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Berlin Notes

News and views from Germany's federal capital in easily-digestible blog format.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

It came from Outer Space

A Close Encounter of the Third Kind on Alexanderplatz


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Saturday, February 10, 2007

Berlin is quite a safe city - there's the odd bit of pick-pocketry, and the odd contretemps between members of various eastern European and / or Arabic "mafia" groupings, but despite - or maybe because of - the lack of conspicuous affluence compared to other major capitals, opportunistic, violent crime is fairly rare.

Extract Berlin crime map Nevertheless there are areas which are subjectively less safe, and as part of an EU study Berlin residents were asked how often they think about the possibility of becoming a victim of crime. The Berliner Zeitung has put the results on line as a map, which shows Berliners are pretty relaxed, with only about 12% (red areas) saying they think about this "often". About 25% said "occasionally", 38% "seldom", and 24% "not at all".


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Thursday, February 8, 2007

Berlin, February, Snow

Winter is back. 


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Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Google's map service is technically very well implemented, but the geographical information it contains should be treated with caution. Not only will it happily direct you to the wrong address for major tourist attractions, it also seems to be using a different map of Berlin's U-Bahn system to everyone else, as demonstrated by the apparent existence of an U-Bahn station at Berlin-Ostbahnhof:

U-Bahnhof Ostbahnhof

(direct link to map)


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Tuesday, February 6, 2007

The Bierpinsel in Steglitz, a distinctive 1970's style building on the Schloßstraße, is due to reopen in 2008 following extensive renovation. It will probably be renamed "Schlossturm" ("Castle Tower").

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Monday, February 5, 2007

Berlin is to gain a further intercontinental air route: Oasis Hong Kong Airlines is to start flights between Schönefeld and Hong Kong in 2008. Prices are expected to be in the region of €300.


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Saturday, February 3, 2007

Google is useful for finding all sorts of information, to the extent "googling" has become a verb, but their mapping can be very hit-and-miss at times. Should you for example search for Berlin's Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, it will show you a little map of where it thinks it is - i.e. the Lietzenburger Straße. Which is way out; the church site at the top end of the Ku'damm on Breitscheidplatz.

Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church according to Google


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Friday, February 2, 2007

The warm winter continues: last week's snow has vanished, it's (comparatively) warm, windy and rainy. 


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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Berlin skyline, with TV Tower. January 2007.

The Television Tower  on a cold winter's day


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Saturday, January 20, 2007

Event of the week was hurricane "Kyrill", which swept across Europe on Thursday and Friday, uprooting trees and taking off roofs and generally making a mess. There were no casualties and comparatively little damage in Berlin - dire warnings from the authorities encouraged many people to stay at home, and while maximum wind speed hit 146 kmh in the southeastern district of Adlershof, the full force of the storm was not quite as intense as had been predicted. However, there was drama a-plenty at the Berlin-Hauptbahnhof - a steel girder weighing nearly two tonnes fell of the facade of one of the newly-constructed office buildings which straddle the station onto some steps. No-one was hurt, but the station was closed until midday Friday for safety checks.

Comments (0) Posted at 11:52 AM in


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