As staying in Potsdam is, to our surprise, not limited, it is a nice historical town and travelling around -into Berlin for instance- is cheap and easy by public transport, we left not earlier than after having been there for seven(!) nights. Thursday the 28th of June we started the engine again, lifted anchor (not literally) and left at 8:54AM. The cruise between Potsdam and Berlin-Spandau is a lovely one. The scenery on offer is a string of lakes, formed by the river Havel, and we had the privilege to witness this great water-paradise by slowly moving forward with our little ship.
Later that day, we arrived at Berlin-Spandau and silenced our engine at 11:37AM. We had a wonderful cruise of around 2¾ of an hour. Bliss! And the beer in Spandau was not bad at all.
Friday the 29th of June was a sort of a big day for us. We knew beforehand that mooring-space is very limited in Berlin’s centre but, since we are not around here very often, decided to give it a try anyway. We left Spandau at 8:35AM, hoping for the best. Of course we sometimes look in the windows of the buildings we pass and see ourselves reflected in them. It’s all vanity of course, this picture, not serving any decent purpose.
Coming out from underneath a bridge we all of a sudden saw not only the Berliner Fernsehturm (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fernsehturm_Berlin, a good read – ‘The Revenge of the Pope’) but also a vast number of deckchairs. Not all of them occupied yet, but it was only 11:37 in the morning.
Us dare-devils skipped two possibilities to moor before we reached Berlin’s hotspot for boats, being the river Spree alongside the Schiffbauerdamm – between the Marchallbrücke (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marschallbrücke) and Bahnhof Berlin Friedrichstraße (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berlin_Friedrichstraße_station). When we reached this ‘goal for the day’ there was just one space left – exactly fitting for the length of our ship. Here we are, as the picture proves very close to Germany’s Reichstag-building – and more, see the next pictures. We stopped the engine at 11:25AM. One’s allowed to be in Berlin’s centre for just 24 hours.
The signs next to our ship’s stern informs about being (very) close to the Brandenburger Tor, Reichstagsgebäude and so on. The arrow makes overly clear where to moor (and where not to).
Underneath the Marchallbrücke a boat belonging to the "Water Police Force" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wasserschutzpolizei) was permanently moored. We still wonder what their priority is: either protecting the Reichstag-building (and other government-buildings) or checking on us. Because we have seen a fair number of police-boats and never been bothered we tend to conclude to the first possibility. We are told however, not to moor outside designated spaces or to overstay. Don’t push your luck!
This picture shows hoe busy the river Spree in Berlin’s centre is during the day – in this case a sunny Friday. The tourist-boats are passing permanently, by no means empty! Three of them are visible here; sometimes they create a genuine traffic jam. We rocked around, just a little bit.
The last picture showed a few large umbrellas on the opposite bank, in front of the ARD-building. When having a beer there, which we did, this is the view. Lively would be an appropriate qualification.
When having visited this vibrant city one tends to like a place in the shade, have a drink and relax. That’s exactly what the female part of the two of us did. Are you able to find her?
We did not notice much beggars or homeless people in Berlin – compared to London, Paris or Amsterdam anyway. Having said this, two obvious homeless men lived in this hole in the quay opposite of where we were moored.
Loads of tourist-boat-exploiting companies came by in Berlin’s centre, notably one that fancies the Dutch Dutch royal family. May we politely refer to...
...(3) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince_Bernhard_of_Lippe-Biesterfeld. We missed Juliana, however. Maybe that boat was under repair.
The centre of Berlin was left starting 8:25AM on Saturday the 30st of June. Pretty early, so the tourist-boats didn’t bother us – and the other way around. Just after 2 o’clock in the afternoon – earlier we had to wait for a lock- we saw this part of the Berlin Wall, still fully intact. This is alongside Mühlenstraße, just downstream of the Oberbaumbrücke. It never fails to impress.
We already mentioned the Oberbaumbrücke with the last picture. This is the one – in its full glory. This bridge was, in our opinion, by far the prettiest of Berlin. Berlin, unlike London or Paris, is not that spectacular as far as bridges are concerned. This is a clear exception. For more about its interesting history, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oberbaum_Bridge. More impressive pictures to be found there as well (aerial view)!
Not very far upstream from the Oberbaumbrücke we saw this not-to-miss statue, consisting of three meeting men. We have been unable to discover what it is. East meets West maybe?? Please, lift us out from the darkness!
We also passed the area where a large part of the tourist-boats have their own sort of port. They cruise into Berlin’s centre around 10:00AM to do their daily business again.
Three different clock faces (I)
On the Saturday we had a really nice cruise, from the heart of Berlin to Lichterfelde – which is still the Berlin area. We even made a detour on the Spree, for instance traversing (Berlin-)Köpenick. This made us think of the story of (Friedrich) Wilhelm Voigt, the Captain of Köpenick. Read about the man by using this link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilhelm_Voigt...
Three different clock faces (II)
...and about a play, based upon his life https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Captain_of_Köpenick_(play). Oh, the clock faces. When approaching our current ‘living-environment’ we noticed this tower and its three clock faces. The one on the left indicated 12:41PM, the one in the middle 12:52PM and the one on the right 12:07PM. All wrong, it was 1:09PM. So much for German Gründlichkeit!
After a most pleasant cruise of almost 5¼ hours we stopped at Lichterfelde (Berlin) and switched off the engine at 1:47PM. This is where we are now.
Attention please! There are still two (2) sub-pages tot be added to this one; the first about Potsdam, the second about Berlin. Therefore, there’s still more to come!