Friday 16th August Goodbye to Berlin. Berlin to Potsdam via Charlottenburg - Retyrement on 2 Wheels 3 - CycleBlaze

August 16, 2019

Friday 16th August Goodbye to Berlin. Berlin to Potsdam via Charlottenburg

Retrieve our bikes from the basement and farewell Franca, Liam and Enzo. It’s surprising how much you can find out and enjoy about people in just a few days. Christian and Franca’s hospitality towards us has been wonderful and their belief in passing on what they’ve experienced is a generous quality. Berlin has been an energetic experience and I’m going to have to reread some books set in Berlin, starting with Christopher Isherwood’s ‘Goodbye to Berlin’ which became ‘Cabaret.’

The route out takes down now familiar Landsberger Straße and Alexander Platz to Unter den Linden which we pedal down to the end and find the radweg signs that will take us out of the city through Charlottenburg and eventually on to the road to Wansee and Potsdam. In Charlottenburg is a hardware store where we can at last buy a length of nylon cord for a clothesline!  A seemingly minor purchase but we’ve been lost since finding we didn’t pack our trusty length of bungee cord and nowhere have we found a store that sells reels of the stuff.

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T34 Russia’s trusty tank
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 After a few long, not too stressful climbs we reach Wansee, a pretty lake with yachts and ferry boats on the water. There are groups out day tripping and a quartet with trombone and sax belting out American numbers from way back, as well as a group of school children enjoying their first week back, no doubt. We sit by the lakeside and eat lunch, enjoying our pastry indulgence purchased this morning. There’s no satisfaction like delayed satisfaction.

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Wansee
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The forest road to Potsdam leads to Glienicker Brucke or the ‘Bridge of Spies’ as it has become known, on account of the undercover trafficking of agents and others from the American to the Russian zone and vice versa. Here we hit continuous traffic and follow the signs to Potsdam zentrum.  

Glienicke Brucke
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The view from the bridge.
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Just so you know.
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The tourist office in Potsdam closed last year says the young man operating the  Hop -on-off bus. He has a map of the town, and shares the bad news that the park is closed for a Music fest that night. Ticket holders only, so the beautiful Sanssouci palace is  only to be imagined.

The  Sanssouci  campground turns out to be a massive enterprise 5 km on, beside the water of the Havel. We’ve not seen a campground like this before, with marble flooring, showers, a swept up restaurant and an enclosed dining area with alcoves as well as gas  stoves and microwaves for cooking- right on the shores of the Havel See, where kayakers and paddle boarders are mixing it with the ferries and powerboats and yachts. Ann buys potatoes and fruit from the stall opposite the office . 

Of note is the transfer service to the station for trains to Potsdam and Berlin, and a water taxi shuttle up the water for the sights of Sanssouci. 

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Camping- but not as we know it.
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The camper van area has so many mint condition VW Campers it looks like an advertising promotion for Westphalian campers, but we find the more modest and rather crowded tent area and grab a square metre or two for Marmot. We are surrounded by tenters but very few are making eye contact. Does big mean impersonal? The guy next to us has a furiously roaring trangia and he looks serious business. He risks a nod in our direction. 

We abandon the idea of a swim and eat in the deserted kitchen/diner, making the most of charging and cooking facilities . Here Ann mixes eggs tomatoes and potatoes into a more than passable Spanish omelette.; all washed down with a Weissbier Dunkel. Wifi is appallingly slow, as in much of Germany so far,  but two out of three isn’t bad. Back at our tent we nod off to the rhythmic orchestration of the snorer next door.

Today's ride: 47 km (29 miles)
Total: 854 km (530 miles)

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