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Grand Tour de Öffentliche Verkehrsmittel Stage 47/59 – Holy French Fields

Strava Activity
Distance in km93.3
Elevation in m320
Amount of newly ridden kms from wandrer.earth25.9
Blood glucose values throughout Stage 47 of the Grand Tour de Öffentliche Verkehrsmittel

After a short break to rest the legs and avoid the rainy and windy weather, it was time to get back on the bike for another Stage of the Grand Tour de Öffentliche Verkehrsmittel. I decided to tackle four bus routes running between the northern districts of Berlin – Heiligensee (Holy Lake), Französisch Buchholz (French Book Wood) and Ahrensfelde (Ahren Fields). 

My CGM readings – can’t get better than that!

I ate my porridge, injected a reduced amount of bolus and basal insulin, taking into consideration the efforts I guessed I would be making during the Stage and my blood glucose during the night. I am elated to report that during this Stage I achieved blood glucose nirvana – I had incredibly stable blood glucose (never going too low or too high) and my planned fuelling stops worked perfectly to keep the blood glucose within range!

Typical industrial building in Siemensstadt

I cycled towards the U-Bahn station of Haselhorst and was reminded of how cycling around Jakob-Kaiser-Platz was a planning afterthought. Cyclists have to stop and wait at every single strip of road – there really is a need to improve this perhaps with an over- or underpass that would keep cyclists moving freely while separate from the traffic.

Berlin-Spandauerschifffahrtskanal / Berlin-Spandau Shipping Canal

Haselhorst was the start of the 133 bus route that headed northwards through the district of Haselhorst and into the district of Tegel. Along the way, I cycled on Bernauer Straße that cuts through the Jungfernheide (Maiden’s Heath) forest. It was great to visit this road again (I cycled here during Stage 27) as it’s wonderful to cycle on!

Borsigtor / Borsig Gate and Borsigturm / Borsig Tower

Once the 133 bus arrived at Berliner Straße, it continued northwards past the Borsigtor (Borsig Gate) and Borsigturm (Borsig Tower) and towards central Tegel. The final section of the 133 bus route was along Heiligenseestraße that leads towards central Heiligensee. The 133 bus terminates at the village green of Heiligensee right after a stretch of some bumpy cobbles!

Nieder Neuendorfer See / Lower New Village Lake

Before starting the next bus route, I cycled towards the river Havel and explored the nearby areas which include two lakes – the Nieder Neuendorfer See (Lower New Village Lake) and the Havel See (Havel Lake). A woman was getting into the Nieder Neuendorfer See for what must have been a very refreshing swim!

I made my way back to the bus terminus at Alt-Heiligensee for the start of the 124 bus route. This bus route also passed through the district of Tegel but took a different route to the 133 bus route to get there. The 124 bus services the area of Schulzendorf and uses the lovely Ruppiner Chaussee road which runs through the Tegeler Forst (Tegel Forest). It really feels like cycling in nature despite the Ruppiner Chaussee running parallel to the Autobahn!

Johanniter Stift / St. John’s Home at Tegeler Hafen / Tegel Harbour

Once I reached the Tegeler Hafen (Tegel Harbour), I decided to eat the leftovers of a Clif bar that Nadja gave me. I am the trashcan in our relationship so I get to eat all the things she doesn’t want to eat – good to be useful! My blood glucose was doing well but it was time for a little carb boost to keep things running well.

The 124 bus route headed over the Nordgraben (North Trench) and into Wittenau and then the Märkisches Viertel. Once the 124 route serviced the high-rise blocks of the Märkisches Viertel, it was onto the district of Rosenthal. Here the 124 route initially took the very roughly cobbled Hauptstraße before turning onto Schönhauser Straße. I was pretty wary of Hauptstraße as I had once cycled on this road using Bolt, my road bike, and it was so rough that it is still etched in my mind! It was a relief to turn onto the quieter and better-paved Schönhauser Straße (Pretty Houses Street). Incidentally, the houses on this street were nothing spectacular so I’d say the street name is false advertising.

