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Author Topic: Berlin  (Read 3494 times)

picsfor

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Berlin
« on: February 12, 2010, 07:32:34 PM »
I appreciate this may be going about a thread in this section the wrong way but - it will still serve a purpose.
Week after next (23-27 Feb) i will be going to Berlin after my wife duly discovered we had enough air miles for a free trip.
I think she wants to refresh her German and see how much Berlin has changed since the fall of the wall (she got a big enough shock last time) and her days of living in Germany.
As for me - well i intend to add another few thousand shots on to my cameras tally - so the question is...

Where is worth a visit with a camera that doesn't include the usual tourist traps.
We will be staying just off the Kurfustendamm near the Zoo Garten so have easy access to all modes of public transport.
Any tips will be more than gratefully received. 



Offline irv_b

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Re: Berlin
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2010, 08:37:20 PM »
cant give you any tips of where to go its a long time since I went to Berlin - before the fall of the wall and I was still in the Army at the time :D but hope you have a great trip and look forward to seeing the pics :)
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Offline Sarasocke

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Re: Berlin
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2010, 08:50:42 PM »
I've been living in Germany for some 30 years and have never been to Berlin, so I'm afraid I can't give you any tips.
Carol aka Sarasocke 
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Offline Forseti

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Re: Berlin
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2010, 09:40:06 PM »
Good heavans, if you do manage to find something worth seeing in Berlin that's not swarming with tourists please let me know.  :'(

First off, avoid at all costs the districts Hellersdorf-Marzahn and Lichtentberg as they both have high crime rates. Just keep to the main streets and you will be ok,but do not venture down small side streets at night unless you are in a group. In fact, avoid anything in the eastern centre of Berlin. Also to be avoided - NEUKOELLN known as a bastion of crime already in early 20th century, Neukoelln’s reputation is no better today. With serious social problems, high crime, 25% unemployment, high immigrant population, and many infamous highrise housing estates, most of Neukoelln is best to be avoided.

Very safe area: CHARLOTTENBURG-WILMERSDORF - the most prestigious district of Berlin, both Charlottenburg and Wilmersdorf are highly sought-after and have virtually no bad parts. Many of Berlin’s famous tourist sights, most of the city’s 3-5 star hotels, designer emporiums, shops, Germany’s largest shopping boulevard (Kudamm) and Europe’s largest department store (KaDeWe) are located here. So is the green villa quarter Grunewald, home to many prominent Berliners.


Must sees are the rebuilt German parliament 'The Bundestag building where you can be taken round on a guided tour.Another place not far away is the 1936 Olympic stadium that has just been renovated. If you are interested in the last war why not visit the Russian War Memorial and cemetery.And while you are there go into the old American Sector and see 'Checkpoint Charlie' (yes touristy) and the last remaining section of the Berlin wall,but take a camera to photograph the murals painted on the wall.

Enjoy your trip Andrew and bring your Wellington boots - you'll be needing them if this snow doesn't let up soon.



 




   
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Offline jinky

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Re: Berlin
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2010, 05:45:09 AM »
That`s really useful Forseti. I too want to get to Berlin sometime this year - any suggestions on the best time of year to go to avoid tourists but also the worst of the weather?

Offline Forseti

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Re: Berlin
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2010, 08:29:14 AM »
...... any suggestions on the best time of year to go to avoid tourists but also the worst of the weather?

Weather wise, Berlin is generally on a par with the UK except for winter which, because the city lies somewhat eastwards, can get quite cold. As to when to go - um, not quite so easy. Like most capital cities once the spring arrives bringing warmer weather people flock to it. Also, because it's often cheaper to fly as opposed to taking the train, a lot of Germans take long weekend breaks so the cheaper hotels tend to get booked quite early. Germany, with it's population of 80+ million also means that the various states have different holiday periods. Could you imagine the chaos were this number of people to take their holidays at the same time.  :doh: Here's a link to the school holiday allocation for 2010 - http://en.deutschland-navigator.de/ferientermine.html . You need to click on the tab English before anything shows.

Another interesting place to visit giving a magnificent panoramic view of the city is the Daimler Chrysler building, Potsdamer Platz 1,  (also known as the Kollhoff Tower). It has the quickest lift in Europe and costs something in the order of 3,50 Euros - link here http://www.emporis.com/application/?nav=building&lng=3&id=kollhofftower-berlin-germany and here http://www.technikfoto.com/portfolio/architektur/pages/page_4.html . From the top you can also see the route of the infamous Berlin Wall (Todesstreifen literally meaning death strip). Another web site (in German) provides further links to thousands of images and might be of some use - www.hobbyuo.de/archiv.htm

If you've got the time then a boat trip along the river Spree is well worth the effort (this also formed the division between East and West). You'll get to see very photographic bridges such as the Oberbaumbrücke and just as a point of interest, Berlin has 1,650 bridges - more than Venice  :tup:.

