled through the Bohnsdorf district towards the Flughafen Schönefeld S-Bahn station. Here I had a homemade flapjack before starting the next route.

Grünau S-Bahn Station

The S9 begins by heading from Schönefeld back to Grünau – the terminus of the S85 route I had just cycled – and then continues along the very same train tracks as the S85 towards the Ringbahn. Rather than cycle on the same roads that I came on, I cycled on some less frequented paths. This occasionally led me through nice residential areas but sometimes also on very nasty cobbled roads! But at least I avoided the monotony of the Adlergestell.

Brunnen der Völkerfreundschaft / Fountain of International Friendship

I cycled through Plänterwald up to the Treptower Park S-Bahn station which marks the point where the S9 now follows the tracks through central Berlin. Here the S9 includes stops at the Alexanderplatz, Friedrichstraße, Hauptbahnhof and Zoologischer Garten stations – all major hubs for long distance train travel. 

Looping statue at the Funkturm / Radio Tower

Reaching the Westkreuz S-Bahn station signified that I was now following the final stretches of the S9 leading up to Spandau. The Messe Süd/Eichkamp station is one of the public transport stops for visitors to the large trade fair grounds. After that comes Heerstraße which most cyclists pass on their way to the Teufelsberg (Devil’s Mountain). This hill was made from debris resulting from the Second World War, during the Cold War it housed a listening station which is now abandoned. The short but steep hill is popular with cyclists as it is one of the few steep inclines in Berlin!

Olympiastadion / Olympic Stadium S-Bahn station with the “Unité d’Habitation of Berlin” in the background

The Olympiastadion station is – unsurprisingly – at the Olympiastadion, home of Hertha Berlin but also used for athletics events too. The plattenbau called “Unité d’Habitation of Berlin” built by Le Corbusier in 1958 is also in the area. This is probably the nicest example of plattenbau high-rise architecture built in the former West Berlin – at least in my opinion.

Rathaus Spandau and the Spandau train station

There was a great gravel section in the Waldgebiet Ruhleben (Ruhleben Forest Area) between the Pichelsberg and Stresow S-Bahn stations. This section was also pretty busy as a lot of people were out in small groups enjoying a walk through nature. The Spandau station is next after Stresow and the final terminus for the S9 – nearly 50 km from its start at the Flughafen Schönefeld!

I was getting a bit hungry so I ate a Clif bar before heading back home. This was a very enjoyable Stage where I got to travel through some new areas plus some wooded areas too which is always nice! Also, my blood glucose behaved itself which always increases the likelihood of a fun ride.

The % distance I cycled in each district during Stage 31 of the Grand Tour de Öffentliche Verkehrsmittel

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