“One who masters the past can master the future,” said Michael Cramer, a European Member of Parliament. Cramer was speaking with CBC radio’s Helen Mann on As It Happens Tuesday. He was referring to the 10,000 km Iron Curtain Bicycle trail that begins in Finland and ends at the border of Turkey and Bulgaria, Cramer is cycling the entire path. It was not that long ago that Europe was divided between east and west – the new bicycle trail is meant to bring together history, culture, politics and nature.
The trail itself snakes through 20 countries, 15 of which are member states of the European Union. According to Cramer it is an astonishing reality given the state of Europe a mere 25-years ago. Highlights of the trail include infamous areas such as the Point Alpha Watchtower in Thuringia; a federal state within Germany. The Iron Curtain Bicycle path also passes a memorial in Cheb, Czech Republic that was created in memory of victims of the Iron Curtain in the region.
The concept of the bike trail is to grant people the opportunity to travel fast enough to see a lot while still going slow enough to experience and understand the history of the surrounding areas. This year is a fitting year to ride the Iron Curtain Bicycle Trail as 2014 marks the 100 year anniversary since the beginning of the First World War, the 75th anniversary of Second World War and the 25th year since the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Complete information can be found at the Iron Curtain Bicycle Trail.