Postcards - August 2003 - Part One

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Two Weeks In Europe
A two week summer holiday based in Berlin, Germany and Katowice, Poland.

Monday: Amsterdam

First, a brief visit to Amsterdam for breakfast, and to look at the trams.

To break up the journey across the Netherlands and Germany we paused at Hannover for a brief branch line trip, finishing up here at Haste.
I'm desperately trying to come up with a good pun which begins Marry in Haste but the best I can do is Repent at Esche. Any suggestions?

Tuesday: Berlin

First port of call in Berlin was the Fernsehturm which provided superb views in the sunny weather.
On the tourist trail, to the Reichstag...
and the Brandenburg Gate.
The Technology Museum is still being developed but already they've got lots of railway-related exhibits in two roundhouses which were a former railway depot.

The flight gallery doesn't open until next year, and there are other expansions under way as well.
Within the museum complex we followed the signs to the brewery hidden at the back, in hope of finding some beer but unfortunately they don't sell any! Nonetheless, well worth visiting.
More tourism: Dodging dozens of tourist coaches to get a picture of Checkpoint Charlie.

Frankfurt an der Oder
A train ride took us to the "other" Frankfurt where we found this steam engine parked in the station, and then dined in the Ratskeller underneath the town hall (right).

Wednesday: Der Rügensche Kleinbahn
A day trip from Berlin to the Island of Rügen, to the harbour at Lauterbach Mole.
The main reason for visiting the island was the narrow gauge steam operation. An unusual feature is that the last few miles of the 750mm gauge line are shared with standard gauge trains, on dual gauge track with three rails.
Left: This is the standard gauge DB train which brought us to Lauterbach Mole.
Right: The Rügensche Kleinbahn train at the same platform.
The other end of the line at Göhren.

Thursday: "Molli"

The 900mm gauge Mecklenburgische Bäderbahn, known as Molli, has operated from Bad Doberan near Rostock to the Baltic coast at Ostseebad Kühlungsborn since 1886.

An unusual feature of this line is that it runs along the main shopping street in Bad Doberan, stopping to pick up passengers at two kerbside halts.

Friday: Usedom
The Island of Usedom, on the Baltic coast, was an important holiday destination for the East German population before reunification. Here are some of the blocks of holiday apartments, now disused.
The island remains very popular with holidaymakers, and the local trains are busy with ramblers and cyclists.
At the north end of the island is Peenemünde, famous as the location where the V1 and V2 weapons were developed during the war. This old factory is now a museum of missile development and other eastern bloc weapons.
The infamous V1 (left) and V2 (right).
Two Mig aircraft. The one on the right is a Mig 17-AS.
Post war missiles.
Also at Peenemünde, but separate from the museum, is this preserved U-Boat.

Green Beer
Another in my occasional series of coloured beers:
This is a Berliner Weisse mit Schuss - A wheat beer with an added dollop of sweet green syrup. My Rough Guide says it's flavoured with Woodruff (whatever that is); I say it tastes awful. There is also a red version, but one was more than enough for me.

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