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Berlin Notes

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

Sunday, May 13, 2007

It seems like it's vintage transport season: after the buses last Saturday, this time it's trams, up in Pankow where the Denkmalpflege-Verein Nahverkehr Berlin is having an open day at the Straßenbahnhof Niederschönhausen.


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Friday, May 11, 2007

The U8 has always had a bit of a dodgy reputation, linking as it does some of Berlin's more, err, working class districts such as Neukölln,Kreuzberg and Wedding. Particularly the stations on the southern section between Moritzplatz andHermannstraße have become notorious as a meeting point for dealers and their customers. Now, official statistics have revealed that it's the line with the most stations which are regularly used for dealing drugs, with every station south ofOsloer Straße affected.


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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Ersatzverkehr
Ersatzverkehr

If you're using public transport, Schienenersatzverkehr - often written as SEV for short, or as you can see from the photo, shortened to Ersatzverkehr - is not a word you want to see or hear too often. It literally means "track replacement traffic", i.e. replacement buses running instead of the normal S-Bahn, U-Bahn or Tram services.


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Thursday, May 10, 2007

The section of U-Bahn line U2 between Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz and Schönhauser Allee will be closed from May 14 until June 14 for much-needed maintenance work.

Replacement buses (Schienenersatzverkehr) will be running along the closed section of line, calling atRosa-Luxemburg-Platz,Senefelderplatz, Eberswalder Straße and Schönhauser Allee. Bicycles cannot be carried.


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Thursday, May 10, 2007

The two Sundays on which shops can open in Berlin (verkaufsoffene Sonntage) for the second half of the year have been announced: September 2nd (in conjunction with the IFA) and October 7th (in conjunction with the Art Forum / Kunstherbst).

There are now three remaining Sunday shopping days in 2007:

  • May 20th
  • September 2nd
  • October 7th

Shops are also generally open on the four Advent Sundays before Christmas.

See Shopping in Berlin for general information on shop opening hours in Berlin.


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Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Old-timer Berlin Bus

One for transport fans and afficionados of vintage buses: on May 12th (Saturday) theBVG is running old-timers on the M45 route betweenZoo Station and Spandau. Around a dozen historical omnibuses will be running between 9am and 6pm - the normal BVG fares are valid, no extra payment required. (This is an annual event, which takes place on the Saturday before Muttertag (Mothers' Day).


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Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Backshop (bakery)

A Backshop is not somewhere you could buy, say, a back-scratcher. You will however find a large range of bread and pastries, for "Back" derives from "Backwaren", aka "bakery products". And as "shop" is a direct equivalent of der Laden, it's "der Backshop".

This word has become common in Berlin since the late 1990's; I'm not sure why, or what advantage it has over the more prosaic Bäckerei.


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Wednesday, May 2, 2007

The delays on Berlin's U-Bahn system caused by problems with the newest "H-Series" trains have now been lifted, and as of today services have been restored to the normal timetable.

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Monday, April 30, 2007

'twas the night before May Day, when all through the inner city
not a street was silent, not even a house

The Molotov cocktails were prepared with care
In hopes that the police would soon be there

(With apologies to Clement Clarke Moore.)

Yes, Walpurgisnacht - Walpurgis Night, April 30th, is upon us once more. It's a festival is named after Saint Walburga, apparently a niece of Saint Boniface if you really must know, and whatever the precise historical details, in parts of Central and Northern Europe it's a jolly good opportunity for a bit of a knees-up to celebrate the arrival of Spring. And maybe light some whopping great fires.


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Friday, April 27, 2007

Mauerpark in the sun

Over the past couple of days temperatures have been around 25°C - lovely, almost summer-like weather, which is set to continue over the holiday weekend (Tuesday, May 1, is a public holiday, so many people will be taking Monday off too).

This was the Mauerpark yesterday, late afternoon.


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