Summary: Skate-a-Round Berlin 2 - 5 August 2001: (click on thumbnail images for enlargements)
By: Peter Nikkel

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Ready to go. Alexanderplatz..

Berlin was still on my shortlist of skate cities, so when Skate-a-Round organised a trip to the Berlinparade, I simply had to join the pack. It was a short expedition to explore the city, skate the first part of the new skate track of the Flaeming 100k, demonstrate in the Berlinparade and do some speedskating at the Berlin City Skate Night.

With a group of 45 Dutch skater from all over the country we boarded a royal class streched bus. A huge vehicle driven by Hans, the driver who also joined us on skates.

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Berlin Wall
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Inline Skating on the roads is not allowed in Berlin, in fact you are equivalent to a pedestrian. So you have to stay on the sidewalks and most of these are horrible. All kinds of tiles, and a lot of coble stones. Though, there are some bike tracks you can make use of. In the middle of the night you can do some outrageous skating on the very smooth asphalt on major roads and burn some rubber at high speeds :-)

We had a great time in Berlin. However, befor you go, check the web site of the Berlinparade ( because they were forced to cancel the skate or "Demo" per 10th of August 2001. The organisation has to fight local politics to get permission again :-). I wish them a lot of luck.

Note: If you happen to plan to skate on a Wednesday: The Blade Night Berlin is dead. So there's nothing to skate on Wednesday's.


Full report: (click on thumbnail images for enlargements)
Thursday August 2nd: Check-in and skate!

Wednesday 1st of August at 23:00 we left Amsterdam and stopped twice to pick up other skaters in the middle and east of the Netherlands. We drove to Berlin during the night. At about 9:00 am on Thursday 2nd we got in Berlin at the InterCity Hotel at the Ostbahnhof (railway station) It was a pleasant business hotel with comfertable rooms. The hotel is situated just opposite the last remains of the Berlin Wall. So this was our first goal for our skate trip. Next we skated to Alexanderplatz for a skate clinic. Some exercises in Slalom and breaking.

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Fernsehturm (Television tower).

With a group of 13 we skated a small afternoon tour through Berlin. We visited Der Reichstag, Unter den Linden, and der Brandenburger Tor, which was all wrapped up due to renovation works :-(

After the skate we all headed towards the skate shop Boarderline where our guide Daniel was waiting for us.

First we spent some time relaxing in the back yard and had a pasta dinner. At sun set he guided us on a Thursday Light tour through the city center and gave us some history lessons at several monuments and landmarks. Thanks a lot Daniel :-) Not only the old buildings are worth visiting, but also the new ones like the Sony Center. Very nice architecture. At the end of the night we finished in a gemütliches cafe at the border of a small canal. (I forgot the name of the place).

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Daniel explains. "This is fun" Roll on Casino Aprés skate


Friday August 3rd: The Flaeming 100k and Berlinparade.
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Skate shirt competition, who wins? :-)
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Map of skate track

We went to Teltow-Fläming a district just 40km south of Berlin. Here they have a project going on to make an inline skate track of about 100km (62 miles) called the "Fleaming Skate". A route through small villages and nice landscape. It is due to finish in 2002. We started in Kolzenburg at Hotel Zum Eichenkranz and did a small tour of 12km (7.5 miles). The director of the local tourist office  welcomed us and joined us on skates. Also a local television station and newspapers interviewed us. Cool :-) Online you can find the articles at Morgenpost1, Morgenpost2 and FlaemingSkate.

The asphalt has been choosen carefully: really smooth and 3 meters (9 foot) wide. The track will be cleaned daily from leaves and little branches.

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Our tour guide Lex being interviewed by Local tv.
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Terras at Hotel Zum Eichenkranz.
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Excellent super smooth asphalt.


The experts

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Hans Harmen Marionne Rene Van Loon


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Full Police assistance
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Berlin Parade
Back to the hotel to prepare for the Berlin Parade! While still at the hotel it started raining. :-( aaaaahh. Just one hour to go. Will it dry up? We were afraid to miss out on the night skate. Still we decided to go to the parking place near Alexanderplatz along the Alexanderstrasse/Voltairestrasse. The organisation of the Berlin Parade was still busy deciding wether they should give it a go. The roads were still wet. Then came the answer: GO!

The Berline Parade is not an event because they are not allowed to organise a night skate. Instead it is a demonstration for more rights for inline skaters. It's allowed to demonstrate :-) Besides that, you have a right for free police protection. For the Berline Parade this means that there is a whole police squad present to block the roads and to guide you through traffic. This has been the safest night skate I've ever seen.

My estimate is that between 600 and 800 skaters joined the "Demo" lead by Stephan und Lutz. The roads were still a bit slippery, but I have seen no major crashes. A skate like this is an excellent way of exploring the city. We saw it all: The Reichstag, Brandenburger Tor, The Strasse des 17 Juni with the Siegessäule at the big roundabout. This is a very broad avenue straight through the heart of the park Tiergarten. This is also the place where the former "Blade Night Berlin" was held on Wednesdays. The Atmosphere was great. I have skated in many cities and it seems that at every night skate people with the same mind set are present. You feel welcome everywhere  and the same is true for Berlin.

After the night we did the Berlin Parade, the skate demo was forbidden by the authorities!! So check the website of the Berlin Parade to see if they conquered the burocratic and lazy people who rule the city:

Berlinparade pictures from the video.

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Lutz Stephan Polizei Martijn Maaike & Daniel
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Alexanderstrasse Hora Wheels in motion Demo-banner Ordner Lex

Saturday August 4th: Berlin City Skate Night.

There was no program, so I spent the day with family of mine who live in Berlin. In the evening we prepared for "Berlin City Night". A big event for runners and inline skater at the famous Kurfürstendamm. Two rounds of 5km (3.1 miles). While on the S-Bahn (train) it started pooring down from the sky. O boy, I didn't bring shoes, or rain jacket in order to carry hardly any stuff during the race. There was no way to get from the railway station to the start of the skate without getting absolutly soaked and wet. With a small group we hided out in a cafe until the sky cleared. We were convinced that they would cancel the skate. But, five minutes before the start the rain stopped and they started the race!! We were to late to get there. Only a few others of our Dutch group, who had had dinner close to the start, did engage in the race.

It turned out to be a real speed skaters race followed by hundreds of recreational skaters. If I had known.....speed skaters will always start, no matter if the roads are wet or dry. :-( Though, at the turning points, many skaters hit the ground, because it was very slippery. We cheared when our group members passed by.

Later that night with a small group of eight we cruised the city on our skates until about 2:00 am. Less traffic now, and full speed across Unter den Linden, trying to keep up the pace with the cars: Alive and skating!!!
Deep into the night we joined the others at a salsa bar near Ostbahnhof and danced the night away.

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Construction works everywhere
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Berliner Dom
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Das Rote Rathaus


Sunday August 5th: Back home again.

Sunday morning we left Berlin :-( I hope to get back soon.

muurpl_kl.jpg (7965 bytes) We had a lot of fun.:-)

cu @ the next skate.

Peter Nikkel.

Berlin City Night
Skate-a-Round Travel agency

Morgenpost1 News article
Morgenpost2 News article
FlaemingSkate. News article

Place where we stayed:
Inter City Hotel, Ostbahnhof 5, +49 (0)30-293680
Skate shop Boarderline:
Köpernickestrasse 9, +49 (0)30-6116484