Blogs from Berlin, Berlin, Germany, Europe


Europe » Germany » Berlin » Berlin March 27th 2022

Crossing the Berlin Wall twice, back in 1971, remains one of my most memorable and dangerous experiences in my travels around the world. Here are some thoughts from "Love Exploring" that I thought would provoke some travel planning. "The Berlin Wall was built in the 1960s to prevent those in communist East Germany from traveling – or escaping – to West Germany. Known as the "Antifaschistischer Schutzwall" in East Germany, which translates as the "anti-fascist barrier", it divided families and caused an exodus before it went up. During the Cold War it's thought 327 people died trying to cross the border – some were shot, some drowned, while others set off mines or accidentally suffocated in the boots of cars. In 1989 the wall finally came down. Pictured is an elderly woman talking to her East ... read more
Old woman at wall
New Checkpoint Charlie

Europe » Germany » Berlin » Berlin March 20th 2022

Interesting thoughts: Champs Elysses-I would say very overrated, but nice. Bourbon Street-not what it was in the last century, but still fun. Abbey Road-the ghost of John and George may appear. Beale Street (Memphis)-lots of fun, good music too! Times Square-at least once in your life! Lombard Street (The City)-once is enough! Nathan Road (Hong Kong)-capitalism at its best, interesting, but just once! Steiner Street (The City)-love the painted ladies! Khao San Road (Bangkok)-backpacker heaven, hawker stalls, old hippies. Las Vegas Boulevard-the thrill is gone Boulevard Saint Laurent (Montreal)-I saw Johnny Bench here Shibuya (Tokyo)- busiest intersection in the world, and best of all, plus Hachiko Fifth Avenue-shop until you drop, at least prior to pandemic. Oxford Street (London)-what a big disappointment, so was Carnaby Street. Avenue Istiklal (Istanbul)-perhaps the most fun I have had... read more
Brandenburg Gate, Berlin
Old Town Warsaw

Europe » Germany » Berlin » Berlin October 28th 2021

It was another one of my early starts, this time to the Berlin Cathedral. Someone must have seen me coming and waited until I had set-up my tripod, put the right filters on and composed my first shot, and then they turned off all the lights that were illuminating the cathedral. Grrr. After breakfast, we headed back out into Berlin again. We walked Potsdamer Platz, which was a bit of a disappointment. The buildings there are very dramatic, particularly the Sony Center and the Berlin Philharmonic, but that kind of modern architecture was not really what we had come to Berlin to see. The Spy Museum looked interesting, but we didn't go in. We wanted to see one of the old watch-towers that used to help guard the no-mans' land alongside the wall. We looked that ... read more
Sony Center
Watch Tower
Holocaust Momument

Europe » Germany » Berlin » Berlin October 27th 2021

As is usual for me, I set off early some pre-dawn and dawn photographs. I walked to the Brandenburg Gate, which is fantastic to see, although the sky was not what I had hoped for. I got some photos nonetheless. One advantage of going out to anywhere at that time in the morning is that there are so few people around and I can get some uninterrupted views. There were just a few cyclists (if fact there are one hell of a lot of cyclists in Berlin) and they were moving fast enough to not show up in my photographs, except for some light-trails, which sometimes can actual add to the photographs. I walked up to the vast and imposing German federal parliament building. There were barriers and police outside it, but everyone else was just ... read more
Checkpoint Charlie
Checkpoint Charlie
Split Berlin

Europe » Germany » Berlin » Berlin October 26th 2021

It was a very, very early start as we were on an 8.45am flight (could be worse) and we do like to allow loads of time to get to airports. In fact we were way too early and we had loads of time to spare - thankfully there were none of the environmental mob blocking the roads, which is happening a lot at the moment. We were relieved to check-in as it meant that we had completed all the new, COVID related pre-flight bureaucracy correctly, as it was incredibly complicated - not just for the flight but also to keep the Germans happy. Of course, we were going to have to wear masks now right up until we leave the terminal in Berlin. We had a nice leisurely breakfast. We briefly contemplated getting in tune with ... read more
View from the TV Tower
Airport Sunrise

