East Germany’s Soviet Heritage – Soviet eyrie Sperenberg

November 11th, 2015

East Germany’s Soviet Heritage – Soviet eyrie Sperenberg“Heather of the Mark, Sand of the Mark” – that is what Brandenburg State’s anthem is all about and to the south of Berlin, in Sperenberg you can find plenty of it as meanwhile nature took over from once deployed Soviet airmen. Being built by GDR for its big brother and comrade in arms the Russians used the airfield until 1994. Since then the huge 24 km² extensive abandoned area is exposed to decay »»

East Germany’s Soviet Heritage – Krampnitz’ Tanks at the Gates of Berlin

October 30th, 2015

East Germany’s Soviet Heritage – Krampnitz’ Tanks at the Gates of BerlinKrampnitz near Potsdam, at the doorstep of Berlin, was a big military base of the tank troops of former GSFG, the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany. More and more abandoned witnesses like Krampnitz disappear as they get reconquered by nature again or humans level everything to the ground. Krampnitz will face that destiny as well, but unlike other military camps it got perpetuated by Hollywood movie “Enemy at the Gates” »»

Pub Crawl Namibia

October 21st, 2015

Pub Crawl NamibiaIn northern Namibia, between the giant Etosha salt pan and the border to Angola, countless bars and taverns shake hands along the roads connecting Oshakati, Oshikuku and Outapi. Most of them are a product of modern time, but some are a witness of a time period when former German South-West Africa struggled for independence as they served thousands of soldiers with booze and fun during South African Border War »»

East Germany’s Soviet Heritage – The Berlin Pankow War Cemetery

May 15th, 2015

East Germany’s Soviet Heritage – The Berlin Pankow War CemeteryThe Battle of Berlin in 1945 claimed more than 170.000 killed soldiers and several ten thousands of dead civilians. More than half a million people got wounded, physically as well as mentally. The Soviet War Memorial at Schönholzer Heide in Berlin’s Pankow district is final resting place to almost 20.000 Red Army soldiers that fell victim to that final combat »»

Germany’s longest real Underground – Berlin’s U7

November 21st, 2014

Germany’s longest real Underground – Berlin’s U7Number 7 among Berlin’s undergrounds can score with the superlative of having the longest subsurface leading route of Germany’s metros, that is a 31.8 kilometres long tunnel, which was even the most sprawled out tunnel in the world from 1984 to 1988. From northwestern Berlin (Rathaus Spandau) to the southeastern end of the city, that is Rudow, a ride on the U7 needs almost one hour travel time. It diagonal route through the city leads through former West Berlin only and stops at historic gems like Hermannplatz, an underground cathedral being built in 1926. Through the years it got extended several times like modern designed stations Rohrdamm or Mierendorffplatz show, making the U7 so interesting and inspiring that you can even find it in computer games »»

Moving from West to East – The U5 Line

November 11th, 2014

Moving from West to East – The U5 LineWhy did the U5 run once in West Berlin and what does a Swede have to do with pre-war Berlin? Why do the stations of today’s U5 appear similar and functional? What role played the GDR and what does the U5 have to do with Klaus Wowereit’s still unfinished BBI airport desaster? Like all other also the fifth BVG underground line is unique but also prompts a couple of questions. Its highlight is Alexanderplatz, an underground cathedral from where in the future U5 will extend to join forces with the U55 to finally shake hands with the central train station infrastructure-wise. Reflecting the history of that line one thing becomes apparent: Money played the most important role in life of the U5 »»

Oberbaum, Berlin Wall and so on…

November 9th, 2014

Oberbaum, Berlin Wall and so on…Berlin-based bridge Oberbaumbrücke is a symbol for many things: Where nowadays cars, metros and tourists cross Spree River from north to south, was once the border between the East and the West. The former border strip was guided by the course of the river; a route, that today is famous for pleasure boat trips. The towers of Oberbaumbrücke are not only identity-establishing for the directly neighbouring club Watergate, but stand first and foremost for the vicinity of Berlin and Brandenburg. Also in my life Oberbaumbrücke played an important role, as it was my first contact with the West after the Berlin Wall fell down »»

Threesome – Prague’s Metro Network

October 29th, 2014

Threesome – Prague’s Metro NetworkIf it’s rush hour in Prague and you miss a metro train by an inch only, then you merely have to wait 115-150 seconds until the next train pulls into the station. That’s top-notch in Europe, in particular in the background of only 1.2 million people living in Prague. The trains of Pražské Metro bomb along three lines through the underground of the Golden City, connecting old as well as brand-new stations that tell the modern history of the Czech capital »»

One for All and All in One – Warsaw’s Underground

October 7th, 2014

One for All and All in One – Warsaw’s UndergroundFollowing the course of Vistula River, Poland’s one and only underground stops at 21 stations in Warsaw’s underground. Consisting of only one single line being in operation, about 370.000 people use the coaches shuttling along the 23.1 kilometres long track. Planning and design actually having started in the 1920’s finally saw and end when in 1995 Metro Warszawskie started operations. It belongs not only to the youngest undergrounds in Europe but also has officially one of the most beautiful stations in the world. Very soon its singlehood will change though as the start of second line operations already loom »»

The Poor, the Cool and History – Riding on Berlin’s U8

September 8th, 2014

The Poor, the Cool and History – Riding on Berlin’s U8Besides being Berlin’s second North-South connection the U8 line is first and foremost a journey through history as well as social structures of the German capital. Beginning at the mystic Märkisches Viertel, having its own rules, the U8 route leads through nowadays central Berlin being annexed by trend victims, parasitic hipster Yankees and new arrived wanna-be Berliners around Rosenthaler Platz, to end at the original Kreuzberg and Neukölln districts, where life in summer happens in the streets, the Mediterranean way, where Berlin’s multi-cultural facet becomes more apparent again »»