Sunday, June 13, 2010

Berlin

The distance from Frankfurt to Berlin is about 500 Km, this means that in about 6 hour-driving you can arrive Berlin from Frankfurt. On our way to Berlin, we make some stops to rest, to take some pictures, and to enjoy the landscape. We left my friends' house in Frankfurt at about 8:00 am and arrived Berlin at around 9:00 pm.
 
On our way to Berlin we drove through quiet places as well!!
Then we enter to the autobahn or highway.  To be honest, my German friend enjoyed driving to a such high speed, I was shocked... but this is normal in the German highways :D



In Berlin: Old buildings built during the communist period... My friend told me that at that time these buildings represented progress and a promise of better life... However, to get one flat or room people have to queue up for 5, 10, 15,  20 years or even more... Yes, people couldn't wait for so long, and then the history changed. 

More buildings stand up as living-witness of the communist period that breaked Germany into two sides.

Berlin Central Station ( Hauptbahnhof), is the main railway station in Berlin. It began full operation two days after a ceremonial opening on 26 May 2006. It is located on the site of the historic Lehrter Bahnhof, and until it opened as a main line station, it was a stop on the Berlin S-Bahn suburban railway temporarily named Berlin Hauptbahnhof–Lehrter Bahnhof. The station is operated by DB Station&Service, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn AG, and is classified as a Category 1 station, one of twenty in Germany and four in Berlin, the others being Berlin Gesundbrunnen, Berlin Südkreuz and Berlin Ostbahnhof.





A canal flowing to the Elbe river, in Berlin.

The Reichstag building, officially, Plenarbereich Reichstagsgebäude is a historical edifice in Berlin,  constructed to house the Reichstag, parliament of the German Empire. It was opened in 1894 and housed the Reichstag until 1933, when it was severely damaged in a fire. After World War II, the building fell into disuse; the parliament (Volkskammer) of the German Democratic Republic met in the Palast der Republik in East Berlin, while the parliament (Bundestag) of the Federal Republic of Germany met in the Bundeshaus in Bonn.





Can you see me??

Inside the German Parliament.





The Brandenburg Gate is an iconic landmark of Berlin and Germany. It also appears on German euro coins (10 cent, 20 cent, and 50 cent).





A canal of the Elbe river, in Berlin.
The Fernsehturm ( television tower) is a television tower in the city centre of Berlin. Close to Alexanderplatz, the tower was constructed between 1965 and 1969 by the former German Democratic Republic administration who intended it as a symbol of Berlin, which it remains today, as it is easily visible throughout the central and some suburban districts of Berlin. With its height of 368 meters, it is the tallest structure in Germany.

Parts of the Berlin Wall which was a barrier constructed by the German Democratic Republic starting on 13 August 1961.

A night in Berlin with good friends, good beers and ... a wonderful chat!!


 After my trip to Berlin I came back to Bonn. On an afternoon in Autumn I went out to walk along the Rhein River.  After some kilometer river walking I decided to drop by a nice coffee shop for a cup of coffee. While I was sitting there, I overheard a couple´s conversation.  The guy staring at his girlfriend's eyes caressed her hand and whispered "Du bist ein Goldstück" in her ear.

I looked at my cup of coffee and noticed it had been already empty. I was quiet for a while looking the Rhein river through the windows and then whispered to myself; "what such a beautiful word to finish a relatioship".

Yes, they had broken their relationship, I could read it in their eyes.

Today while trying to write about my trip to Berlin and Weimer I could say that I came into not only the Germany´s heart but also the  history of the two World Wars.  I also came into the heart of the democracy, liberty, and modernity.  Needless to say I had visited the hometown of my favorites philosophers, and besides, the hometown of my best friend.  This experience was really "ein Goldstück".

I also say this, thinking about my relationship with German friends. The first day that I learnt this word was when a couple was brokening their relationship.  Now I am using the same word not only to describe a good relationship among friends, but also to mean how profitable was and this is for my whole life.

After living some months in Germany, I can roundly say that German culture and its language is special for me... Germans are not only my friends, they are friends!