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Berlin, Again

sunny 21 °C
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Brandenburger Tor

Brandenburger Tor

My September holiday has started!

And so far, so good.

Very good, to be honest. Ryanair has transported me safely to Berlin - and the flight was 20 minutes early!

I am in the airport hotel at Schönefeld overnight. It is very good too, and right beside the railway station - city centre 30 minutes. The hotel even gave me a free 24 hour travel card. It is the Intercity Hotel (one good turn deserves another).

Branding

Branding

I had time for a couple of hours in the city before it started to get dark. The train took me the Friedrichstrasse to wander around Under den Linden, the Brandenburger Tor and Reichstag.

A Memory

A Memory

The last time I used Bahnhof Friedrichstrasse was May 1990. The DDR had opened its borders but was still a separate state. Foreigners still had to use an official border crossing, while locals walked through holes in the wall. I had to pay for a visa and convert the mandatory minimum of hard currency into useless Ostmarks.

It all seems quite unreal now.

I was there for a legal conference. The start of the Single Market in 1992 was the topic.

Yes, unreal now.

The conference was held in the Reichstag - the West German Government was still in Bonn.

Reichstag

Reichstag

Very unreal.

My only other visit to Berlin was in February 2003, taking my son for a wee trip during his school’s mid term break. He would have been 10 years old.

One highlight was going to see Eisbären Berlin playing ice hockey. The team plays in a big fancy arena now, with average crowds of over 12,000, but back then the venue was the Wellblechpalast in Hohenschönhausen - one of the eastern suburbs.

S Bahn & D Bahn

S Bahn & D Bahn

Wellblechpalast translates as “corrugated iron palace”, and it was 40 years old even then. Eisbären grew out of Dynamo Berlin - the East German police and secret service sports club.

Currywurst & Bier

Currywurst & Bier

Yes, good to be back and it is a shame it is just an overnight stay.

Posted by IainT 13:02 Archived in Germany Tagged trains food germany berlin flights ice_hockey airlines brexit

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