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Sunday, 5 June 2016

Berlin in 2016 Part II


After enjoying the Kuppel and its views of Berlin's myriad fore- and middle-grounds as well as horizons, we walked towards Friedrichstrasse.
Friedrichstrasse train station hasn't changed in at least 30 years.  In the old days, it was an entry point into the east from the west, or one could change trains here on a West Berlin to West Berlin train journey.  In the above, trains would come in from the left, and halt within the station (in the photo, the rail line is level with the bottom of the glass walls).  On the glass wall you see that faces the rail line, East German border guards (Vopos) used to stand with machine guns, looking down on the station platforms and watching the movement of people.
Here is Bundeskanzler Angela Merkel with her famous 'Raute' gesture.
At Alexanderplatz, we considered going up the Fernsehturm (TV Tower) but decided against it.  In the old days, I used to think the Fernsehturm looked like one giant East German communist watch tower, and it seemed ugly.
We caught a bus to the Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche.  It was destroyed during the Second World War and serves as a permanent reminder of the futility of war.  The building at left is the 'new' church (it was here in the 80s), but now it seems another new church is being constructed behind the ruin.
Jean enjoying a cherry ice cream near the Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche 
We headed back to the Siegesäule, and climbed its nearly 300 steps.  This picture looks down the Straße des 17 Juni to the Brandenburg Gate.  In the background is the tall Fernsehturm in the former East at Alexander Platz.
The golden lady at the top of the Siegesäule 

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