The last stage of the Spree cycle trail (Spreeradweg)

Last year we spent 4 days in May cycling along the 415km Spree Cycle trail (Spreeradweg) from the source of the Spree river in a hilly area near the border of Czech Republic to Berlin. After 4 days, we finished somewhere near Tropical Island in Brandenburg and caught the train back to Berlin. This May we decided to go back to the cycle trail and do part of the section we’d missed, from Fürstenwalde to Köpenick (a suburb of Berlin).

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City biking for dummies (like me!)


You can even use a basket to carry home the rest of your BBQ. After this we renamed my bike the Braaicycle. Only South Africans will get this!

Unlike many Europeans who have been riding their bicycles around cities since they were yea high, those of us from other continents often have to learn about city biking the hard way. I wobbled off on my first bicycle in Berlin not having ridden a bicycle since childhood, and never in a city. Not that cycling isn’t big in South Africa – sports cycling and mountain biking are common, and there are two big international races held there, the Cape epic (a mountain bike race) and the Argus cycle tour (a road race). But until recently there were not many cycling lanes in the city and cycling as a means of public transportation was not that common.

Here are some basic things I’ve learned about cycling in the city after living in Berlin: Continue reading

Weekly Small Pleasures #1 – park life

Mani, author of the blog “A New Life Wandering” had a great idea for a blog event – to write a post every week sharing some of the week’s enjoyable moments, the things that made you happy. There are usually those good little moments in every week that make you smile, so what a great idea to catalogue them. Here are mine for this week:

1) The beautiful fragrance of flowers from the tree Robinia pseudoacacia, which had fallen to the ground in a park Continue reading

Mein Fahrrad (My Bicycle) – a love-hate relationship


On the Oder-Neisse cycle trail

When they predicted wind for Berlin yesterday and today, I have to admit I pooh-poohed it. Bear in mind that I come, after all, from the Cape of Storms. Winds that people exclaim about here are often not more than your average daily south-easter in spring or summer in Cape Town. But this time, I was wrong. Both yesterday and today I returned to my bike after work to find it and others splayed in all directions, knocked over by the force of the gale. Continue reading