|Distance in km||112.4|
|Elevation in m||596|
|Amount of newly ridden kms from wandrer.earth||23.7|
I took some days off the bike after the previous Stage. It was perfect timing since the spring weather took a rainy and windy turn. I saw an opportunity to take on this Stage that would head into Kladow and then Potsdam and jumped at the chance. Also, I convinced Nadja to join me for the first bus route – yeyy!
We had arranged to meet with a friend who lives in Kladow for lunch (outdoors and keeping to proper distancing) and afterwards the wife and I would part ways. Nadja would cycle back home and I would finish off the rest of the bus routes planned for this Stage. The lunch plans meant that we left later on in the morning than I normally would. This meant that I didn’t reduce my bolus insulin for breakfast but I did inject slightly less basal insulin since this would be a long day in the saddle.
Nadja and I cycled towards the main bus terminus at Zoologischer Garten for the start of the X34 bus route. This is the express bus route from the central Zoologischer Garten area – plus it is a hub for long-distance trains – to Kladow, one of the Berlin districts that border Brandenburg. We headed westwards along Kantstraße. Since this was a Sunday, it was much nicer than usual for cycling due to the reduced traffic!
We headed past the Haus des Rundfunks (Broadcasting House) on the way towards Theodor-Heuss-Platz. The Haus des Rundfunks was built in 1929 and is the world’s oldest self-contained broadcasting centre. After the Second World War, it was used by Soviet forces to broadcast radio even though it was in the British Sector! This continued until 1952 when Soviet forces moved to broadcasting premises in East Berlin and eventually handed it over to the Western Allies in 1956, as a Cold War bargaining chip.
Nadja and I continued on our westward journey along Heerstraße, crossing the Stössensee and Havel along the way. We turned south on Gatower Straße to head towards – you guessed it – Gatow! After passing through Gatow, we made it into Kladow – on the Kladower Damm obviously. The final stretch of the X34 bus route was just further south of downtown Kladow and finished in front of the Blücher Kaserne (Blücher Barracks).
Nadja was thrilled to complete her (first – and hopefully not that last!) Grand Tour cameo and marked the achievement with a Pi-cycles sticker! I showed Nadja the friendly goats from Stage 14, before we sat down for lunch with our friend. We sat outside in the garden which, if there wasn’t a pandemic, would not have been our preferred option as it was rather cold and windy. Luckily our friend provided us with extra layers – I used one and drank coffee to warm up, while Nadja put on an extra three layers and drank tea to warm up.
Nadja and I parted ways after a lovely lunch and I headed through the Sacrower See und Königswald (Sacrow Lake and King’s Forest) nature reserve towards the Fahrland area of Potsdam in Brandenburg. The lake waters were beautifully clear and the forest was awash in green – lovely!
I crossed the road to access the grounds of the Krampnitz Kaserne (Krampnitz Barracks). The barracks were built in 1937 for the Wehrmacht troops to use the Military Site Practice Area in the Doberitzer Heide (Dobritz Heath) just north of the barracks. The barracks were then used by the Soviet forces until 1992. Since then the barracks have been abandoned. The site has been used for film sets, such as Resident Evil and Inglourious Basterds, but is now planned to be torn down and turned into a residential estate. For a brilliant writeup with much more detail checkout this blog.
I spent a lot more time in the barracks than I planned, as I couldn’t find a way out that would allow me to continue on my planned route towards Am Upstall in Fahrland. Where was Nadja the Navigator when I needed her? After trying a few sections that included hiking with Flash due to unrideable paths, I decided to exit the way I entered the barracks. Not ideal but at least I would be able to get this Stage back on track!
Once I made it into Fahrland, I headed into the modern residential estate around the Am Upstall road for the start of the N15 bus route. This version of the N15 bus route (the second version will be tackled later in the Stage) simply goes along the road connecting Fahrland and Neu Fahrland (New Fahrland). The final stop is at Heinrich-Heine-Weg. I guess that people wanting to take this night bus need to use the other version of the N15 before – pretty confusing!
In order to follow the other version of the N15 bus route, I cycled north towards the town of Groß Glienicke. Once in Groß Glienicke I checked my blood glucose – it was pretty high after lunch. But it was time to refuel for the rest of the Stage so I ate a homemade flapjack and injected a small amount of bolus insulin.
The first section of the N15 route circles around the houses of Groß Glienicke – including some lovely ones that overlook the Groß Glienicker See (Great Glienicker Lake). I doubt they had such a great view during the cold war as the Berlin-Brandenburg border went through the middle of this lake. The N15 route gets to the B2 road – the main road connecting Spandau and Potsdam and one that I have cycled on many times before but never as many times in a single ride as this Stage. 😀
The N15 route heads towards Potsdam through Neu Fahrland before crossing the Sacrow-Paretzer-Kanal (Sacrow-Paretz-Canal). This is one of my favourite areas to cycle in as you are surrounded by waterways, lakes and woods. I headed into central Potsdam through the Alexandrowka which is a collection of 19th Century buildings from Russian settlers.
I passed by the magnificent Stadthaus Potsdam (Potsdam City House) which is now used as the town hall before going through the Nauener Tor (Nauen Gate). This marked the beginning of downtown of Potsdam so it wasn’t much further until the central station of Potsdam which is also the end terminus for the N15 bus route.
The final bus route, the 135, started back in Kladow so I headed back towards Kladow primarily along the same roads as I came on. I did discover the Rote Kaserne (Red Barracks) in Potsdam that was renovated into a modern residential estate plus an old people’s home. I once again cut through the Königswald towards Alt-Kladow for the start of the 135 bus route.
The 135 bus route heads along Ritterfelddamm – a road that I didn’t enjoy so much during Stage 14 – but at least I knew what to expect. What I wasn’t expecting was a man to get out of his car at a traffic light (I needed to cross the road to keep on the cycle path) to pee at the side of the road in full sight of any cyclist – namely me!
The 135 route then continues along the B2 which features a fantastic cycle path next to the Rieselfelder. A favourite of many cyclists including myself. The 135 route continues northwards along Wilhelmstrate (William Street) and Klosterstraße (Abbey Street) before reaching the train and bus hub of Spandau.
It was getting rather late at this point and I was looking forward to getting back home to a promised hot bath. So I cycled directly back home from Spandau to complete this Stage. It was great being back in the saddle for a Stage full of nature plus meeting a friend and of course a Nadja-cameo!