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May 24: Berlin – Hauptbahnhof + Reichstag

I had the whole morning, over five hours, to explore around Berlin. Although I had visited Germany multiple times previously, Berlin was totally new to me.

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A last look at my classic-looking sleeping car.

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A glimpse way up at the clear daylight.

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The bottom of the tube-elevator car as it sank down to pick me up.

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An expansive mezzanine view.

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Eventually I got to the top level of the Hauptbahnhof, with its iconic cruciform low-vaulted glass roof.

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Some pretty sweet glazing support structure.

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The eastward tracks cross over a canal connected to the nearby River Spree, pretty cool.

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The early-morning-sun-baked eastern façade of the station.

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Whoa, a real-life speech bubble!

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The glassy front entrance to the Hbf.

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And then a total material contrast in the Moltkebrücke over the Spree.

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Crossing a grand curve of the river.

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Suddenly I was at the Reichstag! These lawn/stone striations on the grounds are pretty neat.

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A new day at the Reichstag.

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This is the Paul-Löbe-Haus, one of the auxiliary parliamentary offices, lying to the north of the Reichstag.

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Pigeon punctuation in the midst of a regular grass pattern.

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A Bundestag column and pier.

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Maximum heraldry!

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Minimum bikerack.

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Looking east from the Reichstag along the Dorotheenstraße. Both sides of the street are the Jacob-Kaiser-Haus, another parliamentary office complex.

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And looking north past the Reichstag to the Marie-Elisabeth-Lüders-Haus, yet another auxiliary parliamentary building, connected to the Paul-Löbe-Haus by a bridge over the Spree.

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Truly a blue-ribbon manhole cover!

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Off in the distance, the unmistakable Fernsehturm (TV Tower).

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Wait, that's the Brandenburger Tor! Not really ever having studied the layout of Berlin before arriving, I had no idea the Reichstag and the Tor were so close together.

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The stark morning sun on the east side of the Reichstag.