Tram Betriebshof Niederschönhausen / Niederschönhausen Tram Depot

Once the 124 bus reached the intersection of Dietzgienstraße, it turned northwards towards the districts of Blankenfelde and Französisch Buchholz. The impressive tram depot of Niederschönhausen is located at this intersection. Despite this being a historically listed building, it is not in a good state and the BVG (Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe – Berlin Transport Company) would like to tear it down. I hope this doesn’t happen and it would be better to open it as a museum to historical trams for example.

Nordgraben / North Trench

The final stretch of the 124 bus route was through the newer residential plots of Französisch Buchholz. The 124 bus terminus is located near the Elizabethaue (Elizabeth Meadow) just north of the central Hugenottenplatz (Huguenot Square). I ate one of my homemade flapjacks at the bus terminus before heading towards Ahrensfelde for the next bus route.

Mörderberg / Murder Mountain (!)

I made my way eastwards towards Ahrensfelde initially along the Nordgraben. This was really lovely with all the trees in full bloom! Between the districts of Malchow and Blankenburg, I cycled passed some lovely fields that lead up to the Mörderberg (Murder Mountain)! Thankfully the story of its naming is not as grim as you’d think – it’s a take on the word “Modder” for mud and not murder – phew!

Falkenberger Rieselfelder / Falkenberg Irrigation Fields

I also cycled through some lovely paths in Wartenberg and Falkenberg before reaching Ahrensfelde. The paths between fields and the huge Tierheim (Animal Shelter) in Falkenberg were pretty nice but rather sandy. I was hoping to see some Highland Cattle in this area but I was disappointed. But not for too long as there were Highland Cattle in the Eichepark (Oak Park) of Ahrensfelde! 

Barnimplatz / Barnim Square in Ahrensfelde

Now that I reached Ahrensfelde, I could start following the N97 bus route. This night bus started at Barnimplatz and headed towards the district of Falkenberg. It passed along the Ahrensfelde S-Bahn station – one of the termini of the S7 from Stage 40 – before going through the old village centre of Falkenberg. The N97 bus continued into the neighbouring district of Neu-Hohenschönhausen and terminated at the intersection of Vincent-Van-Gogh-Straße.

Baltic Sea art in Zingster Straße

I made my way from the end of the N97 route through the high-rise blocks of Neu-Hohenschönhausen towards the tram terminus at Zingster Straße for the start of the 54 tram. This was also the start of the M4 tram from Stage 35 and, similar to that Stage, it’s very striking how much this area relishes its connection to the Baltic Sea. The streets are named after resorts at the Baltic Sea – a much loved holiday destination – and many apartment blocks feature artworks depicting typical seascapes.

Tram Terminus at Zingster Straße

Before starting the M5 tram route, I had my final flapjack and was thrilled at how well my blood glucose was behaving! After this final food stop of the Stage, I cycled along Zingster Straße in Neu-Hohenschönhausen towards Alt-Hohenschönhausen. 

Sportforum Hotel in Alt-Hohenschönhausen

The M5 tram headed towards Friedrichshain along Konrad-Wolf-Straße where the run-down Sportforum Hotel is found. I had passed this during Stage 16, at least this Stage was a lot warmer than that cold and grey day! 

Ehmaliges Postfuhramt / Former Imperial Post Office

From here the M5 used Landsberger Allee to get to Alexanderplatz – the location of the Black Lives Matter protests here in Berlin. However, since this was a weekday, there didn’t appear to be any large protests when I cycled through. From Alexanderplatz, the M5 tram headed towards Chausseestraße and then Invalidenstraße before terminating at the tram terminus near the Berlin Hauptbahnhof (Berlin Central Station).

Schloss Bellevue / Bellevue Palace

That was the final public transport stop of this Stage. I made my way home through Tiergarten (Animal Garden) and then along the Landwehrkanal (Land Army Canal). This was a lovely Stage, not least because of the fantastic blood glucose throughout the Stage but also I visited some lovely areas and discovered new cycle paths as well.

The % distance I cycled in each district during Stage 47 of the Grand Tour de Öffentliche Verkehrsmittel

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