Category Archives: Berlin

Ich bin ein Berliner

This is my Berlin Blog, March 2016

No apology for over 200 images here; because four days of hard walking around this amazing city we last visited ten years ago proves Ich bin ein Berliner.

And I can tell you with my longest blog post since I started, there really is no place like it.

Armed with a 4-day Berlin travel card purchased at the airport (the best 35 Euro you can spend), we arrived in Berlin centre on the train, trundling our bags down  Friedrichstraße to the Westin Grand Berlin and then straight out on the tourist trail to Checkpoint Charlie.

Friedrichstraße

Friedrichstraße

Checkpoint Charlie

This is where East meets West, or used to at least, more likely now tourist meets museum and gift shop.
Checkpoint Charlie

Checkpoint Charlie

The museum and remnants of the Berlin wall are a stark reminder of how hard it must have been to be a Berliner in decades not so long ago – a remarkable juxtaposition amid the commercial hustle and bustle of  a modern capital city.

 Having taken that in, turning off to the West, we walked past the amazing Trabi-World museum and shop, a good place to take a tour of Berlin driving your very own historical transport as part of a Trabi safari tour

Moving on from the fun, we re-visited a spectacle that was far from it’s present state ten years ago – an amazing complex now that was little more than a series of trenches next to an original portion of the Berlin wall;

The Topography of Terror.

Topography of Terror Documentation Center More than one million people visited the "Topography of Terror" in 2015, making the documentation center one of the most frequently visited places of remembrance in Berlin

Topography of Terror Documentation Center
More than one million people visited the “Topography of Terror” in 2015, making the documentation centre one of the most frequently visited places of remembrance in Berlin  

More than one million people visited the “Topography of Terror” in 2015, making the documentation centre one of the most frequently visited places of remembrance in Berlin; there is a link to the site here.

Nothing prepares you for the horrors in this area, so I will let the pictures do the talking, an amazing part of the city that also includes an equally striking monument and historically significant building a little further away

The Jewish Museum Berlin

The Jewish Museum Berlin

The Berlin Jewish Museum

This is a superb museum and well worth a visit. located here, the museum takes you above and below ground. The Museum opened in September 2001. Two years earlier, the empty new building by architect Daniel Libeskind was an unexpected visitor attraction. In this section, we present the building complex in image and text: The Old Building – the baroque Collegienhaus, the postmodern Libeskind Building, the Glass Courtyard erected in 2007, and the new Academy opened in 2012. The circumstances of the museum’s foundation, thecollections it is based on, and the people who have directed its development can be found here as well as personalities of public life who are dedicated to intercultural understanding and have been honored with the Jewish Museum’s Prize for Understanding and Tolerance.

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The Jewish Museum Berlin

The Jewish Museum Berlin

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Potsdamer Platz

Emerging from the museum, night had fallen and it was time for a beer and some homely german food at Potsdamer Platz, the new centre of Berlin.
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Renzo Piano and Helmut Jahn proposed the winning master plans. Investors Daimler-Benz (today Daimler) and Sony backed the two visions. The Piano/Daimler-Benz project envisioned a more diverse European style area with narrower streets while Helmut Jahn’s Sony vision presented the more uniform ultra-modern glass-steel plaza which became the Sony Centre.
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The vast covered public space with its striking glass roof was the result of a remarkable engineering feat – an outstretched tent roof with material fastened to a steel ring attached to the adjacent buildings.
The Panorama Punkt with an observation deck 93 meters high is reached by elevator for the best all-round view of the area in the brown-brick Kollhoff building.
This is a great spot for  a beer and pickled herrings…
IMG_6831 IMG_6832 IMG_6833 L1004364 Another day of sightseeing comes to an end, soon it would be time for the undisputed best breakfast in Berlin – Eggs Benedict at Cafe Einstein.
Look no further than this cafe, 2 mins walk from the Brandenburg Gate at
Unter Den Linden 42.
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 Time to get the bus then, number 100 and off through the park from the Brandenburg Gate over to see my hero Helmut Newton

Museum für Fotografie

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 The  Photography Museum is a splendid place to spend a couple of hours, located here.
The Helmut Newton exhibition and private collection of belongings is truly spectacular, sadly no photos allowed inside so I had to sneak a couple…
On to the shopping district and the fantastic…

Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church

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 And then of course into the largest department store in Berlin – where coffee, cakes and foods from around the world make it very hard to leave that top floor;

KaDeWe, or

Kaufhaus des Westens

to give it the full name…

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Before the 100 bus back to the hotel, its time for some low light classic Berlin night time photography
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 Saturday morning, time for the train out to the Eastern corridor walk along the river – and some serious street art

East Side Gallery

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 Take the train back to Alexanderplatz for some shopping and a good old demo – its the Kurdish march and protest, starting off from under the TV mast.
Just like a Bourne movie…..
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Not far from here is another fantastic museum – the DDR Museum, every reason you ever needed for communism not taking off the way Joseph and his mates planned.

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Berlin Royal Palace

This reconstruction of a the huge Berlin Royal Palace is an amazing feat and dominates the skyline 65 years after it was demolished
The temporary 5 storey Humboldt Box gives you some great views of the capital, especially the amazing Cathedral and museum island – with a skyline dominated by cranes.
Time for some more homely german food –
IMG_6873home via the off-licence, conveniently located on platform one….
And onto Sunday morning, another Cafe Einstein and then way out East on the train to

Mauerpark

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L1004470 L1004471 L1004472 L1004473 L1004474 L1004475 L1004476 L1004477 L1004478 L1004479 L1004480 L1004482 L1004483 L1004484 L1004485 One of the best Flea-Markets you will ever find!
and where there is a flea market, there is music!
Rupert’s Kitchen Orchestra where an essential part of this Sunday morning experience. Great sound.
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 Thats about it, four days of walking, snapping and eating sausages, I hope you liked this tour of Berlin, please let me have your thoughts; here are some further images to end with.
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Thanks for the sausages….

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Ich bin ein Berliner

Ich bin ein Berliner

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