25-Mar-2001 -- Expedition through restricted area to confluence point 52N 13E
In a double decker train we travelled 70km from the center of Berlin to Jueterbog. Then we walked through a forest and over railroad tracks during a rampaging snowstorm. We passed by tanks and disguised aircraft shelters up to the confluence point on a Soviet military airport. Fortunately the Russians had already abandoned it.
Andreas Tietze: "It was the most severe snow on a 25th of March since 1887 and I feared to be called to my students job in winter road services."
Andreas Faulstich: "Nowadays the airfield is used by the Berlin Delta Flying Club. We hurried that none of the pilots could forestall us. We felt like Amundsen or Scott with the race to the South Pole, another confluence point. More like Amundsen actually. But our friends had preferred to remain at home on the oven."
Andreas Tietze: "The wet snow afflicted my equipment. To preserve the battery, I switched on my GPS only on the last 500m. Perpetually I had to wipe off snow and water from the lens of my camera. My cold fingers hurt. So we were extremely happy when we finally localized and reached the confluence point. For our successors we set up a commemorative sign. After we had shot the photos, my camera gave up the ghost."
At the confluence point was a tree, which had grown since the soldiers had left. There we fixed our tarp against the wind. We sat down under an umbrella and celebrated the success of our expedition with a cup of hot chocolate. Finally we moved to the train station Altes Lager (=Old Camp) and went back to Berlin.
Andreas Faulstich: "In the flat landscape of Brandenburg, where the highest mountain rises only 201m over sea level, a confluence point is a welcome and clearly defined expedition target, particularly since one does not know what to expect."
The airport was created 1914 as airship port. After the First World War the Germans had to stop military aviation. Starting from 1933 the Nazis rebuild the airport. After the Second World War the Soviets took over the place. They left 1992 due to the German reunification. The neighbouring town Niedergoersdorf received a new quarter named "Airfield". Now there are residential areas, a go-kart-course, a sport airfield, a military conversion museum and a agricultural machinery museum.
We wish this area and all confluence points in the world a peaceful future.
-- Andreas Tietze and Andreas Faulstich