After a good night of sleep, I woke up at 4:12am. Today is the day. The day I will complete my Walk to WordCamp Europe. Since it was going to be 30+ degrees Celsius today, Caspar and I agreed that he was going to be awake around 5am, so we could start early and enjoy the fresh outside temperatures. And so we did.
We first walked to a memorial of victims who got shot while trying to get into West Berlin, and flee East Berlin and the GDR (former Eastern Germany) Here you can read about the Berlin wall, and here’s a map with the wall as a layer.
After this visit of the memorial site, Caspar and I continued the walk along the Teltowkanal. A great route because it was green and we walked in the shade. We took a little detour to take a look at an old bridge that used to be a border checkpoint when the wall was there. We walked in the nature until Telkow, there we entered the urban area.
We had fun, talked about all kinds of stuff, from chimpanzees and gorillas to WordPress stuff and post World War II events. We took plenty of breaks to cool our feet and to apply some blistertape when needed.
For our last break, we sat down on a bench under a highway bride. In the shade. The temperature had really gone up, and we really needed to cool down, drink some water and apply some more sunscreen. When we were ready, there was just 4km to go. The first part of the last phase we really walked together, but the more I came to the Estrel Hotel, the faster I was walking. Caspar said it was OK to continue, so that’s what I did. When I arrived on the bridge across the hotel I booked for my stay in Berlin, Noam, my son, came running towards me. We had the best hug ever, and then the rest of my family joined me. Daughter Mila, wife Beatrijs, my parents, in-laws, and my niece Lilian.
We then continued to the entrance of the Estrel hotel where a small crowd of people from the WordPress community were waiting for me. I hugged them all, and was given a cold beer. 🍺
I then quickly checked in, and hugged even more people that were inside. We went to my room, so I could have a shower and get some clean clothes my wife brought from home. We took a train to the Ostbahnhof to watch a piece of the wall. After taking some pictures there and telling our children what this wall was and meant for the inhabitants of Berlin, we went back to the hotel. I was getting tired.
We grabbed a small bite in the Biergarten of the Estrel Hotel, and the I said goodbye to my family again. Four more nights without them.
Here are some pictures of today:
WordCamp Europe starts tomorrow. It’s Contributor Day and I have a few interviews planned about Walk To WCEU. Of course I will contribute, just not really sure in what form.