Berlin Wall Trail 2019 - a novel Walk

CaptJCool

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prior to the pandemic I embarked upon a remarkable adventure

MIA Missing in Adventure

so 2019 was the 30 anniversary year on from the Fall of the Wall

I wondered @ how re-unification May have developed between two different Germany’s

Epitomised especially by what rose up upon the abolition of a rather large forbidding wall

For a long time I wondered about the LONG TERM EFFECT of the Berlin Wall

Growing up in pseudo Lutheran tradition “O Come O Come Emmanuel”. “Stille Nacht” and all that German history had a particular fascination.


and this Wall surroundEd a decadent, vibrant democratic capitalist city known as Berlin.



The brief back story

prior to finishing up the need to work, I had logged a bucket list of projects that interested me. Sure I could walk the Camino but was I really a Pilgrim? But besides being ‘boring’ and crowded, it seemed too much the Road Travelled...



The Berlin Wall Trail struck me as a more personalised off the beaten track adventure , the Road LESS Travelled

Epitomising my personal struggle between social justice and wealth creation

Of Nationalism and Internationalism

Of Renewal

Of aged memories

Of what it might be like all these years later

It was certainly more about the journey of love for wanderlust and of critically thinking and analysing of two very different ways of life. It really was a Fish up a tree kinda adventure

So this journey delves into the Unknown, and seeing its about the 2nd anniversary of my trip, and the 32nd anniversary of the Wall Fall, and still in the midst of pandemic mayhem, hopefully not for longer as the doctor has arrived, Im planning on giving a record of the walk here on AFF to inspire future trips.

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and here’s the original larger trip report
F is for Fail-safe Trap, Right? Book Sat fly Tues as FF points Deval Belgium, Berlin & Stockholm

cheers
D
 
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CaptJCool

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And heres a map and brief history of the Trail...


The full trail is split into 14 sections (between 7 & 21 kms) and info is recorded for a clockwise direction of the walk. Of course. To make it harder, I chose to walk anti-clockwise, and rely SOLELY on local wifi Thus the MIA.....

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so put your feet up and enjoy the adventure
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CaptJCool

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A few more preliminaries and on the 28th will be on the first leg....

this is the most epic Berlin Wall photo IMHO
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of the DDR BORDER guard vaulting the wall as the 1961 version goes up

Eastern Traubies to western decadence!
79BE292B-1981-43E3-92A3-D0407C94D496.jpeg CFF62E3D-131B-4967-AE75-DFDF255A341E.jpeg

iconic Checkpoint Charlie and thevno Mans land
8C533974-C72A-4774-AE0F-9EBF72886C58.jpeg EF30848A-FFF2-428E-A1C5-9F978EA0AF33.jpeg

there’s lot of sign boards floating around usually in a mix of German and English
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daily breakfast 406B432D-78D4-4785-9F8E-1A3C9EDCA9ED.jpeg
great for a long days walk

timeless Photos
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and of course a final photo of the map Berlin Wall with checkpoints
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My walking trip began at the Berlin Wall Memorial ( on the map above between Prenzler Berg and Wedding)
in light of my potentially short time in Berlin, I thought it prudent to visit the Museum BEFORE beginning on the walk so as to take in the atmosphere of what it’s all about. Lots to learn and lots to process.

and not to be confused with the BRAND NEW

The Wall Museum - East Side Gallery - Berlin

at East Side Gallery which wasn’t opened when I walked....

lastly, because of the anti-clockwise direction the West would always be Links (on the left) and the East Rechts (on the right hand side) helped inside East Berlin as the trams still run

more on the 28th
 

CaptJCool

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First Day
28th September 2019

the first stage of my walk
Berlin Wall Trail - From Wollankstrasse to Nordbahnhof - Berlin.de (in reverse)

and I began at


Detailed site here
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From the Memorial - this is the last standing example of all walls with border tower

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the former Wall InThe city is denoted by paved markers
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Bornholmer Strasse bridge. Single track tramway ....
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the Pathway once heading into “Nature” encounters some interesting items like a graffiti wall at a former East German sports stadium.

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and it starts to get a bit hazy as to where it goes next. Signposting was basic...
 

CaptJCool

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I did meet some of the locals. A little German goes a long way. And one of the owners son was in Australia At that time!

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I was fascinated by the street water pumps and Wollankstr station

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Cobbled pavements and east architecture with the modern touch of a landing plane!
(This In The search for an OST Deutsch restaurant for dinner..

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I went on a little to check out a recent discovery...
German man finds 80 meters of Berlin Wall | DW | 23.01.2018
And there it was adjacent the station pictured above.
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And finally as that’s the end of the first Day, I found this video of a cheeky cycling tour from Kollnischer to wollankstr which covers in its second part my days walking trip
 

VPS

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This prompted me to go and look at all my photos of Berlin in 1982 - great memories going through Checkpoint Charlie. Looking forward to the rest
 

CaptJCool

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australia ?

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And there was basic signposting and map boards even if they seemed difficult to use!
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perplexing to see a bike chained in the middle of nowhere!

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This part of the route quickly ran into rural settings and inconsistently constructed pathways. Seems everyone has their own version of “good enough” standard! And the photos show quite different materials ....

this part outside and beyond the industrial usually remained linear parklands but the occasional rural business intruded like these GGs stables.
 

