Berlin Wall Trail a surreal journey into city's past

20.09.2011: "It took 10 years but it was worth it," says Michael Cramer regarding his committment to the building of the Berlin Wall Trail about which reports

It was once one of the world’s most deadly frontiers but has since been converted into one of the planet’s most fascinating bicycle paths - a green belt that offers a surreal ride into Berlin history.
The "Berliner Mauerweg” (Berlin Wall Trail) follows the wall’s 160-km (100-mile) route and the accompanying "death strip” that encircled West Berlin during the dark decades of the Cold War.

At least 136 people were killed trying to get through the Wall that divided Berlin from the day it was built 50 years ago on Aug. 13, 1961, to its fall on Nov. 9, 1989. Most were shot by East German border guards. About 5,000 made it.

In the euphoria that followed the despised Wall’s collapse, most of it was quickly destroyed and early proposals to preserve at least a few pieces for posterity or turn the "death strip” into a bike trail were dismissed as madness.

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