New month, new place on the way to NZ: Arrived to Berlin.
After few days biking in the east side of this country, from Prague trough the territories of Sachsen (Sajonia) and Brandenburg: Pirna, Dresde, Finsterwalde, Dahme/Mark, finally I reached the capital city: Berlin.
But not always was Berlin the capital, or at least not the only one. I still remember when I played with my grandpa Antonio, to “country-capital” or “capital – country” in the 90’s.
My Granpha was always very enthusiastic about the “pleasure of learn” and had a huge cultural knowledge. He never when to the University. The Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) started when he was only 17 years old. So instead of going to the University (like I did) he went to the war: Valencia first, Jaén then. What a difficult years. But luckily we survived, and he could return to his someplace and had a peaceful life getting old (almost 96 years old) having a happy simple life in a village, working his entire life as a Baker: Panadería García. But still from his position, he could get a very interesting and unique learning process: never stopped reading all that to his hands arrived and never stopped to listening the radio: History, Music, Geography, Religion, social sciences.
So, I perfectly remember when I was a child, playing with him to guess the capital of the country. Germany at that time (only for him and me) had two capitals: Bonn and Berlin. It was the old times, when no smartphones, no even computer at home, and…not even the idea of internet in our minds, so upload this new historical process meant to print – and buy – a new encyclopedia: The Berlin Wall fell and many changes came after that: the game of the capitals of my Grapha and me gained new countries, and some others, like Germany, become easier to remember.
The first impression of Berlin, just biking into the center from the south, is that the dimension of the city, with no more than 4 millions people, are huge. More than 17 km biking to get to the center. I made the last 50 km of that day with a very friendly couple: he was a mexican guy and she was german girl. We bike together trough and abandoned airport, that today is a park. The sky that friday was really amazing, after being the whole day biking with clouds and the rain running behind us, it was a really nice welcome picture to the city.
Before reach Berlin, I had to cross a quite empty -of cities- area that is big flat territory, two hundred km with no hills or mountains. Some areas had sandy forest, where crossing by bike is really tough. The temperatures still where not too bad.
Once in the center of Berlino: “Dem Deutschen Volke” is written on the top -right on the cornice- of the Reichstag, or the german Parlament. It means “to the german peoples”.
I don’t really know how many peoples they are. I know that there are, nowadays, 16 federal states in this countries. I also know that when I was born, this country just made its reunification. The DDR joined the RFA . I know that because I saw on 3rd October in Berlin how the german went to the streets, close to Brandemburgen Tor, to celebrate the 26th anniversary of this peaceful process.
The area that I made by bike in Germany, was once upon a time the DDR part. Still some buildings, some infrastructure can talk about this period. The toughs of the people are not visible. But I’m really curious, so I was asking all the time, to everybody I had the chance to have a conversation in english. Most of the adult-old people don’t speak english in this area.
This is maybe a sensible topic, but most of the people I talked with, said that the situation nowadays is still not perfect, but better than what it was.
I would like to see some football team of this side, playing on the top of the “Bundesliga”, playing and having maybe some victory agains the big teams of the country.