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Old February 15th, 2015, 09:25 PM   #1
Svartmetall
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Svartmetall Tours Berlin - 2014 12 23 - 2014 12 24

Welcome to Berlin!

My wife and I were heading to Beijing for the Christmas/New Year period, and we had a day layover in Berlin. I had wanted to show her Berlin for a long time, but had never had the opportunity. So, here we go - my views and impressions of Berlin. Despite the less than clement weather, the city is enticing with its overwhelmingly tumultuous past as well as its reinvention and emergence from the ashes. Berlin is one of the coolest cities I've been to in Europe and beyond. I only hope I can convey that well through my photos.

So, without further ado, here we go.


Day One - Night arrival and Impressions

Because it was only one night, we decided to go 5 star and found a perfect hotel right outside the Hauptbahnhof and close to the bus to Tegel airport.









Walking out of the hotel, you're greeted with this amazing view of the Hauptbahnhof at night.




A panorama of the Hauptbahnhof and surroundings at night.





Walking into the Hauptbahnhof, you can clearly see the amazing architecture of this behemoth.








The Berlin S-bahn, a very iconic part of this cities history. Most of the S-bahn network was in the east of the city during the division. Now, it forms a complimentary system with the U-bahn to make Berlin have one of the best public transport systems in Europe (for a city of its size).







Train movements at night are extensive.







Don't look down!





The station consists of a cross - east-west at the upper level and north-south in the basement of the building.








Even in the station, you can buy beer. After the draconian Swedish laws for selling alcohol, this was very liberating.





Back to the amazing vistas of the station.





Time to go to the U-bahn. This is the new line, U55 that will eventually join up to the U5 at Alexanderplatz. Currently it is a stub only and runs a single train back and forth along its length.











The automated ticketing machines.

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Old February 15th, 2015, 09:30 PM   #2
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Crossing the bridge to the government district.





Looking along the spree.





The Hauptbahnhof in the distance.





Bundeskanzleramt






Paul-Löbe Haus.





The U55 station at Bundestag.





Looking towards the Bundestag.






We're going underground.






The station at Bundestag has a lot of nice murals.








Look at how amazing the network is here.






Time to take the U55 I think.






Time to go back to the hotel I think for the night.








Tomorrow, we actually explore the city.
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Old February 16th, 2015, 06:09 AM   #3
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Great photos/videos! Which area do you recommend staying in?

Last edited by GaryinSydney; February 16th, 2015 at 11:48 AM.
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Old February 16th, 2015, 08:13 PM   #4
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We stayed in Steigenberger Hotel (Steigenberger hotel am Kanzleramt). It was very convenient, but a bit pricy of course as it was a 5*. It wasn't lively or anything, but it was comfortable and convenient as it was right next to the Hauptbahnhof. Dunno if that would suit you, it depends on what you want.
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Old February 16th, 2015, 08:18 PM   #5
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Day 2 - Exploring the City



A yellow double-decker right outside our front door!






The Hauptbahnhof is just as imposing during the day as it is at night.







Our hotel in the day time.







We took the train from Haupbahnhof to Alexanderplatz.









And then we arrived at Alexanderplatz, which is an impressive station too. This station was the "centre" of East Berlin.











Straight outside the station we're greeted by a tram. The trams largely only ply their trade in the east of the city.









Entering the Alexanderplatz Christmas market before it was open.















Up next - Potsdamer Platz.
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Old February 17th, 2015, 08:05 PM   #6
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First, we have to get to Potsdamer Platz from Alexanderplatz.

Entering the U-bahn at Alexanderplatz.






Waiting for the U2 at Alexanderplatz.









Arriving at Potsdamer Platz.





Our first glimpse of Potsdamer Platz.










Looking over at Potsdamer Platz station.








Sections of the Berlin Wall.










Even the wall is not free of the "love locks" one sees everywhere...






More to come.
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Old February 18th, 2015, 09:07 PM   #7
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Time to continue to the Sony Center [sic].

