|Distance in km||78.8|
|Elevation in m||382|
|Amount of newly ridden kms in Berlin from wandrer.earth||32.3|
The typically unsettled weather of April reared its head for this Stage – after a high of 23°C two days before this ride, I had to contend with a cold northerly wind and a high of 15°C. This meant I went out in almost the complete winter kit, just the overshoes were missing. This was going to be one of the shorter remaining Stages, so I only slightly reduced the basal and bolus insulin injections before heading off towards Tegel Airport for the last time during this Grand Tour!
Tegel Airport is the starting terminus for the TXL express bus and the first public transport route of this Stage. On the way to Tegel Airport, I heard and saw a plane taking off! A very rare thing from Tegel Airport during this lockdown. Tegel Airport is supposed to be closed down later on in the year due to the new BER airport opening.
The TXL bus route heads along the Berliner-Spandauer-Schifffahrtskanal (Berlin-Spandau-Shipping-Canal) towards the S-Bahn station of Beusselstraße. This allows passengers to quickly get from the airport to the Ringbahn. The TXL route then heads through Moabit towards the Berlin Hauptbahnhof (Berlin Central Station) – again a fast connection for passengers shuttling between long distance train travel and Tegel Airport. The final terminus of the TXL bus is at Robert-Koch-Platz close to the Charité hospital.
The next public transport route was the M2 tram that starts at Alexanderplatz. This tram heads directly north straight into the Prenzlauer Berg district. The final section of the tram route was through the Heinersdorf district – in fact the final terminus is called Heinersdorf. The M2 tram passes by the Wasserturm (Water Tower) of Heinersdorf. This was used by the Soviet Union during the Cold War to spy on planes landing at Tegel Airport, the airport was part of West Berlin and Heinersdorf part of East Berlin. The Wasserturm is currently in a state of disrepair, hopefully this impressive building can be restored.
The next public transport route (192 bus) was further East and started at the large bus terminus at the Marzahn S-Bahn station. I made my way there through some of the backroads of the Weißensee and Alt-Hohenschönhausen districts before getting to Marzahn.
On my way through Weißensee, I passed by the very large Dildo King warehouse. They have pretty witty adverts plastered around the city such as “Ruhig bleiben und Dildos benutzen” / “Keep calm and use dildos”. I crossed the train tracks at Marzahn using the overhead bridge so I had to carry Flash up and down a flight of stairs. Some upper-body workout for my puny arms! I ate a homemade flapjack at the Marzahn bus station as this was roughly the midway point and it was the perfect opportunity to refuel for the rest of the ride.
The 192 bus route heads east from S-Marzahn on Landsberger Allee, where the wide pavement is a multi-use path for both cyclists and pedestrians. The pavement is wide enough that there could at least be proper markings separating cyclist and pedestrian sections – this would make it safe for all users, but alas nope. Once reaching the Marzahner Mühle (Marzahn Mill), the 192 bus route heads briefly along – my favourite street name – Allee der Kosmonauten.
The 192 route traverses the full-length of Oberfeldstraße to get to the S-Bahn station of Biesdorf. So this route serves as a connection between the separate S7 (at S-Marzahn) and S5 (at S-Biesdorf) train lines. After Biesdorf, the 192 heads west into the Friedrichsfelde district along some major roads. Thankfully there are dedicated cycle paths/multi-use paths along these roads. The final stop of the 192 bus is at the S-Bahn station of Friedrichsfelde Ost which is the last common S-Bahn station of the S7 and S5 trains.
With the 192 route complete, I cycled towards the Lichtenberg train station for the start of the 296 bus route. The first first part of the 296 route passes through large residential estates in Friedrichsfelde. From here the 296 bus heads towards the Tierpark zoo before heading into the Karlshorst district.
The 296 bus route passes through many side streets of Karlshorst before terminating at the Karlshorst S-Bahn station. Cycling through Karlshorst was very interesting and I passed some nice houses – Karlshorst was known as the Dahlem of the East – plus former military buildings. The Pionierschule was built by the Nazis and used as a military school, close by is also the location where the German Army signed the unconditional surrender of the German Wehrmacht with the Soviet Red Army. The barracks were the headquarters of the Soviet troops stationed in Berlin plus the largest KGB office outside Russia. The building is now the Deutsch-Russisches Museum (German-Russian Museum).
The final bus route of the stage (the 200 bus) started at Michelangelo Straße in Prenzlauer Berg. So I cycled westwards through Rummelsburg and Friedrichshain before getting to the northern parts of Prenzlauer Berg where Michelangelo Straße is located. I was hoping for at least nearby streets named after other Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles but nope – just Michelangelo. Surely the least favourite Turtle as well! Maybe the name has to do with some painter dude named Michelangelo Buonarroti? 😉
The 200 bus heads towards Alexanderplatz by passing parallel to the lovely Volkspark Friedrichshain (Friedrichshain Public Park). I have normally cycled in the other direction so during this Stage I spotted a fantastic mural based on “Attack of the 50 ft Woman”.
Before getting to the Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral), the 200 bus heads towards Mühlendamm via Spandauer Straße. Normally the cycle lane of Spandauer Straße ends suddenly but because of the construction works, there is now only one lane of traffic and a bike lane. Much appreciated!
The next section was along Leipziger Straße where I battled the many cars up to Potsdamer Platz. The bicycle-car battle is caused as on Leipziger Straße there is no bike path until Potsdamer Platz even though there are three wide car lanes. The final section of the 200 bus route passed along Tiergarten and ended at the bus terminus at Zoologischer Garten.
With the five public transport routes complete, I could now head home for some lunch. I was very happy with my blood glucose throughout the ride even though it was a little on the high side throughout the Stage but I was getting hungry. I was also dressed in just the right amount of layers so I didn’t get too cold on the bike. Hopefully the weather will be a bit better for the next Stage.