Here are the pictures and videos I took from the Berlin portion of my 2013 Europe trip. Pictures are below; click on any of them to start a full-screen slideshow of all of them. Below them are the videos; click a video to start it.
Berlin Tegel airport has a subway stop, so the first time I really saw Berlin from aboveground was when I got off the subway at my hotel’s stop. This was the view.
My Berlin hotel room. It was probably my favorite of the Europe trip: functional, and with a great view. Unfortunately, since I had gotten up early to make the Paris-Berlin flight, the first thing I did in it was take a nap. :)
A metal slat and ring, but put them together in the right orientation and they make an umbrella stand. Neat!
A pullout (of the wall) pants presser. It’s so fascinating to see what hotels in other cultures think travelers are likely to need.
This was in a grocery store, right next to the Amazon and iTunes store gift certificates. You basically buy the box, choose a date, and bam! Instant getaway. I love the idea of vacation as impulse buy. :)
The view out my Berlin hotel room window. It was a corner room, so I got an extra-good view.
“Berlin TV Tower”, at the start of my first full day in Berlin. The tower, at 1207 ft, is simultaneously an actual TV tower, visitor platform, revolving restaurant, and symbol of Berlin.
The view from the Furnsehturm observation tower, 666 ft above ground, looking north-northeast. It was close to dusk and about to start snowing, so the visibility wasn’t very good.
The view from the Furnsehturm observation deck, looking southeast.
The view from the Furnsehturm looking south-southwest.
The view from the Furnsehturm observation deck looking west. The bright spot on the left is, alas, just the reflection of an interior light off the deck’s glass.
It was unseasonably cold and wet that night, but the wonderful energy of Berlin was still apparent; it would be a great city in which to live.
This is the facade of the Berlin Cathdral, the largest church in the city. I got a late start my first full day there, and in an attempt to still fit in as much as possible, I walked around Berlin that night, past places whose facades, at least, didn’t close in the evenings.
In English, “Friedrichswerder Church”, the first Neo-Gothic church in Berlin.
Konzerthaus (“Concert House”), home of the Konzerthausorchester (“Concert House Orchestra”) Berlin.
Französischer Dom (“French Cathedral”). There was nothing particularly noteworthy about it, except that it was lit very photogenically at night. :)
A wide view of Checkpoint Charlie. The picture on the mast is of a US soldier that served there during the Cold War; on the other side is a corresponding picture of a Soviet soldier. Construction, especially in the former East section of Berlin, is proceeding rapidly; without knowing the history it would be very difficult to even tell this was once the site of a great geopolitical border crossing.
Original Checkpoint Charlie sign, as would have been seen from the East Berlin side. Only the guard house and sign remain, and is an excellent example of how Germany chooses to remember Nazism, WWII, and the splitting of the country during the Cold War: yes it happened, and we should remember it and take what we can from it, but shouldn’t get bogged down doing so.
A guardhouse at Checkpoint Charlie, the best-known checkpoint between East and West Berlin during the Cold War. This is a view from what was the East Berlin side.
Closeup of the Checkpoint Charlie guard house, from what was the US side.
A plaque at the Checkpoint Charlie guard house, commemorating the US-Soviet tank standoff that took place here in 1961.
A captive balloon, the World Balloon Berlin, moored for the night. When in use, it takes passengers 150 m up.
This is the facade of the Abgeordnetenhaus, the Berlin state (somewhat equivalent to the US version) parliament building.
Potsdamer Platz, one of the main commercial centers of Berlin.
Potsdamer Platz; that’s a large billboard on the right.
Potsdamer Platz. The Berlin Wall went through this section, and parts of it are preseved, with informational placards interspersed. Again, the remembrance was tasteful: neither attempting to forget nor wallow in a painful past.
This road connects Postdamer Platz to the Brandenburg Gate. This was taken during a Saturday night at around 8 p.m.; there were few cars or pedestrians around, so it was relatively quiet. I crunched through the snow, watched, and listened; it was wonderful.
The west facade of the Brandenburg Gate. The Berlin Wall formerly ran approximately where the people are in the foreground of this picture.
Originally, the Brandenburg Gate was just a city gate, completed in 1791. On top is the goddess Victoria in a quadriga.
A wide view of the East facade of the Brandenburg Gate. East of the Gate is a large open area. Especially at night, it’s a wonderful place for people-watching and contemplation.
Just west of the Brandenburg Gate is the Großer Tiergarten (“Large Tea Garden”), the largest urban park in Berlin. This road, the Straße des 17. Juni (“Street of 17th June”) runs west from the Gate through the park.
Near the center of the Tiergarten is the Siegessäule (“Victory Column”), built originally to commemorate Prussion victory in the Danish-Prussian War. This is its base, with bronze reliefs depicting various Prussian wars.
The base of the Siegessäule.
A closeup of one of the Siegessäule bronze reliefs.
