Berlin Notes

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

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Infotower at BBI

Berlin's new airport, BBI (Berlin Brandenburg International, being constructed on the site ofSchönefeld Airport) is gearing up to be one of the city's mega building projects. And what's a huge building site without some kind of viewing tower? The BBI site will be getting a futuristic "Infotower" (pictured) and visitor centre this summer. The tower will be 32m tall and have two viewing platforms, one on the top and one lower down inside.

Official fact sheet is here.

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

It's pretty certain that the Loveparade has left Berlin for the forseeable future -  the only question is where it will end up. According to this article from the Berlin newspaper Der Tagesspiegel the Loveparade 2007 will be taking place in the western German city of Essen.

Up until now Essen - a post-industrial (read: rust-belt) part of the Ruhr area - has not had a reputation as a cool techno location, or indeed cool anything . (It should be noted that in 2003, global brand Coca Cola relocated its German headquarters from Essen to Berlin, leaving behind the German headquarters of shoe shop chain Deichmann and discount supermarket Aldi).

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Dinosaur at Berlin's Hauptbahnhof

No, it's not Deutsche Bahn's newest customer service employee: it is a genuine dinosaur skeleton replica, which is around 100 years old and has just been restored. It belongs to the Naturkundemuseum (Museum of Natural History), which is being renovated.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Among Berlin's many delights are its open-air swimming pools and lakeside bathing beaches. Unfortunately they're not very flexible when it comes to reacting to unseasonably warm weather (like it is now) - the BBB's official outdoor bathing season begins on April 28, with some locations not opening until the middle of May; until then sun-seekers will have to make do with the city's many parks, and anyone wishing to brave the still seasonably cool water (currently around 10°C) is limited to inofficial bathing "beaches" or the few privately-run ones, who's opening depends on the individual operators.

Currently only the Strandbad Weißensee appears to be operating.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

It looks like the BVG is having problems with its newest trains, the so-called "H-Series" (recognisable by their bright yellow livery and the connections between each carriage). Problems with the wheel bearings, which are wearing out much earlier than expected, mean 20 of these trains have been taken out of service for emergency repairs.

This has resulted in a reduction in services on lines U5, U6, U7, U8 and U9, with service intervals being extended from the usual 4 or 5 minutes to between 7 and 8 minutes. Repairs should be completed by the second week of May, when the normal timetable will be resumed.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Berlin, Spring 2007

Spring is finally here - the sun is out, the trees are green and Berliners are exposing parts of their body you might not want to see. In fact over the weekend temperatures soared above 25°C - real summer weather. The warm spell is set to continue this week, but cooling off towards the weekend.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Visitors to the Zoo yesterday were disappointed - halfway through his afternoon "performance", it became apparent Knut wasn't feeling very well, so his keepers removed him for further investigation. It looks his first adult tooth is coming through, which is causing him some pain, but otherwise Knut is in good health. It's not yet known whether Knut will be "on display" today (Wednesday).

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

"English Events in Berlin" are hosting their regular weekly party once again Wednesday, as always on the Eastern Comfort hostel ship, which moored on the Spree near Schlesisches Tor and Warschauer Straße stations. This week's event features a Celtic Rock concert by a guitar / mandolin duo as well as the traditional homemade hummus. Entrance is €1 and the event starts at 7pm.

Further information on English Events in Berlin's website.

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Latest baby polar bear news: due to the enormous number of visitors who want to see Knut, the Zoo has restricted viewing time to just seven minutes per person.

For an alternative view on Knut, check out - an alternative Knut fan site. It's in German, but mainly pictures - don't take them all too seriously, everybody loves Knut really.

Comments (2) Posted at 12:59 PM in

Sunday, April 8, 2007


Knut mania continues: not only can you buy your very own Knut (courtesy of Steiff) but thanks to Gummibär specialists Haribo you can also eat him too. They're bringing out their own range of sugar puff baby polar bears - a handy between-meals sugary pick-me-up. The new product will be available in stores from around the middle of April, and Haribo will be donating 10¢ from every box sold to the Berlin Zoo for the real Knut.

(By the way if you think it's cruel to eat Knut, just think about what cute darling creatures real polar bears in the wild eat ;-). 

Comments (0) Posted at 8:42 AM in

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