Berlin/Leipzig 2003
Berlin/Leipzig 2003
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Monday, August 26, 2003

From our hostel right across the street from Bahnhof Zoo, we start the next day with a bus ride through the government district, through the large city park "Tiergarten" with its column of victory, past a number of foreign embassies, the President's office at Bellevue Palace, the House of Cultures and the Chancellor's office.

We get off the bus at the German Parliament building, the Reichstag. After the reunification, the Reichstag was remodeled extensively. Its most spectacular feature now is the huge glass dome on top. A perfect spot for Young-A to take a "Where I took my Griz Card" picture! :-)
Inside the glass dome is a tall column of mirrors that reflects sunlight into the parliament hall below. We can't resist playing with the mirrors to take a self portrait - it's not easy to find the right angle though :-)
From the top of the dome and the roof terrace, we have a great panoramic view of Berlin, such as... ...the Chancellor's office in the west... ...Potsdamer Platz in the south...
...and Alexanderplatz in the east. Next, we take a boat trip on the river Spree that runs through Berlin, past many sights such as the Lutheran Cathedral... ...and houses in the architectural styles of various eras.
Along the way, we have to go through a sluice to negotiate a 1-meter difference between the levels of the upper and lower section of the river. The further east we go, the more the scenery changes from residential to industrial areas.
In this part of the city, the border between East and West Berlin ran parallel to the Spree. Some graffiti-covered sections of the Berlin Wall are still standing along the river banks. The "Molecule Man" sculpture next to the Allianz insurance building marks the turning point of our boat trip. A good time to take another picture of the two tourists!
The Oberbaum Bridge cites architectural styles found in various surrounding cities. On the way back to the western parts of the city, we pass more houses with pretty facades... well as an ever-growing number of "beach bars" on the river banks. Meanwhile, Young-A is trying a bavarian-style wheat beer. We also pass close by the Reichstag...
...and the Chancellor's office building again. Moving on into the Charlottenburg district, the river banks become greener and more like parks, while the houses start to look more like villas. After the boat trip, we visit Charlottenburg palace.
Inside, we take a tour of some of the elegantly decorated summer and winter rooms, but unfortunately aren't allowed to take pictures. Instead, we take a number of pictures in the palace's large park with its intricate floral arrangements.
Tired after a long day of sightseeing, we finally take the bus back to Bahnhof Zoo, where we get on the train to Leipzig.  

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© 2003 Matthias Book (Text), Young-A Choi (Photos)