News and views from Germany's federal capital in easily-digestible blog format.
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Following the sudden 39 hour U-Bahn, bus
and tram strike last Friday and Saturday, little progress has been
made in negotiations between the public transport workers' union Verdi
and public transport operator BVG. Verdi has however announced that
no strikes or other industrial action will take place before Monday,
The strike last week was haevily criticised by
public transport users due to the short notice given - many commuters
were caught out on Friday morning and had to make alternative travel
arrangements. It looks like further strikes will not be quite as
disruptive; Monday, February 11 and Tuesday, February 12 are likely
dates for the next round of industrial action.
Note that services
run by Deutsche Bahn - particularly the S-Bahn network and
regional trains are not affected by this round of
industrial action, although in the event of any strikes they will be
more crowded than usual.
Friday and Saturday a bus shuttle
service was in operation between Tegel Airport and
Alexanderplatz via Berlin-Hauptbahnhof replacing the TXL airport
bus. It's likely this service will be operated during any future
strikes, providing a reliable public transport connection to Tegel.
Airport| is mainly served by the S-Bahn and Regionalbahn|regional
trains, meaning access from there to the centre of Berlin will not be
disrupted by any BVG strikes.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
From midight Friday until 3pm Saturday, the BVG - Berlin's public transport system - will not be running due to strike action.
U-Bahn and Tram services are affected. A few bus lines run by
private companies on behalf of the BVG will run as usual, but these are
mostly in the suburbs.
The TXL bus service from Tegel Airport to Berlin-Hauptbahnhof will be operating at 10 minute intervals.
S-Bahn and Regionalbahn services operated by Deutsche Bahn
will not be affected and are running as normal. The S-Bahn will be
running more frequent services.
Taxis will be hard to get and traffic jams can be expected.
Monday, December 31, 2007
Germany takes its public holidays seriously: they're "celebrated" on
the day they fall on (no postponement to the following Monday etc.),
and - with certain exceptions - all shops are closed.
Note that public holidays in Germany differ somewhat between federal states (Bundesländer), and some of the more Catholic states have extra holidays.
2009 Public Holidays in Berlin
Friday, November 23, 2007
Berlin is a huge city, and if you're not familiar with it, it's not always easy to judge what
a certain area's "character" might be like. Viewed from the streets, some districts can look
quite attractive, but this isn't always a reflection of the social structure behind the fassades.
The city government has just released a "Social Development Status Atlas"
(Entwicklungsindikator Soziale Stadtentwicklung, pictured right) which provides an
easy-to-understand overview of where's hot, and where's not quite so hot
Monday, November 19, 2007
One thing you won't find in the works of Roger Melis, Martin Roemers and Walter Vogel are clichés. Their works, depicting different aspects of working life in the post-war Germanies, go on show today at the Willy-Brandt-Haus, headquarters of Germany's Social Democratic Party (SPD), under the title "Arbeit und Alltag 1951-1992" ("Work and Everyday Life 1951-1992")
Monday, November 19, 2007
Winter is slowly arriving in Berlin - the last few days have seen the odd flurry of snow (quite unusual for November), and some of it has settled in Knut's enclosure.
Click here for pictures.
Friday, November 16, 2007
The body charged with marketing Berlin's surplus real estate, the Liegenschaftfonds, has just
announced that the Amerika-Haus next to Zoo Station is up for sale.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Germany is a nation of renters - and animal owners. With over 8 million cats and 5 million dogs, the issue of keeping pets in rented apartments is a frequent source of conflict between renters and landlords (and quite often the neighours too). Standard German rental contracts include a clause which specifically allows only small birds and aquarium fish: for any other kind of pet, whether hamsters or alligators, the landlord's explicit permission is necessary.
The standard text (§8 No. 4 of the standard rental contract) is as follows:
"jede Tierhaltung, insbesondere von Hunden und Katzen, mit Ausnahme von Ziervögeln und Zierfischen, … der Zustimmung des Vermieters"
Monday, November 12, 2007
Due to maintenance work between Wittenbergplatz and Gleisdreieck,
U-Bahn line U1 is being split into two parts from today until December 21. During this
period the station Kurfürstenstraße will be closed.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
So - you're in a rush to catch your plane, and realise you left the suitcase with the ropes and gags
in it at home. Or your Aunty Maud sends you a text asking you to get one of those German vibrators.
Or you were going to go to Beate Uhse but it was a Sunday. Or you just need a little something to
while away the lonely nights in the business hotel in Runcorn. Then worry not! For Berlin's
Tegel Airport now has its own, erm, adult shop in Terminal E: the "LSD Erotik Store"
is open daily from 6am to 10pm in the Boulevard Tegel.
| 2 | 3