Cycle Tour Around West Berlin
Dag/day 2: Mahlow-Potsdam
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Added on 18 Jul 2023
on 10 Aug 2023
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by Ottocolor on 18 Jul 2023
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Blankenfelde-Mahlow, BB, DE (37 m NHN)
Potsdam, BB, DE (27 m NHN)
07 Jul 2023
Very hot and sunny, 28 to 29°C. Insignificant winds
Slope Gradient Distribution
The stage comprised two detours into the two former anomalities of the border Albrechts Teerofen (Albrecht's tar oven) and Steinstuecken, where the Wall took really absurd bends to exclude these to former West Berlin territories.
The second leg would take me to Potsdam, where I had planned two rest days. Well, a little away from the wall trail, but a few days off from that wasn't bad either.
The path continued west, mostly on the Brandenburg side, but with detours into the districts of Steglitz and Zehlendorf in ex-West Berlin. In the end it was called Wannsee, and here there were two exclaves which lay inside East German territory and which could only be reached by a single road, which was ultimately completely surrounded by a wall. One is called, funnily enough, Albrechts Teerofen, Albrecht's Tar Oven. They have no less than three campsites here, on one of which I would happily have pitched my tent at, but they are not open to guests. The other exclave is called Steinstuecken, and in the beginning the inhabitants had to show passports to get through to the rest of West Berlin and for visitors, craftsmen and everyone else it was also more than difficult. Until the road ended up in West Berlin and a wall was built all the way around it. The absurdity of absurdities. Only in Germany, one might add.
Soon after I was in Potsdam, but there were still 15 km to the campsite. It is a big city, but the many lakes in the river Havel made the route extra convoluted. First it was Griebnitzsee, on which shores many magnificent villas stand. The road was called Karl Marx Ally. Totally inappropriate here in the stronghold of materialism. I stopped at Glienicker Brücke, because it is quite famous as the bridge that led from Potsdam to West Berlin, and where the superpowers exchanged agents and very special prisoners a few times, like the U2 pilot who had been shot down over the Soviet Union in 1960.
Here I left the wall trail and cycled towards the center of Potsdam, which I saved for the next two days and steered south-west along several lakes to camping park Sanssouci. On the way, however, I fell down at a beach bar, where I sat in a sun lounger in the sand under a parasol and sipped cold beer. It was a hot day. The next days it was only going to get hotter, 31 to 33 degrees. The camping park was almost full, but camping daddy with a huge white beard found a place for me and for Dieter, who was also on a bicycle and arrived at the same time. So we became neighbours. Now I just wanted to pitch my tent, get rid of my clothes and make it down to the lake and into the water. Wonderful.
I had dinner together with a middle-aged couple from Bavaria. On the other side of the lake, Templiner See, a disco had started and the pounding rhythms easily reached across the lake. It took some fun out of the evening, along with the millions of stinging mosquitoes. It's hard to be happy about being swarmed like that, even if it's only female mosquitoes that bite and suck blood. The males feed on pollen. In any case, it was very itchy. And the disc jockey over there didn't turn off his system until half past one. No one could sleep before that time. But you could hear that others spent the time in other pleasant ways in the tents.