One of the reasons I ride a motorbike is that I don’t like sitting in traffic, and when sat in traffic in Exeter I may well rant,
“if I am sat in traffic at least it could be because everyone’s going somewhere interesting!”
No such problem in Berlin, the argument falls over on both sides. It is difficult not to find somewhere interesting but if you are in traffic you are unlikely to get stuck: these roads are wide, really w-i-d-e. As a pedestrian it is wise to plan your journey across one well, there’s not a huge amount of traffic but you will need to cover ground at pace.
But these wide empty roads are one reason why it feels like everyday’s a Sunday here.
I like Cycling – but
Now I like cycling but I’m not sure about the Berlin cycling scene. I did go into a seriously cool little bike shop but, if I may refer briefly to the exhibit to the left, WTF?
There is an overland gas pipeline in Berlin, a rather jaunty pink affair, it travels throughout parts of the city, up and over roads, along the central reservation. What we are looking at here would seem to be a fairly close relation, indeed the lovechild of the gas line. This ‘bike’ is not so much a ‘step-through’, more a ‘trip-over.’
The cyclists here are seriously militant too. Once you have acclimatised to the semiotics of the cycleways (basically a tone or two darker than the host footpath) things aren’t too bad, but stray onto the dark grey stuff as a pedestrian at your own risk and when the bicycles are made out of gas pipeline they will hurt.
However these upright cyclists are well dressed, not in lycra and are another reason why every day feels like a Sunday in Berlin.