Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Post Titled: Taking Devil(’s) Mountain by strategy.
Post Subtitled: TEUFELSBERG

non-fiction, July 14, 2008
SUGGESTION: SKIM-SKIP THIS FIRST PART, (it is dull unless you were there): Packing backpack over-prepared sunscreen, towels bike-pump, Bionade: 2 bottles, sunglasses, Swiss Army knife, New Balance running shoes with halfday used socks balled-up inside all to possible replace the €3 Brazilian flip flops on my feet later, READING material: Paperback copy of Jurassic Park ("DINO PARK") in German which I have been reading on and off since last Fall, and roommate (ok,ok "flat"mate), detour to ye olde BACK FACTORY, getting coffee & croissant €1 deal, going underground hearing train rumble in and rushing running and really hot coffee sloshing-up through the baby-pinky-sized oval hole in the lid. Oua!
Ja JA- Late starting out. No Tageskarten yet, damn machines take minutes too long MINUTES sooo we'll hop-on and just schwarzfahren it one station because we just have to go to Hermannplatz. Brain studder, no wait...
Train stops at Hermannplatz. No wait, Hermannstraße to the Ring Bahn, not Hermannplatz - sh*t, on the train without a ticket now- oh well.
Train gets going. "Fahrkarten, bitte!" SHIT SH*T SH*T,
they got me, skip Johannes somehow miraculously even though everyone else gets controlled, this is the third time I have been caught without a ticket and I have no ID, I give my info, they call the station to confirm I liver there and am called this name and this name is born on this day, I'm... not happy.
we settle the business, I spool-off some lame lie about having changed backpacks too quickly and having forgotten my Monatskarte in my OTHER bag AT home (hoping I can borrow one from someone to go to the station and prove my dishonest semi-innocence)(can't effing afford another ticket), alas.
Took the day off & had intended to just go relax on the water’s edge of Teufelsee (S-Bahn Berlin-Grunewald.) Unfortunately the Teufelsee was not so much of a “See” (lake) and much more of a “pond” surrounded by and inhabited by ducks, fish and very quiet very peaceful skinny-dipping old pensioners. Walking halfway around the pond we looked up and could see the Communications tower of the Teufelsberg off in the distance…

I have wanted to visit there ever since first hearing about it from William and Vera, and also espically after David Lynch's controversial visit regarding the purchase of the land last November. (He wants to (will be?) turn(ing) it into the Donovan Transcendental Meditation University or "Invincible Germany University" or something (READ HERE) Paul and Jesi had been awhile back and took some pretty awesome fotos as well (in ELECTROPEASANT HERE -oh, moment, can't find link!) and (oh, duh, I wrote about this in ELECTROPEASANT last year)
A half hour of wandering through the woods trying to find the right path, we helped a daffy woman get her car going (she was getting nowhere trying to push it in the gravel-y parking-lot while her 8 year old sat in the passenger seat with one hand on the steering wheel. After Johannes and I pushed it about 20 feet it then VROOOMed to life and the kid gave me a Burger King French Fry from the passing car window in thanks. That was the first time I#d had Burger King anything since I was horribly food-poisoned there in the Fall of 1993)

Forest had changed from primarily pine to a much more jungle-y mix of big old creepy deciduous trees mixed with ivy and filled in by leafy brush. A long upward-spiraling slim but paved hill goes up up up up and we encounter a Turkish teenage love-spat (try not to stare, none of our business, is it getting violent, do we look the other way?), the girl runs off allllll the way back down the hill, guy runs to car to pursue, we go up up and off the beaten path to a steep clear-cut tree-free strip which goes straight up and down the "mountain"
AH-HAH. thar she is. one of the effed-up epcot-esque triplet balls finally showing their geodesic faces above the wall of ivy above...

hike hike- oh, the wall of ivy is supported (in-part) by no less than 3 barbed-wire fences between it and us... (creating a perimeter ivy-tunnel almost with a barbed roof) the whole seen is verymuch Lost World: Jurassic Park 2, but with 1960/70's architecture. Ok, we walk the perimeter and every hole in the outermost fence has been very well patched, re-wired, re-barred with rebar, grr. Walk walk walk. cool view, a guy is about to paraglide or whatever (I think that is Potsdam in the distance):

It takes about 15 minutes to find a real human-made, man-sized gash in the outermost fence,then another in the inner fence and we're in, although it isn't really any more clear on HOW to get to the center, there is just dense overgrowth everywhere. we are wading through weeds, and then pavement, a busted guardrail and some streetlights then more overgrown and steep hills. crumbling and overgrown crumbling and overgrown, we climb two more very steep hills, pretty dense vegetation which you can grab onto to assist climbing and finally on flat-land (avoided nettles) and the ground-level of the communications facility,

I am wondering a bit if and/or how often the Polizei patrol this area often... saw them down by the parking lot... a long time/ways ago/away... shards of control panels in the ivy
and all sorts of wires spilling out of underground hatches very much like a half-ton of proportionate-ly sized spaghetti...
arg. man, this place... "this place..." I say to Johannes "this place IS post-apocalyptic. If everything screeched to a halt then the world would probably look like this in 15-20 years..." and it is amazing.

I start taking fotos and more-or less don't stop for about an hour. NOTE: many of the indoor images are extremely long-exposure because there was often little or no light.

strange sort of boiler room:

Johannes hears people and beckons me out of the building. Two French guys approach and suggest that we go into another building, climb up and check out the view... but we never found what they were talking about.

most every room I walked into had a lot of floor panels missing... not a good place to come at night. i.e.: Open manhole overlapping a path with computer equipment down at the bottom...

the French guys somehow climbed to the uppermost parts of the complex:

The one 3 or 4-story stairwell with a busted skylight at the top of it also just happened to have an emergency ladder laying in the rubble directly below, but it was one of those ladders that should be attached to the edge of a building rooftop, and would probably take at least 4 people to lift, so no-go on that one...

Found a much nicer hole in the fence to exit from:

Coming down the hill we looked up to our right where a large wild boar was coming to a stop on a high bank above the edge of the road. It looked us up and down, we looked at it, instant silent shock. I recalled a story from the newspaper about people being gored or at least bitten during brutal boar attacks in the German forests surrounding Berlin... without thinking I removed the towel from around my neck and began to twist it in front of me- uhm...? Did I think that I would choke the boar if it charged???... no idea. Staring a wild and potentially dangerous animal in the face one hardly thinks...
Later Johannes explained it as such:
"When you panicked I panicked and searched my brain for "WHAT TO DO IN CASE OF WILD BOAR ENCOUNTER... and that file in my brain was totally empty, so I ran."

The boar headed towards us and Johannes bolted off into the woods, I began running down the street as well but facing the boar, twisting the towel defensively so that it was on its way to becoming a think sort of terrycloth rope out in front of my tusk-vulnerable stomach.
After a few strides I saw two old Germans up on the bank yelling and then laughing at our fear... but they both carried large sticks, which would give one room to laugh in such a situation. I was too busy running to listen to anything they said...

SHOULD've checked the TEUFELSBERG WIKIPEDIA PAGE before going:


* Wild Boar roam free on the hill. Visitors are advised to stay on the paths at all times."


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