|Distance in km||97.2|
|Elevation in m||507|
|Amount of newly ridden kms from wandrer.earth||34.2|
A beautiful sunny day before the peak of a heatwave seemed to be a good day for another Stage of the Grand Tour de Öffentliche Verkehrsmittel. My legs were still feeling tired after the previous Stage, so I decided for one of the shorter Stages that still remain.
I prepared by reducing my basal insulin as well as the bolus insulin required for my breakfast of porridge. I made sure I had two large 750 mL bottles full of liquid refreshment and smeared on some factor 50+ sun cream before heading out.
Rathaus Steglitz (Steglitz Town Hall) was the first port of call as it was the start of the 170 bus route. I cycled through the central districts of Wilmersdorf and Schöneberg where I passed by the lovely Lahore Ahmadiyya Mosque. I had seen this mosque during Stage 19 but today the sun was out so my camera could do it more justice than on that overcast day!
The 170 bus route essentially cuts across Berlin, from Steglitz in the West all the way east until reaching the river Spree. I needed to cross the Teltowkanal (Teltow Canal) for the first time while following this bus route using the Colditzbrücke (Colditz Bridge), but this street was blocked by many police officers. There was obviously a police raid going on somewhere along the street, but since the police officers allowed me to use the street, the main action must’ve been long finished.
I continued along the 170 bus route through the district of Britz before crossing the Teltowkanal for the second and final time for this bus route. I was now in the Baumschulenweg district which meant I was approaching the river Spree and the end of the 170 bus route. The final stop is very close to the F11 ferry service that is also part of the Berlin public transport network – it is in fact the oldest running ferry in Berlin.
I enjoyed the lovely river views – in the shade – and ate two energy balls to boost my blood glucose levels. It was also nice to cool down a bit even though it was far from the peak temperatures of the ride!
I crossed the Spree using the nearby Minna-Todenhagen-Bridge so I could head towards the Kaulsdorf S-Bahn station for the next route. When passing through Waldsiedlung (Wood Settlement), I came across a lovely print of a black cat using a zebra crossing. I had actually seen a black cat crossing the road earlier when in Schöneberg! This cat did not use a zebra crossing, but then again there was no sign for it – so how could it!
I discovered a great cycle path that runs parallel to the U5 train tracks in Biesdorf. The rest of the way from Biesdorf and into Kaulsdorf was through quiet residential roads full of houses – this was great for cycling on, too!
Once I arrived at the Kaulsdorf S-Bahn station, I ate my homemade flapjack as my blood glucose needed a carb boost despite the energy balls from earlier. From here, I could set off along the 399 bus route. This is a relatively short circular bus route that takes people living in the residential part of northern Kaulsdorf to and from the S5 (Stage 21).
The next bus route – the 195 – also started in Kaulsdorf but this time in front of the nearby hospital on Mylositzer Straße. The 195 route headed towards the Mahlsdorf (Pi-Dorf) S-Bahn station and then along Hönower Straße towards the tram station on Riesaer Straße. This was the tram station in Hellersdorf that I had visited recently during Stage 48 and Stage 50.
In Hellersdorf the 195 route mainly followed the same route as the N5 bus service (the night replacement service for the U5 line) from Stage 21. Along the way I discovered some lovely and freshly sheared sheep! The 195 route parted from the N5 route by taking the long way round the Gärten der Welt (Gardens of the World) – a lovely place to visit full of examples of typical gardens from different cultures. There is also a cable car that gives great views over the gardens and the surrounding areas.
The final stretch of the 195 bus route was along the usual main roads of Marzahn – Blumberger Damm (Flower Mountain Causeway), Landsberger Allee (Land Mountain Avenue) and Marzahner Promenade. The final stop was at the Marzahn bus terminus in front of the Eastgate shopping mall.
I cycled through Lichtenberg and then Friedrichshain towards Ostbahnhof for the start of the 140 bus route. The Postbahnhof (Postal Station) is next to Ostbahnhof and this was a major stop on the postal train service until the end of the Second World War. Currently the Arrival Packing Hall of the station is used for events and even concerts – Nadja and I had seen Editors play here, a much smaller venue than they usually play in!
The 140 bus route started at Ostbahnhof and immediately crossed over the Spree into the Kreuzberg district. The bus snaked southwards towards Kottbusser Tor and I came across the Feuerwehrbrunnen (Fire Service Fountain) at Mariannenplatz. A nice playful fountain that a child was appropriately playing around in too.
I continued southwards through Kreuzberg over the Landwehrkanal (Land Army Canal) and eventually cycled directly towards the lovely waterfall of the Viktoriapark. The park is named after the same Princess Victoria (daughter of Queen Victoria) who lived in Bornstedt. I came across this connection during Stage 46. The cross on top of the National Monument for the Liberation Wars at the top of the hill gives its name to the district as Kreuzberg literally means Cross Mountain.
The final stretch of the 140 bus route circled the large garden city in the district of Tempelhof by passing under the Autobahn towards the former historical centre of Tempelhof. The final terminus was right next to the Tempelhofer Park in the grounds of the former airport.
Cycling in the sun was really draining my energy but I was nearing the end of the Stage. My blood glucose was doing alright but I knew that I would have to eat some more before the end of the Stage. This was not that point. I decided to cycle towards the Charlottenburg S-Bahn station for the start of the 309 bus route and eat something there.
Along the way, I passed the impressive Rathaus Schöneberg (Schöneberg Town Hall). This was where John F. Kennedy gave his famous “Ich bin ein Berliner” Speech in 1963. After his assassination, crowds of people gathered in front of this building and the square was officially named John-F.-Kennedy-Platz three days later.
My blood glucose did not let me get to the Charlottenburg station as my CGM alerted me that I needed to eat sooner rather than later. So I ate a müsli bar hoping that this would last the rest of the Stage. This did not prove to be the case, as not long after my CGM alerted me again so I took the nuclear option and took on a gel on Kaiser-Friedrich-Straße.
The 309 is a short bus route that shuttles between the S-Bahn station of Charlottenburg and the Schlosspark-Klinik (Palace Park Hospital). This meant that I cycled up to the magnificent Schloss Charlottenburg (Charlottenburg Palace). The palace was built in 1713 for Sophie Charlotte who’s husband was Friedrich I. of Prussia. Her name is given to the district (Charlottenburg), plus a square and its U-Bahn station – Sophie-Charlotte-Platz on the U2 (Stage 50).
The hospital and the final terminus of the 309 bus route are accessed along Sophie-Charlotte-Straße – what else! This area is full of beautiful red brick buildings as well as some newer blocks of flats that serve as housing for university students. I discovered the historical sign for the Güterbahnhof Charlottenburg (Charlottenburg Freight Depot) which was part of the train service between Berlin and Lehrte (near Hannover).
I was grateful to be not far from home as this Stage really took a lot out of me. I was happy to get home, relax in the shade and properly rehydrate after spending so many hours in the sun. This may become a feature of the final few Stages of the Grand Tour – shame I don’t have domestiques bringing ice vests for me!