Tag Archives: Germany

Berlin, Germany (Revisited 2015)

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Scenery from Prague to Berlin is somewhat pleasing, especially at this time of year when you’d think it’d start being grey and dismal in readiness for the winter.

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Following along the river there’s a myriad of small homes which are all freestanding but seem to enjoy the community of which they’re a part of. Handy to have neighbours yet not be overshadowed by each other. Bad Schandau is a frontier station for international traffic between Germany and the Czech Republic and approaching it quite soon.

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Dresden Hauptbanhoff is the first major train station in Germany of which you will pass through enroute to Berlin. Although Dresden is a favourite of mine, I’ll continue onto the capital of Germany for some more cultural investigation of which I always enjoy there.

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One World Bar in Berlin – excited to see him again as he’s very close to Potsdammer Platz along Stresemannstraße.

The first time I saw the bears all together was in Sydney, March 8, 2006  and the Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard opened the exhibition of United Buddy Bears.

United Buddy Bears was an international art exhibition with more than 140 two metre tall fibreglass bears. Under the motto: “We have to get to know each other better, it makes us understand one another better, trust each other more and live together more peacefully”, more than 140 countries acknowledged by the United Nations were represented, promoting “tolerance, international understanding and the great concept of different nations and cultures living in peace and harmony”.

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My model for the day!

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Street art just outside the Mall of Berlin, a favourite shopping precinct. Potsdammer Platz Banhoff is just on the adjacent corner and can be found easily.

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Mall of Berlin – one of those must-do shopping experiences. Fantastic buys with brands and labels not always found at home.

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Exhibition on the ground level of some new and innovative solar energy ideas.

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Breads made in Germany are usually heavier in texture and flavour, but I find them generally filling and not feeling so hungry within a short time. Yum! Happy to be back.

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The 200 m² (2,150 ft²) of the Black Box at Checkpoint Charlie informs the public on the history of this most famous border crossing point.

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The external design of the pavilion refers to the two Great Powers of those days, the Soviet Union and the USA.

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With the use of large-format photos and numerous media stations,  the impact of the Berlin Wall on the history of Germany is illustrated.

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The entire international dimension of the division of Germany is made tangible.

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Inside the perimeter of the wall.

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Leaving the American sector …

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Well I’m leaving Germany and onto Italy. The train service to Schönefeld  Airport takes about 40 minutes and stops quite a number of times along the way. Airlines such as Ryanair, Germanwings and a EasyJet all operate out of this airport.

Berlin’s Tegel Airport is located very close to the centre of Berlin, only eight kilometres from the city centre and the TXL bus is easy to use with a direct bus to Alexanderplatz.

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Find out which S-Bahn (suburban train), U-Bahn (Underground), or bus station is closest to your accommodation and use the BVG’s website to find your quickest and best connection. Using the search option, enter your point of departure and your destination, followed by the date and time of your journey and you’ll be on your way in no time.

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The most expensive boarding pass I have ever paid for!

First time ever I booked a Ryanair flight from Berlin to Bologna and the cost:

Fare Euro 15.00 and 20kgs luggage Euro25.00 = Euro 40.00

Seems a great deal, however if you didn’t check in online outside of 2 hours of them opening the check in counter then you’ll be stung. It ended up costing me an additional cool Euro 45.00. You can imagine how mad other passengers were – me included! Be warned …

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Embarking Ryanair to Bologna and wondering how the flight will be …

Next stop Italy!

Berlin in a Nutshell

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Berlin never fails to impress me. It’s from here I decided to stay a couple of days and plan my trip to visit Santa Claus in Lapland Finland.

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You can purchase a Berlin Welcome Card with incredible savings for transport and a number of attractions.

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At the Brandenburg Gate there is The Room of Silence which is not dedicated to any ideology or religion as anyone may enter to take some time out and reflect and leave aside one’s differences.

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Not far from the Brandenburg Gate is The Holocaust Memorial which is reminiscent of tombstones. The sloping ground within is symbolic of the rising upheaval and tumultuous events which took place.

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On Stresemannstrasse, there is an outdoor exhibition which showcases some of the various ethnic groups and how they were affected both during and after WWII.

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Catching up with long-time ago work mate Belle who now lives in Berlin.

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Moving on out and auf wiedersehen on this day. Away I go to Helsinki via Copenhagen, Malmo and Stockholm Sweden with the Intercity Express.

