Saturday, November 5, 2011

Trabi-Safari


In 2009 and Shelly and I drove around most of Europe for a couple of months. We'd encountered Trabi-Safari in Dresden & Leipzig, in Germany and Krakow, in Poland but we didn't get to take a tour until we reached Berlin. Trabi-Safari Berlin is situated near Checkpoint Charlie. There are plenty of signs around to direct you.





There was a wide selection of cars available to choose from.



A pink Barkas van. In hindsight I'd have liked to have driven this. Barkas are very cool.

A convoy of Trabi's on a tour. Trabi-Safari offer a couple of drive yourself tours around the sights of East Berlin. You drive the car and follow the tour leader. They broadcast commentary through the car radio as you drive around.

We took a short half hour tour. It was late in the afternoon when we set off so the girl at the kiosk, locked up and acted as the tour leader. A couple of her friends who happened to be passing at the time hopped in her car and came along for the drive.

The spartan dash of a late 1970s Trabant. It reminded me of my parents old 1960 Ford Cortina.

The Trabant's handling is unique to say the least but it was a pleasure to drive such a simple vehicle and I couldn't stop smiling. The brakes were a little bit of a worry though. You can see here the very basic gear shifter on the steering column. It looks a lot like the early DKW gear shifters that were mounted in the dashboard - little more than a steel tube with a hand grip.

I was pretty damned busy driving the car but Shelly did get a few good photos of the scenery. Here is the Frankenkirche.

Safely back in the yard. It was a lot of fun and I walked away with a new appreciation for the Trabant and two-stroke cars. A highly recommended experience.

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