Berlin 2000      Last Updated: 24-May-03

Total flight time from Tallinn to Berlin was 9.8 hours over two days with stops in Kaunas and Gdansk (Danzig). Flying over 5 story buildings into Templehof was very exciting and we were all glad to finally arrive on the same day as Yolanda.

We all met in the pre-arranged Hotel Luisenhof in former East Berlin, and we had a wonderful room at the top of the building. Yolanda was very glad to see us, since it was Sunday and she had a hard time locating a restaurant that was open (and after passing Amsterdam three times with the train, and never getting a chance to visit it). On our evening stroll we encountered a Trabbi as well as some live bears.

Our mosquito at Templehof, which used to be used as an American Base 
Hotel Luisenhof, our room is in the center on the top floor  Gedaechtniss Kirche  Alexander Turm 
Catching up on e-mail 

The national bird in Berlin could very well be the Crane. Since I was last here when Christo, Jean-Claude and team wrapped the Reichstag in 1995, the building activities have really picked up. Unemployment rates were supposedly high, but we sure saw lots of building activities. Most of it seems to be centered around where the new government buildings rose just accross the street where one could find the Physicalische Institut of the University of Berlin until 1945 (where one could find the offices of Hermann Helmholtz, James Franck, Gustav Hertz, Walther Nernst, Wilhelm Wien and Max Planck).

The city bird 
Office buildings going up  Whole blocks being re-built 

One must-do was to see the Reichstag since it got the new cupola under which the German Government meets. The lines were prohibitive, but we soon found some ways around it. First make reservations at the top notch restaurant on top of the Reichstag, second go later at night. We visited it a total of three times at different times of day, and it was always wonderful. I missed the large lawn that used to be in front of the building which was the MAIN meeting point when the building was wrapped in 1995. It seemed that it will be converted to a garage and the "German White House" - residence of the Chancelor - was also in process to be built there.

The line to visit the Reichstag at noon, the building with the arches in back is the 'German White House'  The line continues, in back the other side of the new government buildings 
We reserved for Dinner instead  And it was a treat, if a little on the expensive side  Playing with the illumination under the cupola -- Yolanda  Roswitha  Rosi 
The cupola at night shows the different components very well  A spiral walkway leads to the apex  One of the courtyards next to the cupola inside the Reichstag 
The automatically moved sunshade, the spiral walkway, and the mirrored 'pick'  Self portraits? 
The apex has a place to rest with a wonderful view and is open to the outdoors  From the top one can see down along the pick into the assembly hall 
The assembly hall from the ground floor 

The restaurations on the Brandenburg Tor seem to have been completed, all that is left from the Berlin Wall is a double line of (red) bricks in the road. It was great to see it's complete anihilation in less than 10 years.

The double brick line along the street in the foreground is all that is left of the Berlin Wall 
Brandenburger Tor (Gate)  Detail 

From the Brandenburg Tor we decided to walk to the Victory Angel (Sieges Engel), which was quite a bit longer than we expected.

Are we getting closer?  Here it is  Yolanda taking a rest, after taking pictures up to the Angel and before we heard the 'HALELUJA' from a choir practing in the underpass 
It took quite some work to get Yolanda - the Vice Principal - to actually do some grafitti, even though the walls were barely virgin  And then one could barely see it 

On our last day - before Rosi took the train back home and Yolanda and I flew on to Hannover - we visited Charlottenburg, which is quite quaint, but I guess I have been spoilt by all the palaces I saw in Vienna.

Schloss Charlottenburg  Belvedere 
Fun with slippers  More fun with slippers 
Lunch at the Orangerie was very pleasant  The sparrows were very tame ... if you sat still enough 
Graveyard or intermediate storage for statues  Are they for sale? 

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