Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Brakeless in Berlin

20 August - Remarkably good sleep considering makeshift temporary residence in J&E's very cool Berlin flat - got a few things in order in the morning and relatively early I negotiated the public transport system to get myself to Potsdamer Platz (i think) where East meets West to rendesvous with Stef who in a fit of extreme generosity has lent me his track bike for my stay in the city. It's a very nice and simple construction - and was put together by him just for the track but she makes a fine street machine for the excellent riding city. No brakes and a rather big gear but I feel i've got a connection with her - and it's more than just being clipped in. We took a rather long and leisurely bicycle tour of the city - stopping at some of the larger bike shops for some price guaging and criss crossing the old wall on numberous occasions. Finished up at Keirin Café where I took my first step to a more streetwise existence and met some of the local couriers and tried a couple of local beverages. Was quite surprised at the size of Berlin, although I shouldn't be - great city to ride in but I wouldn't want to try and walk it. After this headed back to Ryssestrasser and went on another, even more leisurely, ride with Jodi and Erik to some of the seedier and some of the more eccentric parts of the local area - met a couple of beatnicks and then went back for some very nice food (i've a good feeling about the culinary aspects of this section of the trip but was sure it was going to improve after I vacated the Great Republic and Kingdom over the Channel). Watched The fountain in the evening - for some reason a film that was on my list due to its near mythic status as a modern sci-fi film with no CGI effects but the best part of watching it for me was that I can now cross it off the list. Entertaining at times, intriguing occasionally and mostly confusing - I think it may have had a strong message but I tuned out when the directors tried to explain it on the Extras DVD so I think i'll never know.

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