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03.08.2020 Iron Curtain Trail. There is a cycle trail along the historic line between capitalist countries and those supporting socialism during the Cold War era, from 1945 to 1989/90. It starts in northern Scandinavia, crosses twenty countries and ends almost 8000 kilometres later at the Black Sea. In Germany the trail follows down the former border between East and West Germany, which has been turned into the biosphere reserve 'Grünes Band Deutschland' (German Green Belt). We have learned about the methods of the GDR surveillance state and the time when Germany was separated on our tour through the area of former East Germany, and of course in history classes at school. In order to extend our knowledge about this chapter we decided to now follow the Iron Curtain Trail, which turns inland near Lübeck and heads south – just about where we wanted to go. In some parts it took us along the original border patrol roads, and all along the way there where watchtowers, some more and others less preserved. Some parts have been taken back by nature and others have been transformed into memorial sites to make the original border installations accessible to the public. The most impressive ones we passed were the enormous border checkpoint of Marienborn, where in past times the majority of travellers and goods crossed the border between the two German countries, and the original death strip installation in Hötensleben. We had heard about those structures before, but seeing them in full size left us speechless and showed us again how crazy the government must have been to lock up their own people and use rifles, spring guns and contact mines against anyone trying to escape. #scoutbound #dpsg #falterbikes #cube #cycling #bikes #worldbycycling #ict #ironcurtaintrail #eurovelo #grünesband #marienborn #hötensleben #wechselstube #grenze #border #memorial #checkpoint #gdr #ddr #coldwar

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