Gene and Heather Trek the Globe

15 September 2014

This is a final look back at our Germany bike trip.  The map shows blue and red for alternating days, tracked using Cyclemeter on my iPhone.  We biked nearly 130 miles (plus a few miles by ferry between Bingen, Rüdesheim and Lorch) all told.

Not shown on the map are all the bakery stops en route.

8 September 2014

A young Australian girl sings Yellow Submarine to an enthusiastic and somewhat inebriated crowd at Mauerpark karaoke in Berlin.

8 September 2014

Thousands of people gather in Mauerpark, Berlin to hear karaoke. Twenty-five years ago, this would have been part of the “death strip”, patrolled by East German soldiers with orders to shoot anyone who tried to cross it. 

Thousands of people gather in Mauerpark, Berlin to hear karaoke. Twenty-five years ago, this would have been part of the “death strip”, patrolled by East German soldiers with orders to shoot anyone who tried to cross it. 

8 September 2014

People paint on an old section of the Berlin Wall in Mauerpark, Berlin.  Mauerpark, like a number of other public spaces, in Berlin exists in its current form because it used to be part of the “death strip” between the inner and outer walls.  

8 September 2014

The Berlin Victory Column, seen across the treetops of Tiergarten.

The Berlin Victory Column, seen across the treetops of Tiergarten.


8 September 2014

The Reichstag building in Berlin


7 September 2014

One of the quirky sights in Berlin.  According to Google Translate, this trash bin is a “Mountain Helper.”

One of the quirky sights in Berlin.  According to Google Translate, this trash bin is a “Mountain Helper.”

7 September 2014

The Fernsehturm, aka the TV Tower, can be seen from much of Berlin.  It was built by the East Germans as a symbol of progress and power and to broadcast their one television station.


7 September 2014

One thing that stuck in my mind from my last trip to Berlin, sometime around 2001, was this quirky character on the pedestrian crossing lights.  This is Ampelmännchen, or, in English “little traffic light man” (German is a very literal language).  


Ampelmännchen was introduced in East Germany sometime in the 60s or 70s and became a beloved character there.  When the reunified Germany moved to update the East, including replacing Ampelmännchen with a generic figure, there was an uproar and Ampelmännchen was saved.  In fact, you can now find him safely guiding you across the street in former West Berlin.

7 September 2014

Whimsical art on the Berlin Wall

7 September 2014

As in other parts of Germany, there are a lot of cyclists here in Berlin.  But it’s not just adults: it’s common to see young children towed behind bikes, or sitting in a kid’s seat behind the handlebars, or even biking on their own very small bikes.  Look: small bikes!

As in other parts of Germany, there are a lot of cyclists here in Berlin.  But it’s not just adults: it’s common to see young children towed behind bikes, or sitting in a kid’s seat behind the handlebars, or even biking on their own very small bikes.  Look: small bikes!

7 September 2014

After a final overnight in Koblenz, at the confluence of the Rhine and Mosel rivers (fun fact: “Koblenz” derives from the Latin for “confluence”), our bike trip was over.  


The next morning, we took a high speed train (125 mph) to Berlin.  Contrary to the stereotype, German trains do not always run on time.  This time, though, everything went smoothly and we left the Rhine fog behind for a sunny Berlin day.  And what does one do on a sunny Berlin day, but go to a Biergarten?  Here’s Heather enjoying an Alster (beer + fanta) while I have a Radler (beer + sprite).

7 September 2014

St. Goarshausen, Germany

St. Goarshausen, Germany

4 September 2014

Heather looks for a morning snack while biking through Bacharach, Germany. 

Heather looks for a morning snack while biking through Bacharach, Germany. 

4 September 2014

Burg Reichenstein, a castle perched over the Rhine at Trechtingshausen, Germany

Burg Reichenstein, a castle perched over the Rhine at Trechtingshausen, Germany