Russia 2006 Journey Day Eleven
Berlin, Germany

                                            [24 July, 2006] A travel day from Mainz to Berlin.  Total train time is 6 hours.  Within minutes leaving the 
                                            connection in Frankfurt, the countryside starts.  High density living in the urban areas does escalate the housing
                                            costs; however, it does control urban sprawl.
                                            The countryside is yellow bands of hay with accents of green crops.  Modern windmills on the scale of a 
                                            10 story building dot the ridge areas.  As always, the train has power outlets for computers and nice access
                                            to a bistro train car.
                                            Arrival in Berlin was in the new main train station - a combination old glass canopy that curves over the entire 
                                            station with modern accents of a mall of shops and more open viewing to tracks located on lower levels.  The 
                                            German Capitol is located within walking distance.  The station is also a symbol for the city since it is a post 
                                            "Wall coming down" true main station serving the entire city.  Prior to the new station being completed just in 
                                            time for the World Cup, the main station was Berlin Zoo station located in the middle of the former West Berlin.
                                            A quick 3 minutes train ride to the Potsdamer Platz station and it was time to check into another hotel.  We
                                            noticed that the 18 screen cinema in the Sony Center has English films and Pirates of the Carribbean will open
                                            tomorrow.  "Pirates?  Pirates?"
                                            Outside of Potsdamer Platz is a small exhibit of the Berlin Wall - with wall sections and old photos.  The area
                                            is now a major hotel, business tower, and entertainment complex.  Sobering to know that from the early 
                                            1960s to the late 1980s, this area was between the double walls - or certain death if attempted to cross.
                                                        Mainz Center (Zentrum)    Frankfurt Main Train Station    Berlin Welcome
                                                            Mainz Alt Stadt Zentrum                              Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof                       Banner at Neu Berlin Hauptbahnhof
                                                    New Berlin Main Train Station     New Berlin Main Train Station    New Berlin Main Train Station
                                                         Neu Berlin Hbf Entry                                          ICE Zug at Berlin Hbf                                   ICE Zugen in Berlin Hbf
                                                             New Berlin Main Train Station - Lower Level - Regional Trains      New Berlin Main Train Station - View of the Reichstag (Capitol)      Free Coke One outside Potsdamer Platz Station
                                                     Lower Regional Zug in Berlin Hbf                 Circus with Reichstag in background                          Free Coke Zero




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