It was sunny and warm in the UK and Paris, but unseasonably (this picture was taken March 10) cold and snowy when I was in Berlin.
My third day in Berlin was spent at Museum Island, a small island in the middle of the city with five world-class museums. The first I visited was the Pergamonmuseum (“Pergamon Museum”). This is the museum’s eponymous exhibit: the colossal Pergamon Altar, moved in its entirery from Asia Minor to here.
Around the steps of the altar seen in the previous picture is a frieze depicting the battle between the Giants and Olympian Gods; these are its remains.
A model of Pergamon; the Altar is in the rectangular area in the center-right of the picture.
The Pergamon Museum’s Market Gate of Melitus, again excavated, transported from its original location (Greece), and reconstructed.
Pergamon Museum. This is the actual *Ishtar Gate*. Amazing.
Pergamon Museum. Inside of the Ishtar Gate is the Processional Way, reconstructed here, again with its original materials.
The Neues (New) Museum Greichischer Hof (Court). Built in the 1800s, bombed during WWII, and refurbished starting in 2003, you can see all of it in the Court, as if they were architectural strata.
Artifacts from the Neues Museum; alas I’m not able to remember or determine what these are.
The Niobidensaal (Niobiden Hall) at the Neues Museum.
The Römischer Saal (Römischer Hall) at the Neues Museum. There aren’t any particularly interesting artifacts here; I just liked the architecture. :)
These brightly colored pipes (blue here, but also red, pink, purple…) crisscross the city. They’re actually to transfer water from building sites (Berlin has a high water table) to an existing waterway.
A path at the Lustgarten (Pleasure Garden) in Museum Island.
The Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral), on Museum Island.
The rotunda upper wall and ceiling of the Altes (Old) Museum, the last one I visited in Museum Island.
Sculpture from the Greek, Roman, and Etruscan exhibition at the Altes Museum.
The Altes (Old) Museum: “Berliner Gottin” (Berlin Goddess), Greece, 570 BC.
Altes Museum: Fayum Mummy portraits. These are portraits buried with their respective mummies, of Romans who lived in Egypt in the 1st century AD.
There’s construction everywhere in Berlin, especially near the old border between East and West Berlin, of which the subject of this picture was a part.
Trees at the Tiergarten. Even though the Tiergarten is in the middle of the city, it was so quiet and peaceful, especially with the snow. Essentially, it sounded like this picture looked.
The Siegessäule (Victory Column), in the Tiergarten, originally built to commemorate Prussian military victories, now a general Berlin tourist attraction.
Seven roads intersect at the (large) roundabout around the Tiergarten’s Siegessäule; this is one of the access tunnels connecting it to the sorrounding pedestrian walkways.
The Kaufhaus des Westens (“Department Store of the West”), a.k.a. KaDeWe, second only to Harrods in London in size in Europe. Each floor specializes in a different product; two are entirely devoted to food.
There’s no official exhibit for Hitler’s Bunker (where he died), partially because it’s been mostly filled in (significantly, so Neo-Nazis can’t use it), but there is a plaque near where one of its entrances was.
The facade of the Reichstag.
The main entrance to the Reichstag. Alas, this was the closest I could get to its interior. Even though I had made a reservation for the tour, all tours were canceled due to the snow.
The swimsuit-clad mannequins contrasted quite humorously with the snow all around them. :)
The facade of the Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin (German Museum of Technology), the largest of its kind in Berlin. On its roof is a C-47 Skytrain.
One of the Museum’s specialties is renewable technology; one of the sculptures on its grounds is a wind turbine blade.
The Technikmuseum’s foyer. The airplane is the Cessna 172 that landed in Moscow’s Red Square in 1987.
Technikmuseum: radio transmission equipment of RIAS, a radio/TV station in West Berlin during the Cold War.
Technikmuseum: a sign for Telefunken, a German electronics manufacturer. This is perhaps the greatest company logo in the history of the world. :)
1950’s-era German TV sets, Technikmuseum. The cathode ray tubes for the models on the right were so large that they were pointed upward, and redirected horizontally using mirrors.
The Konrad Zuse’s Z-1, the world’s first binary computer, built in 1938. Destroyed by Allied air raids in WWII, it was rebuilt by Zuse in the 1980’s and donated to the Technikmuseum.
The entrance to the rail portion of the Technikmuseum, on the former site of the Anhalter Bahnhof, once one of Berlin’s most important railway stations.
Closeup of the controls of a locomotive at the Technikmuseum. Steamy!
There were sunken walkways under some of the train cars at the Technikmuseum, so you could actually see their undercarriages. Neat!
Model trains at the Technikmuseum.
Locomotive crew compartment at the Technikmusuem.
Some of the *40* rail cars at the Technikmuseum.
Interior of a rail car used to transport people to concentration camps.
Model replica of the Anhalter Bahnhof train station, inside the Technikmuseum, partially built on the former grounds of the station. Recursive museuming!
