Europe's Iron Curtain rises again -- this time for cyclists

Michael Cramer biking on the Iron Curtain Trail. (Courtesy of Michael Cramer)

Michael Cramer biking on the Iron Curtain Trail. (Courtesy of Michael Cramer)


European Member of Parliament Michael Cramer has fought for years to turn the former division between eastern and western Europe into the Iron Curtain Bike Trail.
The trail is about 10,000 km long, snaking from Finland in the north, down through central Europe, down the middle of Germany, and ending at the border between Bulgaria and Turkey in the south. 

Cramer says the whole trip would take most people a long time to finish. But he knows of one group that did it in 30 days. 

Trail highlights include the Point Alpha US watchtower in Thuringia and the monument to victims of the Iron Curtain in Cheb, Czech Republic. 

"With a bike, you are fast enough to see a lot. And slow enough to look at it," Cramer said.

2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall.

"[The trail goes] through 20 countries and 15 of them are today member states of the European Union. And if I had told you that fact 25 years ago, you would have thought this guy is crazy," Cramer said.

Guest host Helen Mann spoke with Michael Cramer on the trail, in Gdańsk, Poland.

Route of the Iron Curtain Trail. (Credit:

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