Kevin & Shelby Take a Daytrip to Berlin

(Click on any of the pictures for a larger version of that image.)
We rode from Hamburg to Berlin in Deutsche Bahn's swoopiest trainset, the futuristic-and-speedy ICE3.

The ICE can theoretically go up to 330 km/h (198 mph), but on our trip, we were lucky to make 150.

There's a glass wall separating the engineer's compartment from the rest of the train, so you can walk up to the front and get an engineer's-eye view through the nose. (Impressionistic effect caused by a rocking train and no flash.) The special Kinder-section, with toy-bike seat and roads-and-houses patterned carpeting. It seems like playing with fire to only have one special bicycle seat on a train full of crowded kids, but the kids on this train barely noticed it at all (one preschooler had enough fun just leading his indulging dad up and down the length of the train for about an hour ...)
Anybody want some chocolate?
After a fruitless way-out-of-the-way visit to Treptower Park (the gigantic, solemn-yet-now-campy Soviet War Memorial was closed for renovation — who expects a multiple-football-field-sized stone monument in the middle of a public park to be closed?), we indulge our hedonistic consumerist size and go to the KaDeWe. The Kaufhaus Des Westens is the largest department store on the continent (second in Europe only to Harrod's in London) — seven floors of upscale stuff. We head to the food hall on the seventh floor, where elaborate displays of every edible imaginable surround you.

(We're also reminded that shopping on Saturday is a bad idea, since everyone shops on Saturday ...)

Shelby by the giant schoko bell on display in the candy department.

In the wine department, finally we find American wine for sale in Germany that wasn't made by Gallo or Fetzer! It's Eberle wine from Paso Robles, even.
Down the street from the KaDeWe is the Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche. The church was originally built from 1891 to 1895 by Kaiser Wilhelm II as a memorial to his grandfather, Wilhelm I. The church was destroyed during the bombing of Berlin in World War II; local action saved the ruined church as a war memorial, and a modern church was built in 1961 as a companion.
Relics from the old church are on display inside its remaining portion. (The stone tablet at the feet of Jesus is part of the Lord's Prayer, the "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us" portion.)
Inside the modern church, very peaceful with its thousands of blue glass bricks.
After visiting the Gedächtniskirche, we fished about for something that wouldn't be too tiring to get to and decided on the Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin. The museum is pretty much all about machinery and how it's used — planes, trains, cars, and big industrial machines.
The museum had a large display on printing technology (a favorite of many German technical museums). We got to watch the man running the display sit down at the Linotype (behind Shelby, at left) and type out a line. The Linotype cast his words into lead, which he then took over to a printing press and used to print a demonstration visiting-card.
The museum is built on the site of an old rail yard; sensibly, they retained the two roundhouses that were already there, and filled them with train equipment and railroad ephemera.
Printing presses and Nazi locomotives! What more does a museum really need?

This page last modified on Wednesday, February 25, 2004
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