After two nights in Prague I took an early morning 4.5 hour train ride to Berlin Hauptbahnhof which I arrived at just after 11am on January 3rd. It took me a while to get my bearings which was down to my guidebook being old and having a different name for the main station which I was at. Once I’d asked where I was on the train map I headed straight out on foot across the road and within moments found myself at Reichstag.
The place was covered in snow and ice which added to the beauty of the place for me as my image of Berlin is as a cold place. What wasn’t so nice was the mess of the place from the New Years party with fireworks and glass bottles lying all around which was a surprise as I thought the Germans were supposed to be efficient! Moments later I was at the Brandenburger Tor which is perhaps the most iconic landmark in Berlin and a place I visited with friends back in the Summer of 2003 when I was working and living in Hamburg. Apart from this place I didn’t remember too much else about the city or what exactly we did when we were there.
A good thing about travelling very light (just a small backpack) is that you don’t need to go to your accommodation on arrival to dump your bags. With that n mind I moved on to the next landmark which was the Berliner Dom with the Alexanderplatz Fernsehturm lingering in the background. What I love about Berlin is that the main sights are all within reasonably close walking distance along Unter Den Linden (Berlin’s equivalent of the Champs Elysees in Paris) and just beyond that. The city has a good mix of culture, sights, architecture and of course its history.
I arrived at Checkpoint Charlie just as daylight was disappearing and I was rather annoyed that a huge Christmas tree had been erected right next to the guard house. Unlike 2003 I actually coughed up the $12 fee to go into the Hause am Checkpoint Charlie museum which was fascinating with photos and exhibits relating to escape attempts from the Eastern side using hot-air balloons, getaway cars, chairlifts, and even a mini-U-Boat.
It had been a very long day though and I soon got tired (as I always do in museums which is why I don’t often go to them) and ripped round the remainder of what I hadn’t seen. Below are some random photos taken the following day showing the conditions of the city.
‘Berlin Pt II: Lola Rennt (Run Lola Run) Filming Locations’ can be seen here.