Saturday, October 25, 2008

berliner bear

The night skyline of the new Berlin from the rooftop terrace of the Bundestag (German Parliament) on a chilly, October evening. (2008). The recognizable TV Tower stands proudly in the distance.

On a gorgeous Monday afternoon, I count seven of us seated on the six-person bike, peddling madly at low gear to move at a Sunday's pace down the Unter den Linden.

"Berlin's Champs-Élysées," smiles Pierre, the proud Frenchman who hails from no less than Versailles itself, to no one in particular.

Indeed, this is really something. Sight of sights, here we are, seven geography students from six different countries, making the two kilometre (1.2 mile) ride from the TV Tower in Alexanderplatz to the entrance of the Brandenburg Gate on a strange, cycling contraption. A mild commotion ensues: highly amused tourists wave and snap away with their cameras while annoyed, eye-rolling drivers stew stuck in their shiny VW's.

For a second, I think of the annals of life and history, the countless confluence of events that make this highly improbable occasion in the heart of the former East Berlin actually possible.


Yet, I'm not going to ruin this mood by over-thinking it ... reflection is for later. For now, I just enjoy my moment in the sun, knowing that there's nowhere else I would rather be.

More from Berlin to come.

Lit up to the blazes, the nighttime colours of the Brandenburg Gate, one of the most important landmarks in German and European history, make for a distinct memory. Berlin, Germany. (2008).

One of the last-remaining chunks of the Berlin Wall. (2008).

One American and five Swedes: Sean, Anna, Joachim, Vanna, Sarah, and Kajsa. Berlin, Germany. (2008). This great group of friends waited patiently in the cold with minimal complaints while I set up a multitude of night shots on the tripod throughout the evening. This particular photo was taken on the roof of the Bundestag. The Bundestag Dome, which overlooks the floor of the German Parliament, is in the background.

Bike and crew at journey's end, the Brandenburg Gate. Berlin, Germany. (2008).

The bike crew at the base of the 368-metre (1207-foot) TV Tower (or Fernsehturm, in German) in Alexanderplatz. Berlin, German. (2008). From left to right: Goya (Iran), Ralitsa (Bulgaria), Christophe (Germany), Iris (Hong Kong), Jan (Germany), and Pierre (France).


  1. Man in the Yellow Hat26 October, 2008 00:52

    Judging by the picture, did the editor take a bite out fo the Berlin Wall???

  2. That must have been quite the sight on the bike! I have never seen 6 . . . may 2 or 3! I wish I could have seen it!

  3. Too bad you weren't there, I think you would've loved it, Michelle.