Berlin 2004 page 1 Photo's
Berlin, Germany (Nov 2003)- I'm teaching a class in Berlin for a week. It take advantage of the opportunity to see Berlin. It is a city I have wanted to see for some time but have not managed to get there. WOW - has the city changed since the wall came down. Get to Berlin and see it while you can. It is changing at an astonishing rate. I'm really sad I did not take the opportunity to see it when I was living in England, before the wall came down.
Just a few words of advice:
Do not get the Welcome Card - it is a waste of money. It is a discount card along with a 3 day train / bus pass. Buy a 3 day train pass in the subway stations. It is cheaper. You don't get the discount card, but I only used it at one place.
Do get the Museum Pass. It is sold at the Europa-Center and Brandenburg gate information centers. It allows you access to all the main museums. Once you have laid out the money then it is a great chance to pop in and see the contents of all the museums.
The trains / underground system is great and an easy way to get around. The buses are also a great way to save time. Get a city map that has the bus and train routes on it.
Flying out of Tegal Airport - what an experience in chaos. You check in at the gate (not at a central airline ticket counter). Gates serice multiple airlines. So, you can't check in until they are ready to check you in on your flights. THEN, you can not actually to into the gate area until one hour before the flight. Which makes things a bit crazy as everyone tries to get through security at once.
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Below is a list of sites I saw while in Berlin. I hit most of the major points in Berlin. Feel free to use it as a guide of what to see in Berlin for your trip.
Nikolaiviertel - nice "village" type area, St. Nicholas Quarter. The twin towers of Nikolaikirche are impressive. Don't miss the St. George slaying the dragon statue.
Altes Museum - If you bought the museum pass then take time to go into this museum. It has an overwhelming amount of Greek and Roman antiquities. But - DO NOT take your coat off and try to wrap it around your waste. You must wear it or check it. The guards enthusiastically enforce this. I guess it's because the art work is on the floor and up close so you might catch your coat on it.
The Berliner Dom - wow. It is a fantastic cathedral. The interior alone is great. BUT, take time to go upstairs and see the cathedral from the viewing galleries then continue the climb up around the cupola and then outside on the roof. Warning - it has lot's of stairs. Then down to the crypt to see the sarcophagi of past rulers.
take time to wonder over to Linden Schloss for a nice view of the statues and the Dom.
Schloss Charlottenburg - This is a largly reconstructed royal palace. But, they have done a great job. The entertainment rooms and living quarters have been done in period with some great pieces. The gardens and outlying mausoleum are nice.
Checkpoint Charlie - reconstructed. You can go the location of the former famous checkpoint between east and west Berlin. The checkpoint has a representative checkpoint. Don't miss the checkpoint museum. Leave 2-3 hours to see the museum. It has an extensive viewing area that spans multiple buildings and floors. It documents many stories of escape and rescue from east Berlin.
East Side Gallery - Want to see an original piece of the wall? This a great place to see a section of the original wall. The paintings on part of the wall have been restored - by the original artists. There are some great murals show the passion of the era.
while at the east side gallery a fleet of trabi's came through. Some kind of rally.
Gemaldegalerie - painting are art work gallery. Fantastic. They have some of the greatest works of art in the world. They also have a lot of early 14th century work on wood. If you like art, this is a must.
Judisches Museum - Jewish Museum. I was disappointed with this place. The building is neo-modern, to the point that the structure interferes with trying to find your way around the museum. It is a history of the Jews. There is a section dedicated to the period of World War II but I thought more could have been done for this dark period in their history. Full metal screening is required to enter the museum.
Kaiser-Wilhelm Gedachtniskirche - Kaiser Wilhelm Church Monument. Largely destroyed during World War II, the church / monument is still a beautiful structure. It was consecrated in 1895. It has some nice mosaics inside.
Karl Marx and Fridrich Engles - Marx Engles Forum. This is a left over from the past. I had to stop by and have a look at the statue. It is the center piece in a big square. It shows the world of the past.