Yes, I did do more yesterday than ride the bus and eat Currywurst, but time is once again trying its best to run away from me, so the rest will have to wait until later.

The clouds which gathered yesterday are still here today, though it's slightly warmer (a positively tropical 0 degrees). Time to head out into the city again!

Wittenbergplatz (U1, U2, U3)
An organic Imbiß on Wittenbergplatz.

A superstar among Berlin's border crossing points, Checkpoint Charlie was one of three allied checkpoints in Germany and one of eight border crossing points between East and West Berlin. The other two allied checkpoints were on one of the Autobahns leading into West Berlin from West Germany - Checkpoint Alpha at Helmstedt and its partner Checkpoint Bravo at Dreilinden. The checkpoints were mainly for military personnel, rather less concerned with the movements of civilians, unlike the GDR border control points on the other side.

Kochstraße (U6)
The reconstructed Checkpoint Charlie on Friedrichstraße.

As I begin gathering my things so I can leave, clouds are gathering to cover the sun. It's not enough to deter me though, even if the temperature does start to drop once the sun's gone in.

Just a few minutes' walk from the busy Leipziger Straße lies this piece of urban wilderness:

A piece of wilderness in the centre of Berlin

Why is there this piece of waste ground so close to the city centre? A closer look at the path gives a clue:

Spittelmarkt (U2)
Remains of the wall's death strip in central Berlin...and the strange things that occupy it.

You'll perhaps remember me mentioning Tegel when I wrote about Platz der Luftbrücke. The runway was built during the Berlin Airlift in the French sector in 1948, on the site of what had been Racketenflugplatz Berlin (Berlin rocket flight site) between 1930 and 1933. At 2,428 metres, it was the longest runway in Europe at the time.

There's no S-Bahn station serving Tegel.
The X9 and TXL buses run regularly between the airport and the city centre.
There's no U-Bahn either!
I take a look around Tegel airport after landing there.

Ever wondered where the National Lottery's 'voice of the balls' Alan Dedicoat goes on holiday? Probably not, actually. Still, if you ever did, I can tell you he was headed for Berlin this, of course, was I.

It was an early start this morning, a taxi picking me up at 4:30 (too early to take the tube or train, unfortunately, by far the cheaper options).

While it seems that every shop on the high street is currently trying to convince people that Christmas won't be Christmas unless they shop there, I have different ideas...Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a visit to Berlin.

So, join me here between the 13th and the 16th of December for a Christmas journey to Berlin. There'll be plenty of festive fare courtesy of Berlin's Christmas markets, plus more of the usual blend of famous sights and forgotten relics.

Well, I'm back in London. It's been a long journey in more ways than one. I'll keep working on this site - at the very least, I'll use it the next time I visit Berlin (there are really so many more things to cover!) but I'll probably update it with other relevant things from time to time, so keep watching!

So, it's time to leave Berlin. It's another grey day, with a faint hint of drizzle in the air.

With a bit more light in the station than there was on the evening I arrived, there's a chance to grab a picture of its multi-level interior.

Berlin Hauptbahnhof interior

There aren't actually many angles which you can see all the levels from. This is one of them, though I don't think seeing it like this really conveys just how vast this place feels.

Hauptbahnhof (S3, S5, S7, S75)
Hauptbahnhof (U55)
I make my way back to London from Berlin Hauptbahnhof

Lurking on most most Berlin bar menus, waiting to surprise the uninitiated, is the Berliner Weiße:

The beer oddity that is Berliner Weisse


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