|Distance in km||77.5|
|Elevation in m||385|
|Amount of newly ridden kms from wandrer.earth||31.9|
Nadja was going to make another cameo appearance during this Stage of the Grand Tour de Öffentliche Verkehrsmittel. The plan was that we would cycle the first bus route covered by this Stage – the 125 – between Osloer Straße and the Invaliensiedlung (Invalids’ settlement) in Frohnau. We would catch up with a friend who lives in one of the lovely buildings of the settlement and then part ways. Nadja would cycle back home on a route that I created for her that went through some forests. While I would continue with more public transport routes.
Since Nadja would be cycling off-road, she was going to use Severus – our hardtail mountain bike. Before setting off though, Nadja was determined to fix the front suspension lockout as the cable was knocked off when we transported the bicycles to the Harz for NinJa Cycles Part 2.
I had tried to fix the lockout earlier but was unable to and Nadja put all of her efforts into making sure that cable worked properly before setting off for the Stage. It was getting down to the wire (or rather – cable) but with the last try before she threw in the towel – she did it! Persistence paid off!
I prepared myself for the Stage with the usual reductions in basal and bolus insulin before Nadja put her mechanic’s apron on. I was getting a bit jumpy while Nadja was fixing the lockout cable. I wanted to leave sooner rather than later so that my blood glucose would not get too high before the impact of cycling would lead to lowering my blood glucose levels.
A very smug Nadja and I then set off in the lovely sun towards Osloer Straße. We cycled past the lovely buildings of Westhafen (West Harbour) before cycling and chatting away on Seestraße till we reached the bus terminus at Osloer Straße. This was the starting terminus for the 125 bus route.
The 125 bus route snaked through many of the northwest districts of Reinickendorf towards the northernmost tip of Frohnau – the Invaliedensiedlung. We cycled through some lovely residential roads that were pretty quiet – probably because it was a public holiday. The 125 bus stopped at Kurt-Schumacher-Platz, which seems to have the adorable nickname Kutschi, allowing passengers access to other routes towards Tegel airport. I wonder if this will change now that Tegel airport will be closed down later on in 2020.
We briefly headed into the district of Tegel before getting to the district of Hermsdorf. This is a very residential area with lots of nice houses along leafy streets. The 125 bus then arrived at the district of Frohnau and the Friedhof Hermsdorf (Hermsdorf Cemetery) – don’t know why they haven’t renamed that!
We followed the bus route through the main squares of Frohnau (Ludolfingerplatz and Zeltinger Platz) which is where the lovely Frohnau S-Bahn station and impressive Kasinoturm (Casino Tower) are located. The Kasinoturm was used as a flak tower during the Second World War equipped with anti-aircraft artillery.
The 125 left downtown Frohnau and headed towards Oranienburger Chausee where it passed an impressive Wetterpilz (Weather Mushroom). I had seen another of these shelters in Frohnau during Stage 39. Nadja and I cycled through the lush green of the Waldgelände Frohnau (Frohnau Woodland) until turning off at Staehlweg for the final stop of the 125 bus route – the Invaliedensiedling.
The Invaliensiedlung was originally built in the 1930s to house the numerous military officers wounded in the First World War. After the Second World War, the housing was demilitarised and the housing is specifically barrier-free to meet the needs of the people with disabilities who live in this lovely area.
Now that we reached the Invaliedensiedlung, we cycled up to our friend’s apartment and caught up over a coffee and some food. I had one of my flapjacks and since my blood glucose was on the high side, I injected 2 units of bolus insulin. Once we were ready to cycle off again Nadja and I parted ways. I’m happy to report that Nadja loved the route I set out for her. She cycled along part of the Berliner Mauerweg (Berlin Wall Trail), through the Tegeler Forst (Tegeler Forest) and along the Berliner-Spandauer Schifffahrtskanal (Berlin-Spandau Shipping Canal) on the way home. Yeyy!
I headed towards the S-Bahn station of Hermsdorf for the 326 bus route. This is a circular bus route that circles through Hermsdorf and the small but cute Waldsee (Wood Lake). Nothing to report other than lovely houses!
With the short 326 bus route complete, I cycled out of Berlin towards the village of Schildow for the start of the 107 bus route. I passed along the Tegeler Fließ (Tegel Stream) and the beautiful moor landscape of the area. The Berlin Wall and the border zone ran through this area and there was a memorial to the spiky metal netting that ran through this area to deter escapees from East Germany into West Berlin. This metal netting was called “Flächensperren“ (Area Closure) by the East German government and “Stalinrasen” (Stalin Grass) by West Germany. Either way, it would have caused horrific injuries to the people trying to flee East Germany as it was designed to unbalance anyone trying to cross it.
As soon as I reached Schildow, a 107 bus left the bus terminus in front of the village church. I headed off after this bus as it crossed back into Berlin through the district of Blankenfelde along the Schildower Straße. This street cuts through the woods of Blankenfelde and the Botanischer-Volkspark Blankenfelde-Pankow (Blankenfelde-Pankow Botanical Public Park). This area was full of visitors and the narrow multi-use path made it difficult to cycle on. The 107 bus route ended in the district of Niederschönhausen which is full of beautiful architecture.
With the 107 bus route complete, now was a good time to take on some more carbs as my blood glucose was getting a bit low. I found a spot in the shade as it was really hot in the sun and ate another flapjack. After refuelling, I cycled towards the start of the next bus route – the 250 – that was not far from my current location.
The 250 bus route started in the industrial area of Niederschönhausen which was a mixture of old and new factories. From here the bus route followed the tram tracks through central Pankow where I passed by the impressive Rathaus Pankow (Pankow Town Hall) and the U- and S-Bahn stations of Pankow.
The Ehemaliges Waisenhaus der Jüdischen Gemeinde (Former Orphanage of the Jewish community) is close to the Pankow station. This was opened in 1882 before being taken over by the SS in 1942. During the Cold War, it was used as an embassy – first by Poland and then by Cuba. In the early 2000s, the building was restored to reflect its historical importance in Pankow.
The 250 bus route continued through Pankow – a very picturesque district with residents showing solidarity to many important humanitarian causes (such as Black Lives Matter, Women’s Rights). The final stretch of the 250 bus route passed through Reinickendorf and even along sections of the 125 bus route that I covered with Nadja earlier. The final stop of this bus route was at the U-Bahn station of Franz-Neumann-Platz which is near the Schäfersee (Shepherd Lake).
With all the bus routes of this Stage completed, I cycled back home but not before checking out the Schäfersee. This was packed with people in the sunshine as well as people taking a stroll around this lake. This was a fun Stage especially since Nadja could join for part of it. I was also very pleased that she enjoyed her solo cycles through the woods as well. I hope to fit in another Stage of the Grand Tour de Öffentliche Verkehrsmittel before some summer storms hit Berlin at the end of the week!