Berlin – simplified map with hints
This is a very simplifiied map of Berlin with “my” main traffic lines: The S-Bahn, U2 and Bus number 100 between Bahnhof Zoo and Alexanderplatz are a wonderful way to explore the sprawled city center of Berlin – and to say hello to my favorite places – all in one.
Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche with “Powder Box”
I take the metro U2 and leave it soon again at Bahnhof Zoo. The metro “disgorges” me just in front of the “Puderdose” or “Powder Box”. This is the nickname that Berlin gave to the modern Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche. I love to welcome Berlin in the “Powder Box” with its blue stained windows and the golden sculpture of Christ. I stand still for a while and breathe.
Outside are the “Hollow Tooth” (the nickname for the ruins of the old church) and the Lip Stick” (the new church tower). This is an older picture, the “Lip Stick” is currently under renovation.
I stroll down Ku’damm and Tauentzienstrasse towards Wittenbergplatz with my favorite metro station and the “Kaufhaus des Westens” or “KadeWe”.
KadeWe is a posh shopping mall that even has great design for dogs – well, perhaps I would not dress up my dog like this, if I had one.
The 6th floor hosts delicacies from wine, chocolate, fish, oysters – just about everything… I will come back for lunch to eat a Bouillabaise and later to eat a shrimp soup (Büsumer Krabbensuppe).
Metro station Wittenbergplatz
Under the iron construction of my favorite metro station Wittenbergplatz,
there are posters from the twenties in the last century – like this one announcing the “newest” Opel-Hetzer – well it was new at the time the metro was constructed.
I catch U2 again, and a few stations later I am at Postdamerplatz. I feel very small between the skyscrapers – among them the Sony Center – and enter the Arcades (Arkaden).
There is an exhibition about the Berlin wall that separated the town from 1961 (though Ulbricht said that no one could think of building a wall) up to 1989 (when the iron curtain fell and people climbed over the wall).
Pupils walk around with questionnaires. One boy looks at me: “Do you know the answer to this question – does the wall (or their remains) belong to the Unesco world heritage?” I frown. I cannot think that anything that dreadful is eligible for the list of world heritages. The answer is in wikipedia: The wall has been proposed, but not accepted. The boy apologizes: “I have a disorder that cannot be diagnosed, I always make mistakes, when I write.” I frown again. I remember that at school my teacher was desparate about all the orthograpic corrections in whatever I wrote. I say: “I have had that as well, it has never been diagnosed and it disappeared.” The boy looks at me and repeats in earnest: “I have an undiagnosed disorder…” What are these school psychologists doing to the kids today? Destroying their motivation to learn and improve?
Again I go down under earth to take U2. I leave it at “Berlin Mitte”. The metro disgorges me just in front of the German dome that marks the southern end of the Gendarmenmarkt. To the north is the French dome.
Do I feel like a coffee? There are many inviting coffee places here. No, not yet. I go back to U2 to leave it again at Alexanderplatz.
From Alexanderplatz I walk over to the all dominating TV tower and to the Marienkirche. The TV tower shows no cross on the restaurant floor today, as the sky is cloudy (there is a cross, as soon as the sun shines, and this is why the tower is called “Sankt Ulbricht”).
The Marienkirche is one of the oldest churches in Berlin, from the 14th century.
Just across the street there is a bus stop. I catch bus number 100 here to take my way back to Bahnhof Zoo staying above the ground. We roll along Unter den Linden with the Museumsinsel (my favorite: The Pergamon museum and the museum of German history). The Prussian king Frederic the Great (nicknamed “Alter Fritz”) watches his castle now being reconstructed.
May be “Alter Fritz” frowns a bit, as for now his castle are nothing but walls made out of concrete. I do not think that he has ordered these construction techniques to be used.
After having crossed Friedrichstrasse, we can see the Brandenburger Gate. Bus number 100 turns northwards to the Reichstag and traverses Tiergarten with the Victory Column (“Goldelse”, as Berlin calls her). Eventually we reach Bahnhof Zoo, the endstation.
S-Bahn to Hacke’sche Höfe
Later I come back with Sabine, my friend, to take the S-Bahn from Bahnhof Zoo. After the Hauptbahnhof, we stand at the window in order to not miss the quick glance of the Swiss flag amidst the German government buildings (“Regierungsviertel”). Switzerland owns ground here and has built its embassy.
Shortly afterwards, the S-Bahn stops at Hacke’scher Markt. From here it is a few meters to the Hacke’sche Höfe.
We both love to come here. We buy some small Ampelmann gifts. We enjoy the elegance of the Royal (KPM) porcelain . I have Klopse in the restaurant Oxymoron. With Sabine’s advise, I buy a waterproof raincoat at the FREItag shop. It is a black trenchcoat with a colored pattern at the sleeves and the collar. There is always something to see and do in the Hacke’sche Höfe. Well, yes, many people complain that this is no longer what the Hacke’sche Höfe have been before 1989 – but I think times are allowed to change, and Berlin has changed a lot since then, not only in the Hacke’sche Höfe.
Again, the S-Bahn, U2 and Bus number 100 between Bahnhof Zoo and Alexanderplatz have proven to be a wonderful way to explore the sprawled city center of Berlin.