Also, take note of the German system of where to place the full stop or comma as concerns currency. For example, in English you would write £3.50 with a full stop following the three. In Germany, this would be written using a comma i.e. 3,50 . One thousand two hundred a fifty pounds ten pence would (in English) be written as £1,250.10 whilst in German this figure in Euros would be written 1250,10€ .

Finally, I can recommend *sampling* Jever Pils  :beer: - ok, nowhere near as good as what we drink in the South but if you do have to drink that northern rubbish  :2funny: then this is probably one of the best.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2010, 08:59:03 AM by Forseti »
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"Everyone can take a great picture with digital, the knack is to take two" - David Bailey

picsfor

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Re: Berlin
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2010, 09:03:29 AM »
Thank you for your useful comments Forseti.
You are right about it being cold. Our last trip was during a Christmas shopping trip and it was like Siberia. The Brandenburg Gate was a quick run, take commerative pictures of the wife standing next to it, and run back to nearest cafe/ tea shop to warm up. In 20 years of living in Germany she had never been able to stand next to it or see it properly! We flew into, and will do again, Tegel Airport - a place her former husband would watch from binoculars when stationed in the English sector. He was more likely to see Aerflot on the side of a plane than British Airways!
We took the metro (underground) service to the tower and of course it now goes through a part of the old wall trail. It was interesting seeing her initial fright at being there - until the memory that those days had now gone.

Some low light shots will be in order, but will do as you advise and keep to the main streets. One final point... Are there any photographic restrictions or "do not do's" in Germany?.
I do not wish to cause offence or breach some little known law unwittingly!

Offline Forseti

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Re: Berlin
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2010, 09:36:38 AM »
One final point... Are there any photographic restrictions or "do not do's" in Germany?. I do not wish to cause offence or breach some little known law unwittingly!

Not that I'm aware of although like anywhere else in the world a bit of common sense should be exercised. Thankfully we haven't yet reached the extremes where someone with a camera needs to carry a card or wear a T-shirt proclaiming 'I'm a photographer not a terrorist'.   ::) And of course, avoid any discussion/comments regarding politics for whilst to you everyone might be German to the locals there is still very much a 'us' and 'them' mentallity and strong feelings of resentment/jealousy.
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Offline Oldboy

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Re: Berlin
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2010, 10:46:22 AM »
   ::) And of course, avoid any discussion/comments regarding politics for whilst to you everyone might be German to the locals there is still very much a 'us' and 'them' mentallity and strong feelings of resentment/jealousy.

And as Basil says, "Don't mention the war!"  :2funny: :2funny:

picsfor

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Re: Berlin
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2010, 12:04:30 PM »
Oddly enough, one over riding memory from my last visit was the fact that the war got quite a fair mention.
My favourite mention was the plaque attached to an old cathedral tower just opposite the Zoo Garten (no doubt some one will pop in with its name).
Essentially the plaque said the tower was the last remains of a cathedral that "Allied Bomber Forces" used as a marker to identify they were over Berlin and it was never supposed to receive damage. It served the same purpose that St Paul's did for the Luftwaffe. St Paul's is still standing nicely (unlike this Cathedral) undamaged which surely serves as a testament to the Luftwaffe's bombing skills!  :tup:
Even in education humour can still be a great tool!



Offline Forseti

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Re: Berlin
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2010, 12:22:08 PM »
Oddly enough........

Well another 'oddly enough' is that the 'us' and 'them' I allured to has nothing to do with WW2 but between those in the former west and east Germany. The former extremely resentful of the extra burden of tax that they have to pay (Solidarity Tax) in support of the east whilst those in the east claim they are being left out and are being treated as third class citizens. This is most evident in certain areas of Berlin where former tenements are being converted into luxury apartments which only the well off can afford driving out the former residents who cannot afford the inflated city purchase or rental prices. Like most other places in the world, unrest is mostly driven by those feeling downtrodden, not getting a fair crack at life and and and....
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"Everyone can take a great picture with digital, the knack is to take two" - David Bailey

picsfor

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Re: Berlin
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2010, 12:59:20 PM »
Yes, fully appreciate that side of the 'us and 'them'.
My wife still keeps in contact with several friends from the old days and often gets similar reports.
Sadly, 'us' and 'them' still prevails very much in the UK with 'us' being England and 'them' being Wales & Scotland or Northern Ireland or vice versa according to who initiates the conversation.
The UK is still as restless on this front as it hundreds of years ago and as Germany is now.
Just look at Eire and Northern Ireland. One has the pound for its currency - the other the Euro! One has it's own parliament and the other controlled as per Oliver Cromwell's vision.
England has much blame to bear over some of the current problems in Europe - and in its own borders.
I just wish i could understand the thinking behind splitting a country in 2 halves and a city in 4 quarters just to stop another war.
Surely if anything it would have been better to base the UN in Germany with the other countries guaranteeing its national security!

 

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