The former Olympic village has been calling my name for a long time now, but the winter chill managed to force me in doors and dissolve all motivation to venture outside and return its persistent call. But as all us in Berlin over the week know, the sun returned, this time bringing some decent heat with it so excuses were left behind and it was time to go.
We took bikes on the train out to Spandau, then proceeded to ride around 15km out to the village. I was hoping for a picturesque journey through the Brandenburg countryside but to be honest, majority of the ride was beside the autobahn. The drone of cars speeding past isn’t the most relaxing background music but it was good to see the fields being toiled for new crops and buds appearing on the bare trees.
In our research of the place we had read that there are guards at the main entrance with the possibility of guard dogs. I’m ok with human guards, they can be out run, out talked or just ignored. But when it comes to dogs that have been trained to guard something, have two more powerful legs than I and a natural instinct to protect, I start getting a tad nervous. So with a casual ‘just out for a sunny Saturday bike ride’ look about us we had a quick search for these possible inconveniences. Nothing was spotted, so through a hole in the fence we jumped.
To my disappointment, due to the fact that they now run tours through the village, a lot of the buildings were boarded up freakishly well and because I forgot to pack my ladder, we had no chance to get into the Speisehaus der Nationen building, the Jesse Owen house or a cool looking building that apparently housed a theatre. But we did make it into the swimming complex which was definitely worth the whole journey and one of my favourite places to date.
I’m not sure about how I feel about them renovating everything. On one side it’s cool that they are keeping history alive and only charging one euro for entry is awesome, but I was a little gutted not to be able explore a totally abandoned complex. The tours start in April, so who knows they might take down those boarded windows, but I’m sure that will only result in more guards. Oh well, it’s still friggn’ rad!