Instead of taking the U-Bahn to the edge of the city centre, I walked down the elegant Kurfursten dam to view the famous Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche. In the early 1950s, the ruined tower of the original church was saved by Berliners to become a symbol of their resolve after WWII to rebuild and renew the city. To me, as I dodged the traffic, it took the form of a sentinel staring transfixed by the unimaginable 1945 devastation.
It was very humid, with rain and heavy grey clouds; had forgotten to take a raincoat and cursed before finding a C&A who solved the dilemma. The remaining few hours provided glimpses of the Tiergarten with its rather over-egged Siegessaule (victory) monument, along with parts of East Berlin’s former GDR zone, now a vast building site of rebirth with C19 monumental structures encased by scaffolding.
Departure to Moscow was from the Hauptbahnhof, an amazing palace of integrated public transport on five levels: international, metro, S-Bahn, U-Bahn and bus. It reminded me of Fritz Lang’s futuristic 1926/27 silent film ‘Metropolis’; all levels can be seen with human ants scuttling around in this steel machine city, traversed by moving escalators and trains. Incredible, but for a stranger disconcerting. Finally, a top-level platform showed ’15:22 Moskva’ – just 10 minutes to spare!
Zsolt S and Katalin T were both concerned by lack of blog messages. I texted ‘On to Moscow no blog but have sorted categories’ and got an instant reply: ‘Great we are happy that everything is all right, we wish you an easy journey’. My sentiments in a nutshell!!