Berlin to Zossen


Close-up of the train-cosy buffer

Cycling out of Berlin required a lot of map-reading but was enjoyable. The route went past the impressive ruin of part of the Anhalter Bahnhof and along the Teltow canal until it joined the Berlin Mauerweg at Kirschenallee – the beautiful cherry tree avenue presented to the reunified Germany by Japan.


Anhalter Bahnhof

It’s good to be cycling in eastern Germany again, despite the horrendous cobbles. It is so spacious and seemingly under-populated, the architecture is different, and I am interested by the signs of a disappearing way of life and decaying industry. I feel slightly guilty about this latter feeling: people lost jobs and communities after reunification as economic rationality sank its teeth into them.


Berlin Mauerweg near Lichtenrade; presumably the silver birch trees that took root after the fall of the wall have now grown so well that they are ready to be chopped down and used. Time certainly flies!

However, I rather like never being quite sure what I’ll find in these out-of-the-way places that unfamiliar cycle routes pass through. Grandiose but derelict textile factories, scruffy Jugendstil villas facing onto a park, a depression in the middle of town caused by over-mining of potash beneath . . .

Well, Zossen was no different. It looks rather run-down, depopulated and uninspiring until you cross under the tracks of the working railway line and come to the old station:


A train-cosy! And then something that I didn’t even know the name of:


A draisine. This one is the kind you could imagine Laurel and Hardy using, but they also come in pedal versions.

Something else I have no conceptual or linguistic handle on:


Drehstromtriebwagen – three-phase current rail car. Keine Ahnung.

But I did like the fact that this old Zossen station used to run into the old Anhalter Bahnhof.

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