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Divine ray

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On Sunday morning at 7:00 o'clock we already sit in the sprinter. One has told us that here the watches tick a little differently. Supposedly the night goes in Berlin till 10:00 o'clock in the morning. To judge by the empty streets it seems to be true. 30 minutes later we get a parking bay directly before the entrance of the railway station Berlin Lichtenberg. „This time it seems to run really better than with the last departure“, Tanja is glad. (Already two weeks ago we had the first start. In the train we had big problems because of our bicycles and equipment. One did not want to take us with this luggage. Finally we have failed because of the missing transit visa for Byelorussia. The travel agency about we had booked, had failed to inform us about it. Now we restart and have booked a twice as big compartment. This time we also have our transit visa.) While Rolf our friend remains in the car to guard the equipment, we check first the railway station. Many homeless hang around here and provide not exactly a feeling of security. Road policemen patrol in groups by the hall around the store to hold it under control. „Can we help you?“, one of them asks. Completely startled about so much friendliness we turn to the policeman. „Yes please. We search the railway track where the Paris-Berlin-Moscow train drives.“ „Humph, on the scoreboard nothing stands. I believe today it does not come“, shocks us the answer. „What? Nevertheless, this cannot be?“, answers Tanja nervously. „If the train comes, then on rail 16. This is there behind“, believes the other policeman. "Many thanks", we hurry straight away to rail 16. In a controlling house we ask an officer whether the Moscow train really here drives. „I think it will be punctual“, calms us her confident answer. “In which rail area will the VIP's compartments hold?“ The helpful officer has an examining look in her plans. „Segment A. Bring you luggage to the segment A“, she repeats. „Are you sure about this information? One has sent us the last time several times to the wrong end of the platform. We want to avoid extra tours with this heat today absolutely“, I say.„ After my plans the VIP's compartments come to segment A. This is quite sure.“ „Many thanks for you help“, we say and leave the official small house.

“And how did it go?“, Rolf wants to know as we come back again to the sprinter. „Everything is well“, we answer and load straight away eight saddlebags and two watertight luggage packs on two baggage trailer which we have specially brought.
Nevertheless, it is tiring to exert the highly loaded little trailer up and down the kerbs, then to push upwards with the lift, around everything again and along a long ramp. As usual, the segment A is completely at the end of the forever long rail dam. As Rolf and I had delivered and unloaded at segment A, we are so wet sweated as we would have taken a shower under a waterfall. „The next load“, smiles Rolf with the eyes winking. „The next load“, I also answer very well tempered. This time again in the sprinter we load two bicycle trailers plus two photo pockets, two driver's pockets and two pockets with the loading batteries. Tanja watches meanwhile with Ajaci (our dog) the first load in the railway station. Again it goes up and down. A lot of it we run backward because the carriages are lighter to be pulled than to be pushed. When we now come for the second time in the segment A I have the feeling my calves would explode. They seem to take offence at the long reverse running. „Oh God, I had sat the last weeks too long before the laptop“, I groan. „Now the bicycles?“, asks Rolf still very well tempered. „Where from this wiry man takes only his damn good mood and strength?“, I whisper and follow him quite groggy. To carry the heavy big cardboards (inside the bicycles) above the sidewalks, the never ending ramp and along the incredibly long road dam, robs my calves of the last energy. When we arrive after one hour of dragging at Tanja, I first pump one litre of water in my body, to solve my stuck tongue of the palate. Rolf smiles at me as if he came just from getting bread from the bakery. How incredibly fit can one be at the age of 67 years. This man is a real model. Above all for people who think with 50 of being old. “We lie well in time. Another 30 minutes till the train comes“, says Rolf. „Yes, well done, stress less. Thousand thanks for your help. What would we have done without your help!“ „Costs 1.80€“, he answers laughing. „Whether do we bring all that in the compartment?“, I ask slightly nervously. "Definitely", calms Rolf. Then the train 453 arrives. The VIP's carriages are directly behind the locomotive. „251, 252“, we count loudly. „250? Where is ours then 250?“, asks Tanja. „No notion“, I answer and run to a Russian conductor. „At the end of the train“, she says and interprets in a direction I can only recognise with binoculars. To go certain I run up to the end of train 453 and see there, there this damned carriage 250.

“We have to bring everything to the other end of the platform“, says Rolf and we push the two still loaded trailer to the other side. As we reach the carriage 250 the conductor pulls his eyebrows upwards. „Добрыйдень“, (good morning) I welcome him friendly. I am glad at the moment he does not know the fact that more load comes: two trailer we pull with our bicycles, a dog and then another two gigantic cardboards with our two bicycles. In this case it was maybe good, that we did not stand with our whole luggage before the carriage. It is possible that he would not have given us entrance with the whole luggage into the compartment. Rolf and I start to carry the bags in the VIP's carriage. Our compartment is at the end of the carriage so that we also here prove once more our fitness. The compartment is really a little more spacious than a normal 4 man's compartment. Above all there is an own toilet with shower cabin. I immediately fill it with our gear.