First up, a panorama of the skyscraper district at Potsdamer Platz from the station.







Walking towards the Sony Center.








Floaty christmas tree.








Panorama of the Sony Center and a view of the impressive roof.








Just outside the Center. Very "blue glass".








Finishing off with a giraffe made of Lego!





Lots more to come.
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Old February 21st, 2015, 11:41 PM   #8
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Continuing around Potsdamer Platz.

This is the home of one of the worlds great orchestras - the Berlin Philharmonic.








Looking down Potsdamer Straße.






The statue touches itself.








Time to walk down towards Arkaden via Eichhornstraße.








A theatre and nightclub. Eclectic!








More to come.
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Old February 22nd, 2015, 12:02 AM   #9
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Great pictures man. Berlin is one of the cities I want to visit soon.
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Old February 22nd, 2015, 01:38 AM   #10
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Thanks! I have a lot of different photo threads on the go at the moment. I've been bad at updating my travels. Hope you continue to enjoy.
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Old February 22nd, 2015, 10:28 AM   #11
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Really very nice, great photos from Berlin
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Old February 23rd, 2015, 12:00 AM   #12
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Really excited to see your Berlin pics - I'm booked for 5 days mid December this year - so interesting to see the landscapes and weather as the time of year is the same as when I'll be there.

I've not been since 1995 (& 1988 before that) and its changed a lot!
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Old February 23rd, 2015, 12:32 AM   #13
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Thanks, Gary! Glad you're enjoying the photos! Mid December is probably the most miserable time to be there, but the Christmas markets will be up, and trust me, they are EVERYWHERE in Berlin. So much choice and variety for the markets you'll be spoilt for choice!

I cannot even begin to imagine how much things have changed since 1995. Parts of the East are still a bit of a time capsule (as you'll see later) but the rest is incredibly dynamic and changing.
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Old February 23rd, 2015, 12:33 AM   #14
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Time to continue with with my views of the new areas around Potsdamer Platz.

Firstly, Old Potsdamer Street.








German police car in micro form. Shame they got rid of the distinctive green they used to have.






Electric car charging and rental.






Potsdamer Platz Arkaden - large shopping centre in the middle.






Views of the interior of the shopping centre. Very empty as it was Christmas eve and everyone was with their families.










Still more coming up.
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Old February 24th, 2015, 08:42 PM   #15
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Continuing with our tour of Potsdamer Platz.






Across the central green reservation.








This building is quite impressive.








Mixing old and new. There are very few historic buildings in Potsdamer Platz.






Rental bikes.







Ampelmann - the icon of the east.








More to come.
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Old February 24th, 2015, 09:03 PM   #16
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Great thread!!
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Old February 24th, 2015, 09:04 PM   #17
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Thank you! Glad you're enjoying it.
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Old February 26th, 2015, 10:23 PM   #18
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Time to continue with the tour.

First, outside Potsdamer Platz station - video time!






And waiting to catch an S-bahn train in the station.













Arriving at Brandenburger Tor station.







Exiting the station and getting our first glimpse of the famous "Unter den Linden".







And a view of some interesting lamp posts.






And what we came here for.






The Brandenburg gate and plaza. Notice the Swedish on the Christmas tree?









More to come.
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Old March 3rd, 2015, 09:30 PM   #19
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Continuing on with my tour.

Brandenburg gate close ups!










Just in case I wasn't sure where I was.






The memorial to the Roma outside the Reichstag.











At the front of the famous building itself. I really like the dome despite what some detractors say.








More to come later.
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Old March 8th, 2015, 09:24 PM   #20
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Paul Lobe Haus in the day time.











Bundeskanzleramt.






The Hauptbahnhof.






Back on the U55.







We headed straight back to the Brandenburg Gate, the station features a lot of murals of its history.












Walking down Unter Den Linden we encounter the Russian embassy.






Continuing.






We come across one of the more unusual shops in Berlin.






More to come.
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