Saturday, July 12, 2008


This trip to Berlin had happened during the trip to Hannover, The details of most of the Hannover trip are given in the previous post. I had booked the tickets online to Berlin from Hannover. Got up at 5:00 in the morning, Outside the sun was shining brightly as if it was 9:00. Quickly had an MTR packet for breakfast and set out for the nearest Metro stop at 6:15. At the metro stop, the ticket vending machine was malfunctioning. Somehow it was not accepting my coins. Luckily a German lady was also waiting for a train at the station. Hearing my plea for help, she came along and after checking the machine, she said in broken English that the machine indeed was not working. So I asked her whether I could board the train and get down at the next stop to buy the tickets? Hearing this she was shocked! She told me that even though nobody checked, it was not good to get on a train without a ticket. Instead she suggested me to catch a bus in an opposite street. I was reluctant to catch a bus, because I was not aware of the routes and by now I was comfortable with the train. But unfortunately it didn't look good to board the train without a ticket with this lady watching me. So went to bus stop, just then a train zoomed past. The bus was not long in coming, and after ascertaining the destination I bought tickets from the Driver.
After reaching the railway station, I went to the platform specified on the online ticket. There was still sufficient time for the train. After a 15 minutes wait, the train came. In my ticket the bogie mentioned was wagon 23, But this, I couldn't locate as there was no mention of any numbers on the train. So taking a deep breadth, I dived into the nearest bogie. Inside the compartment there was an electronic display mentioning that this was wagon 24. And in just about that time the train started moving. Finally after locating my seat in wagon 23, I made myself at home. The train started to gain speed and within no time the displays were showing a speed of 230 Kmph. During the journey the train reached a topspeed of 250kmph. The journey from Hannover to Berlin, which are 260 Km apart was completed in 1 and 1/2 hours.
I started my Berlin tour with Riechstag, the German parliament. Took the metro from the main station to unter den linden stop. Outside the station, after asking for directions I found myself in front of the huge building. There was already a decent queue at the entrance, and after a strict security check, which was similar to those in Airports, I got inside. The feature of this building is the glass house kind of a structure build on the top of the building. From this place we can get a view of the parliamentry affairs going inside the building and also a very good view of the city. There was also a collection of photos referring to the history of the building, I moved on after a cursory glance.
The next place on my itinerary was Bradenburg torr, This was just a monument in the greek style. But lot of history behind it, from Napolean to Nazi's to the final 89 revolution. This monument was originally built as gate to the Berlin city in 1780's, but later on took the shape of the city's symbol.
After Bradenburg torr, I got to the metro station and went to museum island. Museum island is surrounded on all sides by river spree and consists of only Museums. I went to the Pergamon museum, considered the best among the lot. The place was full of stuff from Greece, Persia, Babylon and would have taken more than a day to run through. I spent a couple of hours at this place and by that time had my fill of history. Came out and saw a park with benches, went there and had a quite lunch.
Next stop was the church Berliner's dom. A beautiful and majestic church, though unfortunately they were charging money even for a place of worship. Inside the church, all my camera baterries were exhausted and from there on had to struggle with my mobile camera.

Coming out of the church, I saw that I was in a beautiful part of the city with huge building, built in the greek style, I went for a walk on that road and again came across the river spree, the river was criss crossing this part of the city so many times that it gave a Venice kind of a feel for a traveller like me. Walking on the streets of an European city is altogether a different experience.
My final stop was at Berlin wall, East side gallery. Though this place was more or less in ruins now. The graffiti on the wall had all but peeled off. With a great struggle, managed to get only one shot out of my camera.
Finally after spending spending some time in Alexanderplatz, a large open square in the center of the city, I made my way back to the Railway station to catch the train back to Hannover.

1 comment:

Backpack Joe said...

Those are amazing pictures! It makes me think that I missed a lot of things when I myself visited Berlin a month ago. I stayed at a hostel and had a rushed tour of Berlin with my friends then. Maybe next time, we might rent a vacation apartment like this Berlin Holiday Rental Apartment and stay there longer. It might be cheaper than a hotel, and it gives us more time to explore the city.

ANyway. Thanks for the inspiration!