22 April 2023

Day 10 Inner German Border Tour

We learned that the Border Crossing Point Helmstedt, which was the most significant and important one in the British Sector no longer exists. The Western side has been demolished and Saxon-Anhalt has opened a Memorial and Museum in Marienborn, with a further Museum in Harbke. We did not fancy cycling back there now.  

We were all in a good mood and keen to get on the trail today as the sun was shining and we had blue skies. Even more important our BBF told us that today we would see places he had patrolled in 1977! 

In 1977 he took a troop of soldiers from 1st Battalion the Queen’s Regiment on a short Border Patrol. At that time he was a young Captain and the 2IC of Kirkes Tangier Company. Here you see the motley crew outside the pub they stayed in with the owners. One of his tasks on the patrol had been to take pictures of the Border and the NVA on the other side. To this end he had been given a camera which took black and white film. Some of the pictures he took decorated the walls of his offices for much of the rest of his military Service. He was keen to find some of those spots again today.

The day was great for cycling and we made good time in the sunshine. It was flat with some incline now and then, but nothing as horrendous as the first few days. The border was followed and was to our right as we went north. Occasionally we crossed it.

Eventually we came to the Bridge over the Mittelland Canal. This was also one of the places our human visited in 1977. Now we found a Greek/Italian restaurant on its banks and so from the bridge Alan walked  us down a narrow path from the bridge and along the tow path to the restaurant. 

Throughout all the cold and wet days our BBF had so desired to find a Gastätte where we could stop and he could have a warming and fortifying soup that now he had the Chicken Soup and it was good.

After the bridge it was a short ride to the twin villages of Zicherle and Böckwitz which is where the stone our BBF wanted to find was located.

Needless to say we had to sit on the stone to be photographed, but it was the black and white picture of this stone that had impressed itself into our BBF’s memory.

The Border had gone right through the middle of the village and suddenly the Children in Zicherle no longer had a school to go to. 

Since then of course things have changed and the village of Böckwitz placed a memorial stone on their side showing that they belonged to Europe.

We cycled on to Brome where we found a great Italian Ice Cream Shop and had one to celebrate.

We crossed the border once more and then made our way into Wittingen. 

The bike our BBF was told was to be brought inside the hotel and parked in one of its large function rooms!

We have an OK room and our human showered washed his things and then was frustrated that he could not get online. His iPad shows a connection to the Hotel Router, but there is no connection to the Internet. We are even more frustrated now as even trying to write our Blog off line with the iPhone as a Hotspot has its limits. Some of the pictures we had tried to upload are not shown!

Anyway our BBF has cycled 76kms today and now we are at point 44 on the map.

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