As we come this time with Ajaci and the second load the conductor opens his eyes as if an alien would arrive. To let not at all a questions arise, we try to ignore the man. Fast we carry the trailers and other bags trough the narrow door and put the stuff on the upper floor bed. Tanja binds Ajaci in the compartment and waits outside till we come with the bikes. Sweat runs us down the body, as if we wanted to win in this unbelievable heat a marathon. Actually, we have a lot of time because the train holds here at least 30 minutes. With the last strength I pull the little trailer with his small wheels further over the railway dam. My calves are since a long time no more subject. Meanwhile my whole back has tensed up, however, I cannot pay attention to it. We make it on time up to the end of the carriage queue. Now the conductor cannot believe what has come there. „You cannot take this in the train!“, stops us another officials. We do not try to hear on him and want to lift just the first cardboard in the entrance as a second man joins him and obstructed us the way. „You cannot take this. This is too big and too heavy. The duty permits only 35 kg per person“, he says. "No problem", answer Tanja and I synchronically. The two men wave us to follow them. Now they open the door in the rear part of the carriage and show to Rolf and to me to load the cardboards there. Astonished about the quick change of mood we follow their instructions. They offer us to put the bikes into the VIP lounge. Rolf and I look at each other and can hardly believe what just happens to us.

„Now you have really place in your compartment“, Rolf is glad. ”Yes, this is wonderful. This time the Russians are really appealing“, I answer and can still hardly believe what a divine ray just has us met. We say goodbye to Rolf. „I will drive your sprinter back to your home. No worries. I wish you a happy trip and come back healthy“, he says. We embrace on parting. „thousand thanks for your help!“ „Costs 1.80€“, he answers laughing and waving.

We reach Frankfurt/Oder. Not long afterwards it goes over the border to Poland. We sit at the window and let fly past the scenery with the endless fields. In Warsaw the train number 453 holds for the first time for 15 minutes. Tanja uses the opportunity to give Ajaci the possibility to empty himself. „Is this a wolf?“, asks a guard full of admiration. „A Canadian sheepdog“, answers Tanja. „This is a wolf“, believes the Russian and asks whether if she may stroke him. „Of course. He does not bite“, answers Tanja friendly.

The sun has already set as the Polish customs come at the city of Terespol into the train and controls our passports. „Oh you have a nice dog. Is this a wolf?“, one of them asks with interest. „Canadian shepherd“, we answer. „Does it deal somehow with a wolf?“ „Well, indirectly“, I answer. „Where do you want to go?“, asks the man extremely friendly. „With the E bikes to Vietnam.“ „Vietnam? You really want to Vietnam?“ „Yes, we start from Siberia, Mongolia and China“, means Tanja. „Good trip and a lot of luck“, says the man in uniform, passes the passports again to us and closes the door.

It does not last long and one knocks again at the door. „Passport check! Please open the door!“ Immediately we jump up. Two very good-looking friendly women in uniform stand there and ask for our documents. One of them would want in the compartment, but fears Ajaci. „Please, put your dog a muzzle on“, she requests us. Then she indicates at the trailer box standing on the upper bed. „Tent, camping equipment, etc.“, I answer. „Okay“, she says to my relief. After we have filled the entry paper we get our stamp. Outside we hear discussing the customs officers with a woman. „What is wrong there“, Tanja would like to know. „I believe the woman from Greek has no transit visa for Byelorussia“, I answer.„Oh no! Must she leave the train?“ „I think so“, I say. We have lain down just again as it again knocks at the door. This time it is a duty specialist because of the EU external frontiers who must everything exactly examine. „Пожалуйста, ониоткрываюткартон“, (Please, open the cardboards) the man asks me to follow in the executive lounge where our bikes stand. With my multi tool I cut a slit in the cardboard, to give the uniformed a look inside. „These are our bicycles. We are going to Vietnam“, I say in Russian. „To Vietnam?“, he is surprised. „Yes, we start in Siberia. "Невероятно", (Incredibly) he says and would like to know whether the bikes are new. „No, we have tested these already a lot before“, answers Tanja. The also very friendly official shakes us the hand, wishes us a good trip and sayes goodbye to us. We have lain down just again as it once more knocks. This time it is the Belorussian office veterinarian. We show her the papers of Ajaci with the topical stamps and investigations. „Very good. Do you have also a muzzle for your dog?“ „Yes“, answers Tanja and shows it to her. The nice woman also wishes us a good trip and closes the door. Even before the train the city Brest leaves we find out that the poor Greek lady must really leave the train to spend the night on the duty station. Tomorrow then she has to go back by rail to Warsaw to apply there for a transit visa. Then she has to buy a new ticket to get to Moscow. All that only because of a stamp. Contently about the trouble-free entry to Byelorussia we sink once more on our white bed and fall in a miraculous deep sleep. Luckily we do not know at that time yet what in Moscow on ourselves waits …

The live reporting is supported by the firms Gesat GmbH: www.gesat.com and roda computer Ltd www.roda-computer.com The satellite phone Explorer 300 from Gesat and the rugged notebook Pegasus RP9 from Roda are the supporting columns of the transmission.

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