Sunday, May 6, 2012

Life by Bike in Berlin

Riding a bicycle in Berlin, Germany
Ian's Bike: Stray Bullet
We aren't what you'd call "serious bikers". A German friend that commutes by bike bemoans this time of year when the weather turns glorious and the lack of hills lulls the most amateur of amateurs into thinking they're a pro. "That's us!" I said proudly. We buy our bikes at flea markets for under 50 euro and the sole deciding process is:
  • price
  • can they hold our weight?
That 's how we ended up with 2 ladies purple bikes. We're quite  a sight to behold.


But biking here is irresistible. Seattle - for all of it's calls of "green-friendly bike city" - requires serious discipline making it up ferocious hills, braving narrow streets, and aggressive drivers. We just can't hack it there. But Berlin is (mostly) devoid of hills, has wide bike-laned boulevards, and if not joyous car & pro bike drivers - they are accepting of their fate in sharing the road.

So spring is here & we've taken to the roads. Rapturously, shakily riding the streets of Berlin. And what a lot there is to see.

bicycle on Berlin bridge
ebe's Bike: Lady Girl
 The Wasserturm, Berlin's oldest water tower, was completed in 1877. This site is a symbol of the neighborhood,  Prenzlauer Berg, and has an interesting history.

Sights by bike in Berlin
Wasserturm Prenzlauerberg
The Jewish community is still a fragment of what it was in Berlin before WWII, but all the time you run across reminders of it's once prominent place in the community.

Sights by bike in Berlin
Jewish School in Prezlauer Berg
Just another Police raid....


Quiet in these pics, Mariannenplatz is covered in people for MyFest (MayDay). An old hospital dominates the square and hosts art events.



Graffiti, graffiti everywhere. How I love thee.

Doener Love
Berlin graffiti
Kreuberg Astronaut




Prenzlauer Berg

Add caption

Kreuzberg
Knut


Kreuzberg
Lebowski on Berlin Wall
 Stag Parties are here. Meet chicken Stag party:


 And bierbike stag party:


 My parents were intimidated by a protest in Bratislava, but it's hardly a day in Berlin without a call for social reform.

...and awesomely weird public art! Ian passes this place on his commute to work everyday. We had time to make use of it on our bike ride of leisure.




Skeleton
The city has inescapable history. The Gedenkniskirche isn't the only bombed out church. This little lovely is up by Wei├čensee
.

Old Scultheiss Brewery

Kreuzberg Church & U-Baahn line
Nikolaikirche, Rotes Rathaus, Fernsehturm
 In spite of our continual jabs at Wedding, we are starting to really like our neighborhood.

Wedding, Berlin
 rose garden Berlin
rose garden starting to bloom
BIG plus - we found a swimming pool with slide 5 minutes from the house. I think our summer plans are established. (We went, we swam, we conquored)

water slide in humboldthain park

Fallen in love with our nearby park. And old people being all cute.

You can barely make out people on the grass past the trees, but they are hilarious. This large group of older Turkish gentlemen appear frequently and play bocce ball - cursing all the while.

Park in Berlin Wedding

Time for a break....
Parks in Berlin
Volkspark am Weinbergsweg

These are just tidbits of what we've seen this spring in Berlin with more and more places added to my listing of favorites: In Love with Berlin.

2 comments:

Chris said...

Cool photos. I like to travel with my bike, but I've never thought that Berlin was a good place to ride. I'll definitely have to look into it for my next trip.

ianandebe said...

Yes - Berlin is amazing for bikes! I prefer it over nay other mode of transport when the weather agrees.

We're Back in Berlin Ja!

We're Back in Berlin Ja!
ebe & ian at Yak-toberfest 2008