Europe » Germany » Berlin » Berlin October 22nd 2021

By this, I mean, have you been to a place that no longer exists? The most likely, for Vietnam vets, would be North and South Vietnam, now a united Vietnam. Other common places, that no longer exist would be Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), the USSR, Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia and Czech Republic), Yugoslavia (now Slovenia and Croatia), and East and West Germany (now Germany). Contrast this to places whose names have changed from their colonial names. These are places like Myanmar (formerly Burma), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Belgian Congo), Thailand (Siam), Bolivia (Charcas), Burkina Faso (Republic of Upper Volta), or Armenia (Hayastan). The border is essentially the same, but the names have been changed. Here is some background (from Exploring) information: Yugoslavia ('Land of Southern Slavs') came into being in 1918 following the collapse of Austria-Hungary. ... read more
Fall of the USSR
The charismatic Ho Chi Minh and Vietnam

Europe » Germany » Berlin » Berlin February 4th 2021 Berlin So many beautiful buildings today in the historic centre of Berlin. Zeughaus is the oldest royal armoury, erected from 1695 to 1706 & was later converted into a Prussian Hall of Fame. Damaged during the WW2 the Zeughaus was rebuilt from 1949 to 1967. Since 2003, it has been home to the German Historic Museum. World War Two left numerous marks on Berlin buildings, scars caused by bombs and shells which are still visible & Arja our guide knew where to look. Damaged during World War II and later demolished by the East German government in the 1950s, the Royal Palace is being rebuilt. The Neue Wache or New Guardhouse is a memorial to the victims of war and tyranny. The Neue Wache was opened in its current form in 1993. Designed in the ... read more

Europe » Germany » Berlin » Berlin October 4th 2019

In order to head to Southern Europe, we need to backtrack, from Stockholm to Malmo to Copenhagen to Hamburg, and finally to Berlin, GERMANY. At Rodby, Denmark, the train is driven on to a ferry for a 45 minute ride to Putt Garden, Germany. Quite an experience. A thirteen hour day of travel. Guten Morgen Berlin. First off is to go and book reservations for our future travels. At the wicket, I ask the fellow assisting us how long he has lived in Berlin and if he likes it here. He responds that he has been here three years and that in Berlin, he feels safe, as he came from Afghanistan. He worked for the military, assisting the U.S. soldiers. The agreement was that in three years time he would receive a green card, and his ... read more
Our train from Denmark drove onto a hybrid ferry!
A Berliners Breakfast!
Old East Berlin

Europe » Germany » Berlin » Berlin August 31st 2019

Today was our last full day with the tour with another long but more comfortable 7 hr train journey to Berlin. After a quick check-in to the Moxy Hotel for a 2 night stay we headed straight out for an orientation walk around the huge city. We covered some of the main attractions included the Brandenburg Gate the Reichstag (parliament), remnants of the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, and Berlin Cathedral but to be honest not that exciting compared to some of the smaller cities we have been over the last few weeks. The city has also been under continuous reconstruction for decades. We ha a final group dinner at a Bavarian style brewery pub. Next day was hot again. Not knowing what we wanted to do & having to navigate the S Bahn & U Bahn ... read more
Old & New
Brandenburg Gate
Propaganda mural on SS Headquarters wall

Europe » Germany » Berlin » Berlin August 1st 2019

This holiday was a bit different from my usual travels ....I like big country landscapes but when an offer of a home exchange to Dresden popped up the trip morphed into a "why not visit Berlin and Prague moment , followed by why not take trains and where else can we go , why not Amsterdam " and so it became a cities tour . For the first part my son Chris and his wife Anabel along with 6 year old Maya would travel with me . Half way through they would return to the UK from Prague and Jenny would then join me there for more Dresden and Amsterdam. Maya, for a 6 year old , is a great walker but some of the sites in Berlin are spread out so a Hop on/off bus ... read more
Maya runs by the Berlin Wall
Korean Peace Pavilion

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