Nonni in Germany. The Segway edition.

You know about Segways, right? Those miracle movers that let you stand still and yet roll along the street without effort. Those fabulous two wheeled devices that you see tourists riding when you go into Boston or New York or Chicago or…..

Well. You know what I mean.

When we got to Berlin, I knew that there was a chance we’d be taking a Segway tour of the city. Actually, I was pretty sure we’d be doing it, because our German friends had given us a beautiful photo book full of the adventures they had planned for us. So I was ready to step onto my two wheeled chariot and head out to see the sights of one of the world’s great cities.

Except that when Katja and Jörg announced the next day’s Segway plans, it was right after dinner. Right after dinner on the day that I’d face planted into a hedge of stinging nettles while trying to take my first bike ride in over 20 years. I wasn’t feeling at my most athletic.

Or my most graceful.

Actually, I’m pretty sure that as we talked about our Segway tour, I was clutching a glass of incredibly crisp dry reisling in one hand and an ice pack in the other.

So I  thought I should just, you know, casually mention that I might not be, you know, the most graceful of Segway riders. I wasn’t scared. Exactly. I was more embarrassed in advance, picturing myself unable to get the thing to move, or having it careen out of control as I clung to the handlebars like an overweight monkey.

Katja, dear friend that she is, listened to my concerns and assured me that she and the others would keep me safe. But here’s the thing that makes her such a valuable person to have in my life. In her eyes, as she looked at me, I saw this: “You’re healthy, strong, capable. Why wouldn’t you be able to ride a Segway?”

It got me thinking.

So the next morning, after our Nespresso lattes and espressos (mmmmmm), our wurst and our bread and our (holy delicious) local honey, we headed into Berlin for our tour.

image2Yep. That’s me, second from the right. Helmet on head, feet on the platform, honest-to-God smile on my face.

That. Was. So. Much. FUN.

Seriously. If I didn’t live in the middle of the woods in rural Massachusetts, I would be saving up for one of these things right now.

It was magic! All you have to do is lean forward a bit, and it moves ahead on its own. Lean a teeny bit back (and I mean teeny bit. As in, just think the words “lean back”) and the thing slows down. It turns on a dime. It goes uphill, downhill, over bumps. No pedaling, no sweating.

Best of all, you don’t have to have the slightest bit of grace or athletic skill.

Perfect for me!

And Berlin, in all its beauty, charm, history, was right there in front of us to view and experience.


I might try one in Rome some day, if I get very lucky.


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