Bridge of Spies…

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM

Copyright all rights reserved

The mysterious and indomitable Travelling Gourmet TM travels to Germany to look at the…

MUCH visited Glienicke Bridge or in German, die Glienicke Bruecke.  This bridge that has a history of over 300 years was the scene of tense exchanges of spies, secret agents and Intelligence officers. The bridge connects Berlin to Potsdam. Here the United States and the Soviet Union stood directly opposite each other…so top secret “deals” could be made here, without any of their allies having any say in the matter. In the Spy business, people make a lot of deals in the back alleys of the world…

Glienicke Bridge TTG 20150624_112137

The mysterious Travelling Gourmet TM on the Bridge of Spies…


At the height of the COLD War…on 10 February 1962, the captured CIA U2 Spy plane pilot was swapped for Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti or KGB Intelligence officer Colonel Rudolf Ivanevich Abel. One former OSS (Office of Strategic Services) officer was instrumental in the spy swap. He was Donovan, James B. Donovan who was a lawyer. This story is being dramatized by Hollywood in a Steven Spielberg movie starring none other than Tom Hanks. The movie was filmed on location in Potsdam where the Bridge of Spies is. The movie is soon to be released. The movie is aptly but not originally titled, “Bridge of Spies”!

Twenty three years later on  12th June 1985, secret agents from East and West were exchanged a second time. At very short notice – a large number of Spooks was exchanged in the largest swap since the end of the Second World War – a total of 27 agents were freed. Four “scouts” from Eastern European countries who had been imprisoned in the West were exchanged for 23 agents of the CIA and American secret services who had been held in Eastern Europe.

Sharansky is FREED!

The third and final exchange of agents on Glienicke Bridge on 11th February 1986. The media were excited and came in force, because the famed human-rights campaigner Anatoly Sharansky, who had been behind bars in the Soviet Union until then was one of those exchanged. He had been in pentitentiary after having been accused of spying. If the Soviet Union wanted to save its face under new leader Mikhail “Glasnost” Gorbachev, it had to free  Sharansky by making him part of a spy exchange deal. In the world of spooks, a lot of deals are made in the back alleys of the world…

It was a fine, cool and sunny summer’s day in Potsdam with fluffy white clouds and blue skies when I arrived at the Gleinicke Bridge. A chillling breeze ruffled my Saccor shirt. It was rather majestic and had an eerie mystique. The river looked huge and very wide from the bridge, and I could see several opulent mansions on the banks of the river. As I strolled along the bridge taking in the sights, sounds and atmosphere, I saw in my minds eye the two groups of Spooks getting ready to do the exchange with some holding their weapons, safety catches off…in case something went wrong.

View Glienicke 20150624_112101 (1)

View from the Bridge…do you see any spies?

It was lunchtime and I felt a rumbly in my tumbly as Winnie the Pooh would say…I decided to go to the Brewery Inn called Meierei im Neuen Garten! When I walked in I felt like I had gone inside a scene in the classic movie “The Assassination Bureau”. It also reminded me of my favourite Hietzinger Weinstuberl in Wien (Vienna). I and my friends were the only non locals in the place. The restaurant was packed so I was lucky to get a table. I ordered in German, “Ich moechte bitte…” After several reminders and some time later, the food and beer (what else?) arrived…

What the Hell!

I really like the Meierei Hell Bier! Hell means bright in German…the other good on eis Meierei Weisse. The Meierei beers are light and very refreshing n a warm summer’s day with a pleasing slightly sweety aftertaste. Unlike some beers there is NO bitterness! Delicious!

Have you ever tried Lardo in Italy? It is very tasty Pork Fat very thinly sliced like salami. In Germany the equivalent is SCHMALZ spiked with little crunchy bits of tasty bacon or Speck. You spread it like butter on Roggenbrot which is made with Rye and is super healthy. When the bread is warm, the pork fat melts int the bread and is very tasty indeed. Just don’t have too much because it is fattening…So very yummie! I enjoyed the German style Tapas with 6 different dishes including Meatballs! The food went down a treat with the cold Beer!

  • Meierei im Neun Garten

About thetravellinggourmet

As a renowned Travel, Food & Wine Writer he has travelled the world in a keen & indomitable pursuit of exotic delicacies & fine wines. His articles have been published in over 20 prestigious publications, both local & international. Dr. Lim has toured and trained in Wine Evaluation & Oenology in most of the world's top wine producing areas from France to Australia. The Travelling Gourmet says, "Gastronomy has no frontier. These are the gastronomic voyages of The Travelling Gourmet. My unending mission. To explore strange new cuisines, to seek out new wines and new culinary experiences, to boldly go where no gourmet has gone before...." Have pen, will travel. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any other information storage & retrieval system, without permission from Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet and/or MSN. Material may be works of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents may be true but may also be products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance whatsoever to actual person or persons, either dead or living, events, or locales may be entirely and purely coincidental and unintentional. No part of this website may be used to villify others or for criminal purposes. Interests: Travel, Food, Wines, Cooking, Wine Appreciation, Parachuting, Languages, Music, Reading, Swimming, Hunting, Ballet, Fencing, Archery, Anthropology and more... The Travelling Gourmet is a copyrighted trademark. All rights and photos reserved. No part may be reproduced without permission.
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