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planquadrat
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10,288 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I did a small road trip from Lithuania to Poland and Germany which included Berlin, Erfurt, Weimar, Görlitz and Wrocław. Of course with some road photos in between each place.



The list of cities I visited:
- Berlin (DE)
- Erfurt (DE)
- Weimar (DE)
- Görlitz (DE)
- Wrocław (PL)


Here is a map of the places that I visited (marked in Letters) and the routes that I took.



Every location and, in fact, every step of my 3000+ km long journey was very enjoyable. I have visited Germany many times and been to all major cities besides Berlin and Hamburg but it was my firt real visit to Poland which helped to expand my horizons of knowledge and understanding of Europe.
 

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planquadrat
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10,288 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Step 1: Berlin

The first destination was Berlin. A city that needs no introduction. I can't believe I never made it to Berlin before. But better later than never.

Berlin is a great city. Despite having been heavily damaged during the War and split between East and West during the cold war it's a dynamic and lively modern city which is full of energy and youthfulness.

View from my hotel's roof terrace. The New Brandenburg Airport terminal which is not open for business yet



More views of the neighborhood that I was staying at. It was right on the official city boundary surrounded by residential blocks on one side and empty grasslands dedicated for new development on the other


My hotel (Meininger Berlin Airport). I normally look for hotels on booking.com and this one had one of the top ratings yet was suprisingly cheap. It was one of the best hotels I have stayed at for this price range (~50EUR per night for a double room). Of course normally it makes sense to stay closer to the city center but since I was traveling with a car it made more sense to stay away and avoid any traffic-related issues including getting the Umwelt sticker which is compulsory for all cars not excluding foreign ones. With the excellent public transport in Berlin it wasn't a problem to move around



First sighting of central Berlin. Leaving an S Bahn train at Potsdamer Platz station. Public transport left me a very positive impression. S Bahn trains are not as good and comfortable as Munich or some other cities but the system overall integrates a number of transit modes (city core U-Bahn metro, suburban and cross-city S Bahn, Regionalbahn trains which can also be used as commuter trains within city transport fare zone limits, tramways and buses all of which makes a very solid and effective public transport system.

To understand how Berlin system works it's best to have a look at the map. Besides the numerous modes of public transit it's worth mentioning how it's positioned in the system. There are four (to my understanding) rail transit hubs positioned at each end (north, south, east, west) of the city several km away from the center. Each hub is a meeting point of several S bahn, U Bahn, Regionalbahn and even IC/ICE services. Each hub distributes traffic to final destinations within the city or central core hubs like Friedrichstrasse or Alexanderplatz so maximizing the efficiency of passenger flows. Very smart indeed


Potsdamer Platz. The centerpiece and the main showcase of modern Berlin. It was a no-go area during the cold war division era despite being centrally located. Today it's packed with life and is an excellent example of integration of business, leisure and public life which will be well visible in some later pictures. Those three highrises are the main landmarks of the area but the bast part is, in fact, on the ground. They did a good job creating a pleasant environment for pedestrians without compromising car traffic as it often happens in some cities
 

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planquadrat
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10,288 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Step 1: Berlin

The following pictures were taken around Potsdamer Platz



Bus stop at Potsdamer Strasse


Potsdamer Platz Arkaden is a big (around 40 000sq m with over 130 shops and restaurants) shopping center at Potsdamer Platz


Pink Pipes at Tilla-Durieux-Park. The pipes are used to pump away the ground water from construction sites
 

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planquadrat
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Step 1: Berlin

The Tilla-Durieux-Park is a not a park in a traditional sense but more of a plain green space surrounded by urbanization and measuring around 500x40 meters. It's packed with people chilling in the sun when the weather is good


Public toilet at the park






 

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planquadrat
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10,288 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Step 1: Berlin

The three dominant highrises which include the prominent Bahn Tower and Kollhoff-Tower. The latter has an observation deck Panoramapunkt at the top which I'll be visiting a little later



Canadian Embassy which is located in the area




Junk food time. The McD at Potsdamer Platz is really nice. They have glass jars full of coffee beans as part of the second floor interior design. Coffee is really decent at McD these days. Burger King and KFC really need to catch up witht heir image-building and investment in appearance and locations of their outlets


This angry sparrow was demanding food. He got a little piece of a fried potato but still had that 'hey you give me more food... you bitch" attitude. Therefore I told him to **** off. I have never seen such bold sparrows. They would land right on the table or next to it and take food from people's hands as if they don't give even a slightest amount of a ****


Small electric cars for rent. I didn't check the pricing and conditions because I was traveling with a car anyway but I guess it may be a good idea in some situations
 

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planquadrat
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10,288 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Step 1: Berlin

Some street level photos from around Potsdamer Platz. Berlin has great street level planning which serves pedestrians and traffic equally good. I think it's one of the good showcases of how both pedestrians and cars can enjoy a great level of accessibility without compromising each other.


Sony Center. It's a busy social and business location with numerous activities


The Ritz-Carlton Berlin


An open space right next to the Sony Center (Henriette-Herz-Park)


Street scene
 

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planquadrat
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I will carry on with photos from central Berlin

Ebertstrasse which is the Easternmost border of the Tiergarten park


Nearby is the Holocaust Memorial. It's one of the most original and noticeable places in central Berlin


US Embassy occupying one of the most prime land plots in Berlin right next to the Brandenburg Gate


 

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planquadrat
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10,288 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Brandenburg Gate is one of the most recognizable landmarks of Berlin (after Fernsehturm :D). It was right on the division zone during the Cold War era and therefore unreachable for ordinary people. Today it's probably the most popular tourist spot in the capital


Pariser Platz which is on the Eastern side from the Brandenburg Gate


A fake USSR Soldier wearing a uniform of Russian federation


Statue ontop of the Brandenburg Gate
 

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planquadrat
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Modern architecture at Dorotheenstrasse next to the Reichstag




I've heard Berlin was called Europe's biggest construction site a few years back but even today there seems to be some substantial construction activity all over the city


 

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planquadrat
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10,288 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Berlin

Europa-Center building with a huge rotating MB logo on the roof






KaDeWe department store with 60,000+ sq m of retail space is one of the largest department stores in Europe


Potsdamer Platz


Fernsehturm. Built in 1969 rising 368 meters. Probably the most noticeable landmark in Berlin
 

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planquadrat
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Berlin

Close-up of the Fernsehturm's observation and restaurant deck




Flags on the Reichstag building


The Reichstag


Paul-Löbe-Haus housing the Bundestag


 

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planquadrat
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10,288 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Berlin

Bundestag U Bahn station entrance


During good weather people hang out at open green spaces near water or in parks




Berlin Hauptbahnhof (Berlin Central Station). It's a striking structure which is nothing short of a masterpiece. Truly one of the most exceptional railway stations I have ever seen
 

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planquadrat
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Berlin

Even more impressive is the interior. Despite busy environment and railway tracks on multiple levels it has strong feeling of spaciousness and openness. It must have been quite an engineering challenge to build something like this right in the center of a big city






Bundeskanzleramt (Chancelor's Office) on the left


Open public spaces in the government district


 

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planquadrat
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10,288 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Berlin

Back at Potsdamer Platz


A piece of Berlin Wall in its original location right in the middle of Potsdamer Platz. Prior to 1989 it was an isolated land


The 103m tall Kollhoff-Tower which has an open air observation platform at the top (Panoramapunkt). I'll get there a little later


Street crossing at Potsdamer Platz
 
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