Biking the 100-mile trail where the Berlin Wall once stood

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From Potsdam I crossed the Glienicke Bridge, where the United States and Soviet Union once exchanged spies, and biked a pleasant route through woods to the Wannsee, where I boarded a public ferry. The weather had turned sunny and warm, and sailboats dotted the water. After I disembarked, I started on what is probably the loveliest stretch of the trail. For one thing, there were finally hills. Though taxing on my ponderous bike, they added interest and variety. I came upon a beautiful lake tucked into the forest, with a tiny beach populated by a few dozen locals. I couldn’t resist taking a dip. The cold, clear water felt almost impossibly refreshing. As I dried off, I ate my picnic lunch — and this being Germany, got a quite decent cup of coffee from the beachside stand. Then, with a twinge of jealousy toward the locals lounging on the beach, I packed up; the rest of the Mauerweg called.

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