Fotoeins Fotopress

One photo at a time – one journey to last a lifetime

Posts tagged ‘Berlin’

Berlin Gleisdreieck: winter vs. summer

In the German capital city of Berlin, Gleisdreieck (“railway triangle”, “triangular junction”) is a U-Bahn station at the western end of the Kreuzberg district.

The station has both upper-level and lower-level platforms serving lines U1 and U2, respectively, although both sets of track are raised above ground. At Gleisdreieck, the U1 line runs west-east, whereas the U2 line runs perpendicularly and temporarily “north-south”.

Additional north-south tracks lie on both west and east sides of the station. The tracks to the west provide service to high-speed and express lines, and tracks to the east provide service for S-Bahn train lines S1, S2, and S25. There are plans to connect Gleisdreieck directly to the S-Bahn network with the new S21 line.

Formerly used as railyards for shipping and train maintenance, the area is undergoing massive redevelopment. Including the surrounding Park am Gleisdreieck, the large stretch of green space will connect the Tiergarten a little to the north with the parklands all the way in Potsdam in the south.

Standing at the west end of the station (U1, upper-level platform), I visualized the appearance in winter and summer: from overcast skies and snow on the ground, to clear blue skies above and grass in the green space below.

Winter: 22 December 2012 – Summer: 12 August 2013.

Northeast towards Mendelssohn-Bartholdy-Park, Anhalter Bahnhof; note Fernsehturm (TV Tower) in background of the lower panel.

Southwest to U2 track-bridge over the Schöneberger Wiese, west section of Park am Gleisdreieck; towards the American Church (Lutherkirche) at background right.

West on the U1 tracks. Train west to Uhlandstrasse, next station Kurfürstenstrasse

I made individual Instagram photos on 22 December 2012 and 12 August 2013, assembled them with PhotoFrame, and edited the final versions with Snapseed. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at

More about the park from REscapes and onefootinberlin.

Berlin Mitte on Christmas Eve

Geometry in tandem: Berlin’s Quartier 206

Quartier206, Berlin Mitte, Germany

Along Friedrichstrasse in Berlin Mitte are department stores, shops, and boutiques which cater to more expensive and refined tastes. The central court in Quartier 206 opens the visitor to a sensory experience: geometric lines and patterns mixed into the smooth marble under a glass roof, the sounds of a piano at the base of the central staircase, and the smell of coffee brewing at the bar. I wanted to capture some essence of the building and interior without drilling a large hole in my wallet.

I made these photos on 18 March 2011 with a Canon EOS450D (XSi) camera fitted with a prime 50mm f/1.4 lens; the settings for both photos were 1/60-second, f/2.8, and ISO200. Quartier 206 is located between BVG U-Bahn stations Französische Strasse and Stadtmitte. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at

Quartier206, Berlin Mitte, Germany

Fotoeins’ Favourite 5 in Germany

I’ll be the first to admit it: I’m apoplectic with rage if a person answers “Oktoberfest” as their first and only thought when asked what they think about Germany.

There’s nothing wrong with the raging keggers and oom-pa-pa at Oktoberfest or the beautiful city that is München. But there’s a lot more to Germany than Oktoberfest. Besides, there’s always the months-long Karneval on the Rhein …

As I’m very fond of the country and its people, I can be defensive when it comes to my “alternate” home that is the Deutschland. Yes, the people can be a little ornery, but break past their gruff orderly fastidious exteriors, and they are a lovely warm and generous people.

Sounds a lot like you and me, doesn’t it?

To encourage a different (and hopefully favourable) set of views about other parts of the country, here are five favourites while I’m in the big D:

I’m in Berlin to catch sunset’s silhouettes on Strasse des 17. Juni.

In Berlin, a ride on the upper-deck of either the 100 or 200 city-bus from Zoologischer Bahnhof will take passengers through many of the sightseeing and talking points of the German capital. As far as the Tiergarten park is concerned, many visitors will visit the Zoo, Brandenburg Gate, and the Siegessäule (Victory Column). Some time to see the Gate and Column illuminated at night are also worthwhile, but I like my silhouettes, too. Click here for more.

