Borkheide-Berlin taking in Potsdam Palaces

Ascension Day: it turns out the tradition in Germany is to decorate your bike with balloons, foliage and windmills, wear a silly hat, form up in gangs and ride around getting pissed. We saw literally thousands of cyclists today. Some groups, like the extended family of Zander, who explained the ritual to us, were delightful. Others were a bit of a menace, careering all over the cycle path and chucking broken bottles around.

We rolled into Potsdam with the gangs, and did a bit of conventional tourism, exploring the Potsdam Palaces for an hour or two. This was the seat of Frederick the Great, king of Prussia, built in the mid 18th century. Reminiscent of Versailles, but bigger, the allied leaders met here post-WW2 to negotiate the peace.

After a bit of lunch in Potsdam, we set off for Berlin, rolling through the undulating Grunewald, and finally the long straight ride down Bismarkstrasse past the landmarks of Charlottenburg, the Siegessaule and at last the Brandenburg Gate. With a spot of help from Deutsche Bahn we’ve made it from Prague to Berlin. Now sights are set on Copenhagen.

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