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Grand Tour de Grüne Hauptwege Stage 19/20 – Tiergartenring / Tiergarten Ring

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Date05.07.2022
Strava Activityhttps://www.strava.com/activities/7417891763
BikeEarp
Distance in km30.8
Elevation in m103
Length of Grüner Hauptweg23
Amount of newly ridden kms from wandrer.earth0
Blood glucose values throughout the ride, plus start and end pictures of the Grüner Hauptweg

After the previous Stage, I was struggling to get out on the bike. I was going out for my regular rides using the new diabetes management system of Paula the pump and Palpi the algorithm. During these rides however, my blood glucose was all over the place despite all the measures I was taking for stable blood glucose. This was so physically draining that I had no energy up to two days after a ride. 

It was very difficult to find the motivation to keep up this cycle, so I reached out both to my diabetes clinic and the wonderful resource of the Zwift Team Type 1 Facebook group. My clinic suggested many algorithm settings that I could tweak until I found something that worked most of the time. The Zwift Team Type 1 group is full of similarly sporty people with Type 1 Diabetes and I knew that they would also provide support and other advice (such as using the pump without the algorithm) on how to deal with the issues I was having.

Start of the Route at the Wullenwebersteg

Armed with all this new information, I felt ready to tentatively try out another Stage of this Grand Tour. Luckily this would also be the shortest Stage, so I felt reasonably confident that my blood glucose wouldn’t impact me so much. After breakfast, I cycled towards the Wullenwebersteg, a lovely little bridge crossing the Spree with views towards some newly built apartment blocks and older industrial buildings. 

I zigzagged across many bridges over the Spree in the direction of the government district of Berlin. The Spree-Bogen (Spree-Arc) with its modern industrial architecture is noteworthy and a stark contrast to the nearby neoclassical Schloss Bellevue (Bellevue Palace) – residence of the German President. The palace was damaged during the Second World War after which it was restored and since 1959 used as the primary or secondary residence of the West German President.

A short cycle along the Tiergarten park brought me to the wonderful Haus der Kulturen der Welt (House of the World’s Cultures) or the Schwangere Auster (Pregnant Oyster) to Berliners. This is right next to the modern Bundeskanzleramt (Federal Chancellery) which is also known as the Washmachine (Washing Machine) to Berliners. Typical unimpressed Berliners 🙂 . The Bundeskanzleramt is the residence and office of the German Chancellor – that must’ve made Home Office easier –  was opened in 2001. Nadja has twice taken part in meetings at the Bundeskanzleramt during Angela Merkel’s tenure, so she has had a taste of the Waschmachine’s interior.

Hauptbahnhof / Central Station

I left the Spree along the Berliner-Spandauer Schifffahrtskanal (Berlin-Spandau Shipping Canal) right next to the Hauptbahnhof (Central Station). This took me along a small stretch of the Berliner Mauerweg (Berlin Wall Trail) that was also part of Stage 3

The next stretch took me back towards central Berlin through the Park am Nordbahnhof (Park at the North Station). I remembered this park from Stage 4 and was ready to photograph the new murals in this park. 

Remains of the Berlin Wall at Bernauer Straße

I cycled towards Prenzlauer Berg along Bernauer Straße and the long stretch of the Berlin Wall that is still standing. This section is part of a memorial to this structure and includes a documentation centre as well as plenty of murals commemorating this recent history.

Märchenbrunnen / Fairy Tale Fountain

The picturesque residential streets of Prenzlauer Berg led me to the Märchenbrunnen (Fairy Tale Fountain) in the Volkspark Friedrichshain (Friedrichshain Public Park). This fountain was the starting point for Stage 7

Strausberger Platz

I took a long route through the park before heading towards Strausberger Platz and Karl-Marx-Allee. This was part of the former East Germany and was built in the 1950s and is one of my favourite streets in Berlin! I just love the regular patterns on all the buildings on the street.

Engelbecken / Angel Pool

I crossed the Spree once again close to the Heizkraftwerk Mitte (Mitte Thermal Power Plant) which was part of Stage 1 of the Tour de Tall. I crossed into Kreuzberg and cycled along the Engelbecken (Angel Pool). This was part of the Luisenstadt Canal (Louise City Canal) built in the 1850s to connect the Spree and the Landwehrkanal (Land Army Canal). The canal had low water levels and so couldn’t be used by many boats and was eventually drained. Now it has a nice park and café and is a lovely spot to take a break from the city bustle.

Urban-Klinikum / Urban-Hospital at the Landwehrkanal / Land Army Canal

Next up was the Landwehrkanal. The small parks and paths along the canal were full of people enjoying the sunshine. I continued along the canal all the way from Kreuzberg and into Tiergarten before reaching the end of the route. The only major detour was to stop at the Neue Nationalgalerie (New National Gallery). 

The Neue Nationalgalerie was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1968 and was renovated between 2015 and 2021. This was my first time getting up close to the newly renovated building and it sure is impressive! The clear glass panels give wonderful reflections and I’m very happy that I’m not responsible for keeping them clear 😉 . The sculptures around the building are also pretty cool.

I’m not messing with the Canada Geese!

I gave way to some Canada Geese crossing my path in Tiergarten and besides that it was an enjoyable cycle back to my starting point. My blood glucose was pretty stable during the cycle which was a welcome relief after my previous experiences. This Stage was a great way to get my motivation back and enjoy Berlin at the same time.

The % distance I cycled in each district

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