Christmas Markets, Germany

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Feeling like Christmas alright … Really there’s just no escaping any of it, but just so lovely to see.

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Munich at its best and a favourite with tourists at any time. Christmas just doesn’t feel the same at home like it does here in Germany – now beginning to turn cold and wintery. Brrr …

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Any kind of Santa will please most people …

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A quick trip to Nuremburg saw bright lights from a distance and people taking in the Christmas cheer.

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Here on the Intercity Express (ICE) and returning to Munich from Nuremburg at 280 Km per hour in 1.5 hours! Takes me longer sometimes to travel from the Inner West to the North Shore at home.

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And the Mecca of all Night Markets is Rothenburg ob der Tauber with its own Christmas Museum.

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Rothenburg ob der Tauber – well known for its well-preserved medieval old town; a destination for tourists from around the world.

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View from the Rathaus.

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All I need now is a glass or two of Gluhwein and I’m set for the afternoon.

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Onto Erfurt with my relatives and as always not disappointed though very cold on this night.

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One of the largest Christmas Pyramids I’ve ever seen is here in Erfurt. The spinning motion of the pyramid is traditionally achieved with the help of candles whereby rising heat spins the propeller above.

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As cold as it was, you can never, ever go past the EisCafé in Erfurt and as we’ve been coming here for years we didn’t miss out.

Venice to Munich by City Night Line (CNL).

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City Night Line (CNL) trains are operated by Deutsche Bahn. A wise option by saving the daylight hours and allowing you to rest up, especially if you’ve travelled throughout this region previously.

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A three-bed compartment at 55.00 Euro per person is ideal for families. However, you still need to use one day on your Eurail Pass. But the great benefit of departing after 7:00 pm at night you will be able to record the time and use the following day for further travel.
Note: Prices are based on low season and adjustments are made for high season levels. An early reservation is highly recommended.

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Second-class seating is comfortable and as little as 12.00 Euro offers value. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if airlines could offer a seat like this? Especially some of those long-haul flights with seating fit for a contortionist …

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A couchette with beds for six passengers can be as little as 27.50 Euro per person.

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And private facilities for a double will be approximately 75.00 Euro per person. A first-class Pass may only be used to book these cabins. Compulsory reservations are required for all CNL trains. A big thank you to my Conductor Edward who, once had his passengers settled and tickets checked was kind enough to allow me a site inspection of this particular night train. Note to Deutsche Bahn: Keep an eye on this young man as he is a polished professional with a passion for his work.

Lubeck, Germany

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And what else is Lubeck famous for? Ohh Marzipan – just couldn’t wait and had to have one at least!

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I’m standing in the same place as my Mum did as a young lady with her bike – towards the end of WWII

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Holstentor Lubeck Germany

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Gerfodest Church interior

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Gothic architecture at its best

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UNESCO world heritage listed site. The Hanseatic City of Lübeck is the second-largest city in Schleswig-Holstein, in northern Germany, and one of the major ports of Germany. Situated on the river Trave, it was for several centuries the “capital” of the Hanseatic League

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As always move away from the tourist precinct and you’ll find a delicious Turkish Café eatery called Merhaba Restaurant with hot and cold buffet selection for lunch and dinner 7.50 Euro

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Street Art in Lubeck

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I don’t want Hush Puppies, I want Hush Bunnies

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Me at the Holstentor 2014

Copenhagen to Lubeck

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Room with a view over Copenhagen – Radisson Hotel is handy to Frederiksberg Metro and has Conference facilities.

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Great having a First Class Eurail Pass as it allows entry into the Lounge with free wifi, hot drinks and fruit. Here at Copenhagen Central Station it’s easy to access with a view over the platform.

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Arriving at Roedby Sweden as the train is prepared to be driven onto the ship

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These boys raced down at break-neck speed to watch the train being loaded

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Amazing to see the Intercity Express is actually on a ship! The crossing from Roedby Sweden to Puttgarden in Germany takes about 45 minutes

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Intercity Express having a break

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There’s a Duty Free shop on board which makes the time go quickly

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Leaving Sweden for the crossing

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Heading towards Puttgarden

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Arriving at Puttgarden with a change of driver now we’re on our way to Lubeck in Germany

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Sunset coming into Lubeck