CaptJCool

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in reflecting for the next third day, a day I got rather lost .....


i consider this photo stands alone as one of the iconic ironic moments of my walk


this was taken early on day three and I chose to post it Separately to highlight

one wonders how oppressed the east could have bee for a man to give his life in search of a Happy Meal....

and sadly, it was not to be. Death on the Escape..... fast escape 2 fast food - Considering our levels of obesity might be more like
“A slide unto death“
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tomorrow is another day...l
 
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JohnM

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in reflecting for the next third day, a day I got rather lost .....


i consider this photo stands alone as one of the iconic ironic moments of my walk


this was taken early on day three and I chose to post it Separately to highlight

one wonders how oppressed the east could have bee for a man to give his life in search of a Happy Meal....

and sadly, it was not to be. Death on the Escape..... fast escape 2 fast food - Considering our levels of obesity might be more like
“A slide unto death“
View attachment 260311

tomorrow is another day...l

It's not possible to read the signboards.

Could you summarise just what happened with that fellow? Did the wall run along just there?
 

MARTINE

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This is a great thread. I remember travelling in Berlin and being so close to the reminders of the fascinating (appalling) history. I too would be interested in the Big mac story. The site that stays with me is the subterranean ‘library’ memorial ( with empty shelves) to mark the book burnings…
 

CaptJCool

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It's not possible to read the signboards.

Could you summarise just what happened with that fellow? Did the wall run along just there?
Here’s the story of the day

I note it has a record of all 128 victims

PS perhaps it’s my humour about the allure of what’s in store on the Western side of the wall (of course no fast food companies and often food shortages. Kinda comes with the territory of all jobs have equal pay and no one has monetary incentive to work hard - that said even in North Korea there’s a “palace economy” - those in charge decide where the money and resources are spent and certainly if they can’t give themselves executive pay levels, they get first access to resources and perks like cars and holiday homes and travel etc


and yes, the Wall ran right there now replaced with the fast food joint
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CaptJCool

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Well onwards 30 September 2019

today were two short segments

and it definitely was a day of constantly “getting lost”. The walking trail doesnt strictly follow the Wall location so it was on and off the track to get to the actual Wall sites.

there was this odd bit of land that had a wall around a single street. Bear in mind the wall followed the “district” boundaries often delineated by geography terrain. Read hills...
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and the cobblestones are all in the East! Bitumen in the west

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todays tower
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And a lil youtube not mine but it shows what it’s really like, of this section
 

CaptJCool

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Damn No Wifi, No Coffee.... no toilets, no Water

these rural areas have zero amenities
 

CaptJCool

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And so to part two of the days affairs


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well the forest beckoned as “Nature Called“. And the Whiz ran across these splendid colourful delights!
I was enraptured by this accidental discovery - awe set in..... the torest floor hides but a myriad of “sins”
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The Stolpe border checkpoint was over there. There’s some images in the youtube attached below
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and here I had to leave the wall because it is right down the middle of the canal but there was a physical wall on the far riverbank. That’s for tomorrow

This second YouTube covers this section Of the walk and goes back to comment upon michael bitt at Maccas, and gets a bit of early peek at tomorrow’s leg....
 

OATEK

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I am also enjoying this thread, My brother's partner grew up in Hannover, and had family in the East. She tells some hair raising tales about crossing back and forward to see them.
 

CaptJCool

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Because tomorrow 1 October 2019 was a full day, I’m posting these photos from a local school Art exhibition in Hennigsdorf. I discovered this was on the 30th but by the time I rolled into town, it was closed...

here is the pamphlet
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turns out Hennigsdorf station is in transport Zone 2 and the above train goes down the line to Potsdam.... this line is completely inside what was East Germany. The other discovery, is the Bombardier factory is nearby and there’s lots of new trains there, plus a try-out track, but that’s for tomorrow.


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I left this til last because aside the Olympics doping, the “youre being watched“ kinda vibe even on a carousel, and of course, the indiscriminate location of walls literally cutting off arterial roads and neighbourhoods, the picture above giving a visual of what this meant. Eg no access to the waterfront. All houses, pathways and the like demolished or abandoned for the concrete wall. I got the sense from briefly interacting with a couple of the students from this town that was wholly inside the East. that they were grateful for life in a unified Germany.
 

CaptJCool

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So first day of October 2019 dawns “WET WET WET”


So the exhibition above was the first event of the day and then onwards in the soaking rain

there’s trains aplenty in the Bombardier factory


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And the Havel Kanal is filled with boats and the bridge across built in 1952
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Sculpture "Von Ufer zu Ufer" (From shore to shore) at the lake Nieder Neuendorfer See

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I think I saw more trees down in this section than people. You’re very much on your own in the rural areas of the Wall Trail
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the divide in bitumen and cobbles denotes the border as the East retains cobbles....


On this walk day, there were three enclaves tucked inside the East side.

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and further on past Spandau Forest (from memory) Eiskeller
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The photo of the boy on the bike is below.
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by this time I was fast running out of daylight with still some distance through the forest to Staaken so I didn’t venture into Eiskeller. The first road in looked blocked off and the main entrance appeared a bridge too far...

so a rush and shuttle runs through the dark of the forest. I did encounter two male walkers that meant run faster for in the dark who knows what might happen.

finally moonlight and the outskirts of StaaKen.
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By this late hour i was fair wet and exhausted. I stumbled across an Aldi or the like and even found a 12 Euros pair of light hiking boots but food was short on supply. At least wine 1-2 Euros a bottle and chocolate 1 Euro were cheap for at the late hour, the regional trains had long intervals between so it was a solid walk to Spandau U-Bahn.. not what I needed after a long wet, walk.
 

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