Part of a massive model train installation at the Technikmuseum.
Another view of the Technikmuseum model train installation, actually modeled on the Anhalter Bahnhof station and its environs.
Technikmuseum: so these are cylindrically-lit Lego marine vessels. It’s as if they knew I were coming. :)
Closeup of a Lego ship at the Technikmuseum. I love how someone thought this would be a good exhibit for a technology museum, and love even more how I totally agree with them. :)
Extremely detailed model of a lock at the Technikmuseum.
Technikmuseum: the deck of a steamship.
Technikmuseum: a cutaway of a marine ship engine.
Technikmuseum: replica of a sailboat.
A recent focus of the Technikmuseum is renewable energy; this is a model of a solar power generator. The reflective portion heats the column of air in the center tube, spinning a turbine.
Ship models (and neat lighting/architecture) in the marine section of the Technikmuseum.
A fanciful airship model at the Technikmuseum, because every airship needs its own gargantuan birdcage. :)
The aviation section at the Technikmuseum. Aircraft, baby!
The Technikmuseum’s Heinkel He 162, the fastest of the first generation of military jets. Because metal was in short supply, it was made primarily of wood.
After the Technikmuseum I went to the Zoologischer Garten Berlin (Berlin Zoological Garden). My main camera ran out of power here, so I had to use my backup cell phone camera, with its blue-heavy sensor. In any case, this is a picture of what must be a very cold rhino. :)
Zoologischer Garten Berlin. I think this is a pygmy hippopotamus, but I’m not sure.
Bald eagles at the Zoologischer Garten Berlin. Maybe Berlin, thousands of miles from the United States, would have had some US flags I could have taken pictures of, as well. :)
White wolves at Zoologischer Garten Berlin. Even they wanted away from the snow. :)
A bird at Zoologischer Garten Berlin. Alas, I don’t know the species.
Polar bears at the Zoologischer Garten Berlin.
Viewing pool at the Zoologischer Garten Berlin’s aquarium. Fishies!
Bottom-attached worms at the Zoologischer Garten Berlin aquarium.
Jellyfish at the Zoologischer Garten Berlin aquarium.
Moon jellyfish at the Zoologischer Garten Berlin aquarium.
A crab and turtle at the Zoologischer Garten Berlin aquarium.
A northern sea nettle at the Zoologischer Garten Berlin aquarium, mugging for the camera. :)
Spotted jelly, Zoologischer Garten Berlin aquarium.
Fish at the Zoologischer Garten Berlin aquarium. I love these types of exhibits, where you can see both above and below the waterline.
A Dumeril’s boa at the Zoologischer Garten Berlin aquarium. The largest reported example of this species was *8.5 feet*.
Turtles at the Zoologischer Garten Berlin aquarium, suffering the indignities of trying to go opposite ways on a one-way turtle street. :)
Another turtle pileup at Zoologischer Garten Berlin aquarium. :)
A panther chameleon at the Zoologischer Garten Berlin aquarium.
A black iguana at the Zoologischer Garten Berlin aquarium. This particular example of the species wasn’t moving quickly at the time, but it nevertheless holds the lizard speed record, at 21.7 mph.
Yellow anacondas at the Zoologischer Garten Berlin aquarium.
Two Burmese pythons at the Zoologischer Garten Berlin aquarium. Snake d’awww. :)
A water monitor lizard at the Zoologischer Garten Berlin aquarium.
A Chinese gliding tree frog at the Zoologischer Garten Berlin aquarium, apparently just as much at home sticking to exhibit glass as gliding through the air. :)
The tropical area of the Zoologischer Garten Berlin aquarium, much less blue in actuality.
The Zoologischer Garten Berlin’s Elephant Gate, one of the zoo’s two entrances. The zoo has the most comprehensive collection of species in the world, and is the most visiited zoo in Europe.
A Berlin subway car window. Brandenburg Gates galore!
Berlin’s Tegel airport, from my outbound plane. Goodbye, Germany! *sniff*
As soon as I left the observation deck at Furnsehturm, the (unseasonably late) snow began.
The Ottobock Science Center Berlin, which specializes in prosthetics and orthopedics. I didn’t know that at the time; I just thought the architecture and light display was neat. :)
The Weltzeituhr (World Time Clock). The middle cylinder rotates (slowly) showing time vs. time zone. The upper spherical portion rotates too quickly to show location of the planets; perhaps it’s simply meant as Art.
An access tunnel leading to the Siegessäule. The light display was linked to motion sensors, so lights would follow you as you walked past the display. :)
On my last full day in Berlin I finally made it to the Siegessäule when its observation deck was open. This is a 360° panorama from that deck, looking out over the Tiergarten and the rest of the city.
A panorama at the Platz der Republic (Square of the Republic). At the start and end of the video is the Reichstag, which houses the Bundestag (German Parliament).