countdown to the grand depart
So - it's Friday. Two days to go. I'm spending the days stretching and eating currywurst - Berlin's favourite fast food. Berliners eat over 70 million currywursts a year and 800 million in the whole of Germany. You will be interested to know that there is a strong British connection here. In 1949, a lady in Berlin, Herta Heuwer, was given curry powder by some British soldiers. She mixed it with tomato ketchup, spread it on Bratwurst and sold the result on her food stall. So successful was her Gemisch that she was eventually selling 10,000 currywursts a week.
One of the things that irritates me most is when a celeb chef visits somewhere and has the temerity to give his/her 'take' on the local speciality. So here's my 'take' on currywurst - good Bratwurst in a sauce of tomato ketchup, smoked paprika with a dribble of balsamic vinegar on a bed of basmati. Though you have to prepare this sauce in proximity to a packet of curry powder if you want to call it currywurst.
Here is the route - kindly mapped by Jamie Macdonald. We're pausing at Bapaume to discuss whether to climb Vimy Ridge - the Race Marshal is keen but it's really, really steep.