Conqueror Virtual Challenge - Angkor Wat
When is an apology not an apology?

Conqueror Virtual Challenge - Berlin Wall

Another short-ish challenge, the Berlin Wall. From the site, "The Berlin Wall takes you on a powerful 30mi (48km) journey through the center of Berlin, Germany, from Waltersdorfer Chaussee to Hermsdorf. What used to be a symbol of a world split in half by the Cold War now is the symbol of freedom, liberty, and unity."

FireShot Pro Webpage Screenshot #758 - 'Berlin-wall-map en - Berlin Wall - Wikipedia' - en.wikipedia.orgHere's a map from Wiki of the wall back then, showing checkpoints. Key: Solid line: the Berlin Wall Dotted line: edges of East Berlin Blue dots: Checkpoints open to Germans only Red dots: Checkpoints open to Germans and non-Germans.

64681748I got a postcard and letter soon after starting out. I'll add the text from the letter here. 

The thriving city of Berlin is home to 3.8 million people. It is the capital city of Germany, the largest city in the country and one of the most populated in Europe. A tourist destination, Berlin is rich with culture, diverse architecture, vibrant nightlife, a plethora of festivities and a very high quality of life.

Yet not so long-ago, Berlin was a decimated city, a result of heavy bombing during WWII. When Germany lost the war in 1945, the country was divided by the Allies into four sectors. The Allies consisted of the United States, Great Britain, France and the Soviet Union (USSR). East Germany was occupied by the USSR and West Germany was split between the other three. Berlin, as the capital city, was located in East Germany and it too was carved up into East and West Berlin.

Movement within the capital and around other parts of the country was easily accessible. For years, people were able to travel across borders for education, work, visiting family and so on without worry of being stopped.

Whilst West Germany was rebuilding quickly, improving the residents’ quality of life, East Germany was lagging behind and the Soviets became increasingly concerned when large numbers of its population were defecting to the west, particularly professionals, thereby causing a ‘brain drain’. To stem the tide, the Soviets closed their borders to West Germany but the border in Berlin remained open. The East Berliners swiftly took advantage of this opportunity to escape and by 1961 more than 300,000 had left within the first six months of the year.

Border crossing came to an end in August 1961 when the Soviets laid more than 6,000mi (9,600km) of barbed wire around West Berlin’s 96mi (156km) perimeter. The first generation of concrete walls was built within the same year, with subsequent fortifications following over the next 14 years. A secondary wall was built about 100m from the first one with the gap between them becoming what was known as the ‘death strip’.

Overnight, families, friends and neighbours were separated. East Berliners whose homes crossed the boundary between East and West found themselves with their back door nailed shut and bricked over. Many were relocated as buildings were razed to make way for the ‘death strip’. Waltersdorfer Chausse, where my journey begins, was a border crossing for West Berliners/Germans and foreigners heading to Schönefeld Airport in East Germany. The airport was the site of a daring escape by a couple, who hijacked a domestic flight shortly after take-off and tried to force the crew to fly to West Germany. The plan failed. When the couple realised they were landing back at the airport they killed themselves. In their words “All we want is to live our own lives the way we would like… Should our plan fail, [we] are going to depart this life… Death is then the best solution.”

Stories of bold escapes and failed attempts will unfold as I head north along the Berlin Wall Trail.

 

FireShot Pro Webpage Screenshot #760 - 'Waltersdorfer Ch - Google Maps' - www.google.comI started off on Waltersdorfer Chaussee, then walked NE through Landschaftspark Rudow-Altglienicke, a landscaped park of meadows and ponds. 

 

FireShot Pro Webpage Screenshot #759 - 'Landschaftspark Rudow-Altglienicke - Google Maps' - www.google.com Sorry, no streetview, but Google Maps has some nice pics. 

 

 

FireShot Pro Webpage Screenshot #761 - '64 Gerosteig - Google Maps' - www.google.com Feb 8- 1.1 km, a modest start. On a major highway, E36, with sound barriers on each side. I 'hopped' over to the east to some cute houses.  

 

FireShot Pro Webpage Screenshot #814 - 'Berlin Wall Virtual Challenge - My Virtual Mission' - www.myvirtualmission.com FireShot Pro Webpage Screenshot #814 - 'Berlin Wall Virtual Challenge - My Virtual Mission' - www.myvirtualmission.comFeb 14 - 12km. Finally, doing an update. No Streetview from my location, so I walked up to Dammweg then looked back. 

 

FireShot Pro Webpage Screenshot #819 - 'E36 - Google Maps' - www.google.com FireShot Pro Webpage Screenshot #820 - 'E36 - Google Maps' - www.google.comMuch of the start of this trip is parkland, but I travelled via highway 113, either elevated above, with barriers, or below, in a tunnel. So, not a lot to see. Latest Streetview is often 2008, too.  

 

FireShot Pro Webpage Screenshot #821 - 'Berlin - Google Maps' - www.google.com

Massantebrücke (bridge), over the Teltowkanal.

 

 

FireShot Pro Webpage Screenshot #822 - 'A113 - Google Maps' - www.google.com FireShot Pro Webpage Screenshot #822 - 'A113 - Google Maps' - www.google.comOff the highway, onto a path heading east along the Britzer Verbindungskanal. No Streetview again. 

 

FireShot Pro Webpage Screenshot #823 - '99 Chris-Gueffroy-Allee - Google Maps' - www.google.com FireShot Pro Webpage Screenshot #824 - '99 Chris-Gueffroy-Allee - Google Maps' - www.google.com FireShot Pro Webpage Screenshot #828 - 'Chris-Gueffroy-Allee - Google Maps' - www.google.comThen back off the path (note the signage for the wall), cross at Chris-Gueffroy-Brücke

 

FireShot Pro Webpage Screenshot #829 - '164 Neuköllnische Allee - Google Maps' - www.google.com FireShot Pro Webpage Screenshot #830 - 'Forsthausallee - Google Maps' - www.google.comNorth, then East, then back on the path again. 

 

FireShot Pro Webpage Screenshot #831 - 'Sonnenallee - Google Maps' - www.google.comPast Park am Heidekampgraben, then on past Kinderspielplatz

 

FireShot Pro Webpage Screenshot #832 - 'Heidekamp Park - Google Maps' - www.google.comThrough Heidekamp Park and then our end point (see above). Good thing that most of the former wall location is now parkland, but too bad no Streetview for much of it. I suspect that Germany has restricted Google camera access.  

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