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Author Topic: Berlin: a joyful eye-opener.  (Read 883 times)
MR GUS
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« on: August 04, 2020, 10:13:52 PM »

Just got back, aircraft still very much grounded, pretty much heathrow said "just come on in" to our pilot who plotted a straight course back home & laded 30 minutes early.

Not been in Berlin for nearly 20 years, it was an eye opener with all the progress in transport.
We stayed on the cheap at the H2 hotel on Berlins Alexanderplatz (ok unless you have a bad back ..the pillows are like warm butter).

Next door was a fantastic place to "crash" after walking all day in the heat we've had ...a beer keller "lookey likey"  Hoffbrau Munich via Berlin, ..so with a few litres of Dunkel (bitter) ideal to eat & walk 50 metres to bed each night.

(16 urinals guys, 16) ..makes old wetherspoons look like a country pub with an outdoor privy.

& Berlin really shows up London for the hole it is.

Water ferries
Lime, Bird, Tier e-scooters everywhere.
Plenty of BEVS, & BEV chargers.
Car share companies (x3 that I saw).
Every 20th car seemed to be a smart "fortwo"
Bike rental, bike commuters, pleasure bikers, Ebikes for hire..
An electric trabant.
WIDE bike paths on & off road.
A fantastic train, metro, tram & bus system
Access for bikes on the metro, train, tram & bus system as the norm not the exception.

Didn't hear one aggressive word against cyclists from anyone, truly a "two way street" of understanding.

On our last day the kid & I hopped on our Lime scooters & covered a few kilometres grabbing stock of Ovomaltine crunchy creme (spread) from a few shops after it seemed to be unavailable in france recently. ...made it all VERY easy to forgo the car & another lesson for my daughter seeing the manouverability of the fortwos in a densely populated city, we simply couldn't have done that in

We also noted that whilst there were big cars (range rover is popular) the uk style overkill of buy the biggest car going is not generally setting the precedent for apt living Berlin folk, even though there is plenty of road parking, more medium & small cars than you can shake a stick at.  extrahappy

But it highlights our own nations failings as to mobility, city design & environment (tree's) being aplenty in the city, hot days but plenty of shade (thank you tree lined avenues) & wider spacing in planning so that the city breathes more & breezes are doing more than simply whipping up dust, but rather channelling through the place to keep the scorching tarmac & concrete temperatures down & bearable.

If anyone is looking for a cheap crash pad (done well) then the H2 (H4 is "posher" & next door) then it does a damn good breakfast & is close enough to make travel a breeze, ..if you are slightly less mobile but up for getting as far as yo can on your legs, then the scooter hire is typically by the ride OR 9 euro's for a day pass for as many 30 minute rides as you like! ..& plenty of pavement to utilise if you don't feel up to busy road riding.
Netto is right behind the hotel (open till late) for cheap bits & bobs.

Was hindered by some city lockdown by protesting covidiots, there was not a million plus as claimed by organisers, & the guardians statement of 20,000 or so seemed about right.

Expect a surge in numbers soon, ...some protesters were staying in our hotel, ..where masks are mandatory in public areas, ..they didn't seem too bothered having to comply then though.

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« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2020, 08:45:51 AM »

Berlin really shows up London for the hole it is.

Also true for Germany / Britain, each as a whole. Wonderful to see what a 21st-century NW European country can look like, when properly managed and properly governed, with citizenry that is, on the whole, professionally trained, reasonably well-educated, and informed. (20,000 covidiots notwithstanding)
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pantsmachine
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« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2020, 08:47:50 AM »

Germany is an outstanding country.I have a lot of time for it. If you ever make your way to Frankfurt it's worth tracking down Schlappseppel Keller and weisen beers. I had a few nights in Berlin 20 years ago, wouldn't mind going back. Was over last year in my Bongo on a drive to Turkey, loved it! The RE at the autobahn is incredible in scale.

We should have a Navitron weekend away under the guise of RE fact finding but really going on the lash! Smiley

I went to Dachau last year, that doesn't leave ye.
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« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2020, 09:23:24 AM »

The Germans don't get in all correct.

The new airport in Berlin is a disaster.  No opening date in sight.
Infrastructure is crumbling, minimal maintenance.
Burning lignite.