Siegesaeule, Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany, by fotoeins

I’m in Hamburg to check what’s on store in the Speicherstadt.

Sitting adjacent to the river Elbe, Hamburg is a port-city with historical links to the Hanseatic shipping league. The Speicherstadt (Warehouse District) consists of 19th- and 20th-century brick warehouses, like proud markers of an island oasis on the river. If you’re interested in spices, the Spice Museum is where you can learn about how spices arrived and were traded within Europe. Today, harbour activities take place across the river on the southern banks of the Elbe in the Hafenstadt.

Speicherstadt, Hamburg, Germany, by fotoeins

I’m in Köln for my favourite Turkish food.

Grilled lamb combo plate at Mangal, Köln, Koeln, Cologne, Germany

An important thing I’ve learned from friends in Köln is the quality and variety of Turkish food. I’ve always tried to visit neighbourhoods where resident German-Turks go for their favourites. Whether it’s in Mülheim, Hansaring, Zülpicher Platz, or Ehrenfeld, it might be hard to pin down the best places to eat; my “Kölner Kiez” has got my kind of food. Placing in front of me a plate with Döner meat or grilled Lambspiess accompanied by rice and salad is always a good way to start; a serving of Künefe is always a great way to finish. Click here for more drooling.

Künefe, Kuenefe, Mangal, Köln, Koeln, Cologne, Germany, by fotoeins

I’m on the North Sea coast to gaze out into the open sea.

It’s easy to forget Germany has access to open seas which are a part of the nation’s history and Hanseatic traditions. About an hour north by train from Bremen, you arrive at the coastal town of Cuxhaven, which is a good place to start exploring the Wadden Sea (Wattenmeer). The area includes coastal mud flats, vital for conservation efforts of local wildlife. The site’s importance has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Nationalpark Wattenmeer, Wadden Sea National Park, Cuxhaven, Germany, by fotoeins

I’m up top at Zugspitze for big mountains and big skies.

Although the tallest parts of the Alps are located in neighbouring countries, an altitude of 3000 metres (9700 feet) on the German side isn’t so bad. The ascent to Zugspitze is worth the trip on its own, whether it’s with the cogwheel railway from Partenkirchen or with the gondola up from Eibsee. At the summit, you can pass between Bavaria, Germany and Tirol, Austria with ease. If you squint your eyes on a clear day, you can see all the way to mountains at the Austria-Italy border. Click here for the ascent.

Zugspitze, Alps Germany, Austria, by fotoeins

I made all of the photos above in the D-land. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at

Travel Does A Number On Me

Fernsehturm (TV Tower) at Alexanderplatz, Berlin, Germany

“Eclipse” (Berlin Alexanderplatz)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Travel always does a number on me, but it’s one of the reasons why many of us enjoy travel, even through the mechanics of traveling from A to B.

This morning, as I walked from Vancouver’s Chinatown to the Central library branch downtown, I’ve known these streets for decades, even through the years of absence. All the same, just 2 days earlier, I’d been roaming though the German capital city of Berlin, through the streets and neighbourhoods of Charlottenburg and Mitte, some of it new, a lot of it familiar, but knowing exactly where I was, anchored by my knowledge of the extensive U- and S-Bahn network.

This time, a 4-day stop in Berlin meant I should’ve stayed longer over the past week. Even though 8 weeks last fall were a great familiarization, they fell short of what was required. Still, the city whose urban and cultural spirit is unlike anything I’ve ever encountered has a very firm hold on me.

Ultimately, on Tuesday afternoon, there on Platform 3 in the bottom-level of Berlin’s Central Station, I left a piece of my heart and soul behind for her … and I boarded a train for a quiet 5-hour journey to Frankfurt am Main. After a 10-hour non-stop flight the following day, I’m right back where I began 3 weeks ago.

I’m changed, a little more broken, but a little more emboldened by the experience, too.

Hauptbahnhof (tief), Central Station, Berlin, Germany

“3E and 4E” (Berlin Hauptbahnhof, tief)

This post originally appeared on my Facebook profile on 15 August 2013. I included my Instagrams from August 12 for this post on Fotoeins Fotopress at


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