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.
A last look at my classic-looking sleeping car.
A glimpse way up at the clear daylight.
The bottom of the tube-elevator car as it sank down to pick me up.
An expansive mezzanine view.
Eventually I got to the top level of the Hauptbahnhof, with its iconic cruciform low-vaulted glass roof.
Some pretty sweet glazing support structure.
The eastward tracks cross over a canal connected to the nearby River Spree, pretty cool.
The early-morning-sun-baked eastern façade of the station.
Whoa, a real-life speech bubble!
The glassy front entrance to the Hbf.
And then a total material contrast in the Moltkebrücke over the Spree.
Crossing a grand curve of the river.
Suddenly I was at the Reichstag! These lawn/stone striations on the grounds are pretty neat.
A new day at the Reichstag.
This is the Paul-Löbe-Haus, one of the auxiliary parliamentary offices, lying to the north of the Reichstag.
Pigeon punctuation in the midst of a regular grass pattern.
A Bundestag column and pier.
Looking east from the Reichstag along the Dorotheenstraße. Both sides of the street are the Jacob-Kaiser-Haus, another parliamentary office complex.
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.
Truly a blue-ribbon manhole cover!
Off in the distance, the unmistakable Fernsehturm (TV Tower).
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.
The stark morning sun on the east side of the Reichstag.