To name a few things.
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MR GUS
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« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2020, 10:11:20 AM »

Germany is an outstanding country.I have a lot of time for it. If you ever make your way to Frankfurt it's worth tracking down Schlappseppel Keller and weisen beers. I had a few nights in Berlin 20 years ago, wouldn't mind going back. Was over last year in my Bongo on a drive to Turkey, loved it! The RE at the autobahn is incredible in scale.

We should have a Navitron weekend away under the guise of RE fact finding but really going on the lash! Smiley

I went to Dachau last year, that doesn't leave ye.

I went to sachhausen (about 45 mins by clean metro train) out of Berlin & spent a good 7 hours there, due to covid every remaining building was locked up (they don't tell you that) ..so I got to look through a couple (2 windows either side of an ablutions block) ..nb sunday is closed closed, monday during covid they may as well close, no cafe, just toilets open.

Thus it was somewhat limited impact (but impact nonetheless).

Lucky that I got a guide for the place, although she couldnt tell me who the "work will set you free" phrase / "pun" was attributed to, ..would love to know that one in particular.
The only real open air exhibit visible was the chambers for the ovens (blown up by the russians in the 50's & slightly put back to enhance the layout, the slab is all busted to hell).

The sign for the former SS barracks just outside the camp inner is now home to Berlin police training (several thousand at a time apparantly) the signage of which is along the lines of atoning for the past ..the police I note whilst all wearing bulky vests had VERY big I.D. formatted on their chest & backs ..something that needs to change here to gain some ground back. (imho)  removable lapel tabs don't cut it.
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Austroflamm stove & lot's of Lowe alpine fleeces, A "finger" of Solar Sad
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MR GUS
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« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2020, 10:31:04 AM »

The Germans don't get in all correct.

The new airport in Berlin is a disaster.  No opening date in sight.
Infrastructure is crumbling, minimal maintenance.
Burning lignite.

To name a few things.

No, I agree, it is not a complete picture..

However it makes a change to see minimal trash on the streets (more conscience within the public generally) & not one single pot-hole encountered give me hope for the future, especially the recognition that small cars are often all that is needed, I was subliminally scoping cars & sizes for the duration, it was nice to check out the E-corsa but I gave the VW boutique shop thing a miss, ..the porsche cayman? hybrid does nothing for me.

Give the germans their dues for the european adoption & price drop for solar implementation though, I doubt we would have got this far i our govt hadn't seen what the neighbours were up to.

Seems they are also some way ahead on Moy park & tulip brand (soy) deforestation product bans too from a public mindset (they need to tackle their livestock farming standards & practise more in line with ours though re "crating" etc).

last time I went to london (the other summer) it was lots of toyota hybrids & minimally apparant new london taxi variant, ancient bus stock & far more exhaust fumes & naff all tree's (I was bringing my bike back om bristol & went for a burn around central london for old times sakes & whilst it was easier than 20 years ago it was still brutal & lacked both the safety & the momentum to cover some miles in an expedient manner, thank god I did have an ebike to speed up the stop start process.
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Austroflamm stove & lot's of Lowe alpine fleeces, A "finger" of Solar Sad
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« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2020, 11:52:02 AM »

Many years ago I was lucky enough to spend a month in Japan.  All the cliches about the country are correct - amazing tech, infrastructure, politeness, food, culture, deference etc.  Contrast between cities and the rural areas is immense. And the sheer weight of people crammed into the city spaces is also quite an eye opener.

I visited the Atomic Bomb Memorial/ museum at Nagasaki one day whilst there too - utterly humbling experience. I couldn't talk for about 3 hours afterwards.
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MR GUS
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« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2020, 02:45:00 PM »

Incidentally, outward passport control was done straight off the gangway, & the walk through the airport to get bus tickets took longer than processing & luggage claim (5 minutes total) ..aided by the layout.

Return was much the same except that heathrow was  a bigger walkthrough.

I'm sadly gambling travel as "now rather than later" lock-downs are getting more frequent due to slack folk & "non believers" ..can take another 3 month lock-down having got out these past few weeks.

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Austroflamm stove & lot's of Lowe alpine fleeces, A "finger" of Solar Sad
Noli Timere Messorem
Screw FITS
Leaf Owner (1st gen)
+a shed full of solar panels
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