Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Day 12--The Way to the Ballet

And now, we are in Spandau (get the title--Spandau Ballet?). You might be wondering how we got all the way from Schwanebeck to Spandau (or you may not be wondering because you have no idea how far it is). Just bear with me, I'll get to that part.

We had our earliest departure yet at 7:00 (we got up at 5:30). When one is free-camping in a place that is not a camping place, it's a good idea to get going early. We pedaled out of Schwanebeck hoping the next village would have a toilette option. Sure enough, we found a Bäckerei/Konditorei that had a WC. First we had 2nd Frühstück

Back on the road, feeling soooo much better, we headed to the next village. We saw a guy along the way who told us the Bikeway was closed, but we could still get through. We were headed to Beelitz. The Bikeway through the Forest was quite nice. We came out into a small village--can't remember the name. We stopped to look at a tourist map. It told about how the town was started. It used to be just a TB sanitarium. It got larger and larger, until it became a town. Here's a photo of the info.
Every third person in Germany at the end of the 19th century died of Tuberculosis .

According to Christian's spectacular map reading, we were to go on to Beelitz then make a left. We did that only to find out we came to a road that bikes are not allowed on. So, Christian said, "Maybe we ask the Garmin for another way." Good ol' Garmin took us back the way we had come (I actually took the above photo the SECOND time we went by this). We continued on in the direction we should have gone to Neuseddin. Then Garmin had us turn onto one of the "premium" Garmin routes. Another round of the infamously sandy roads! It seemed like a long time of riding and pushing, but it probably wasn't much more than a few miles. Still, I was grateful to return to pavement--even if it was a road with several cars! About 5km later, we arrived at Neuseddin. I stopped because it was the Bahnhof, and Christian said we would go to the Bahnhof. When he got there, he said this was the place. Except, we had to go up to the platform...and there was no lift, only stairs. Hmmm.... We had about 40 minutes or so before the train would come. Between the two of us we carried the luggage and the bikes up to the platform.

At the top, we reassembled the bikes with their luggage, and waited for the train. Christian said there was a possibility we would have to take the panniers off on the train (to allow more room for other bikes). Fortunately, we didn't have to. The train arrived, and we got on. 

Notice the strap holding Betsy to the side. It pulls out from the bottom and hooks at the top. CLEVER!

We purchased our tickets from the conductor. It cost 5,50€ each for us and the bikes. We would change trains in Charlottenburg (our tickets were good for that too). We went for several stops, then came to Charlottenburg. Fortunately, there was a lift at that station. We didn't have to unload the bags and carry them down the stairs. There was only room in the elevator for one bike at a time. I went first. Then we came up the elevator on the other side to be on the correct side for the train to Spandau.

After about 20 minutes our next train came. For this one we would get off at the next stop. We just held our bikes in place. Spandau is a suburb of Berlin. It's Bahnhof is quite large with restaurants and whatnot. It even had a Subway restaurant! I didn't see it until we were leaving, having eaten at another place, but I got cookies, so it counts as eating from a German Subway! Funny thing, on the bag for the cookies it has a peanut warning in a whole bunch of languages. English is first. German isn't until the 9th language! 

When we came out of the station, I saw a Starbucks. We decided to check for wifi. From outside, I couldn't get the network to come up. Christian suggested inside. It worked inside, but I could only upload one post. The next one would not upload for some reason. I gave up and went back outside. Christian wanted to check his email too, so I waited with the bikes while he went in. A gal came over and sat at the same table. We had a good conversation--her English being better than my German. She thought what we were doing was cool, but she wouldn't want to do it. She said she was too lazy. I told her this method of traveling is not for everyone.

We left Starbucks (first going the wrong way, again) heading to the Campingplatz. We made a quick stop at a Supermarkt, then continued on toward the campsite. Spandau is a very busy place. Lots of traffic and people. However, notice how wide the bike lane is--almost twice as wide as at home. It was very easy to ride amongst all the traffic. 

Here is our home for the next two days. Tomorrow we take the S-Bahn into Berlin!

Total miles today by bike: 35

No comments: