november 2002 berlin

in october of 2002, my friend rob came by before moving back to his homeland, new zealand. he wanted one last swing around this end of the world before moving all the way to the other one. new zealand is expensive, and realistically, one doesn't do a lot of travelling from there.

before we got anywhere, we stumbled into a gorgeous old moto guzzi (in some need of tlc, however), and then we found this neat painting company van, with one of the more amusing choices of logos i have seen recently. in case you don't know, the kastrati were men who were literally kastrated so that their voices would stay high through puberty, giving them a long and uninterrupted singing career without the bother of maturing voices.

then we did the tourist thing. starting near where i live, we took the tram, and then walked around in mitte, the downtown area. first we visited the berlinerdom on the lustgarten, and the nationalgalerie. outside the nationalgalerie rob was poking at a neat little statue he found.
across the river, going west, we saw a huge old beautiful wooden door, but we didn't stay too long as we were being watched by some stone-faced guys up on the top of the building. continuing on we dropped by the memorial for the victims of war. when the iraq war broke out, this place filled with flowers from all over europe, including from chirac and several other governments, including some of the governments which were ostensibly "with" the states and britain.

across the way is a window in the ground which looks down upon a white room with no doors. this room is where the books were burned by the nazis before the second world war. anything deemed subversive was burned, including art, literature, political writings, and more.

behind this platz is a neat round church, which has several gorgeous little rooms under the main hall. here are a couple of the nicer ones.
this car is in my opinion one of the most exciting pieces of automotive design ever, but it is only a prototype. every visible surface is either painted metallic blue, is made of polished wood or polished aluminium. there is no plastic or cheap materials anywhere.

a little further down französische straβe is gendarmenmarkt, a neat platz with two little churces and a theatre. for unknown reasons i only photographed one of the three buildings. coming back up to unter den linden, we passed by the russian embassy, with this little geometric garden.

unter den linden ends at the brandenburger tor. on the other side of this, tiergarten starts. brandenburger tor is one of the major monuments of germany, and is on the back of many of the coins.
going south, we passed by the sony centre. berlin has strict zoning guidelines, and while many of these buildings house offices, some were also required to be apartments, according to some ratio. this strategy works wonderfully, and there is no rushhour to speak of here. there is simply accomodation to be found wherever you work, avoiding all the people living away from the centre and commuting to work each day.
the last stop was the memorial church close to zoologischer garten bahnhof. i only have a picture from inside one of the newer buildings here, but there are pictures of the old church elsewhere on my site.
and that was all. rob went back to new zealand.