Posted: July 9th, 2007 | Author: | Filed under: berlin, vacation | No Comments »

I have now been in Berlinsince Thursday. I was at the EYP 20 Years of National Committees Celebration, which was a quite nice event. I am a little bit frustrated now because my dear laptop (the KariBook) was stolen during the evening and now I have to go through some trouble to extract all my info from backups and get a new laptop.

I am returning on Tuesday and intend to use today for shopping.

In Berlin: an overview

Posted: February 19th, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: berlin | No Comments »

In Berlin

Part 1

Berlin is a fantastic city. From the architectural perspective Berlin seems to have succeeded in uniting the old and the modern very cleaverly and so that they complement each other. Actually it is still in the making as most of the buildings that I saw, both old and new, were in construction/renovation stages. But I do have some highlights: the complex of great modern government buildings is incredible. And, of course, the headquarters of many corporation were amazing as well. One of the areas which was already quite well developed, like an oasis in the center of huge construction sites, was the area around Potsdamer platz. This is were most of the Berlinale festival events happened as well, the most striking building (or rather a complex of builidngs) was the Sony centre, together with Deutsche Bahn’s headquarters tower.

Berlin is different from Hamburg in the sense that it is more international and you hear a lot more English spoken. I saw groups of British students, for example. The city is bigger, this can be seen even from the amount of different s and u bahn lines, which was more than in Hamburg.

Going there for a weekend was fun and I enjoyed myself despite my running nose and deteriorating state of health. I have been thinking about how it would have been if I had chosen to go to Berlin instead for my internship (I do know that there is now real point in that). Despite the brilliance of Berlin there is still the problem that on Sundays most shops are closed. And it was even tougher to navigate than Hamburg. The main reason, why I would not spend the whole 3 months at Berlin is probably all the construction and the interruptions in transport and all the other discomforts that go along with this. I used to complain when in there was some work done in the centre of Tallinn in the summer. I will not anymore, thinking of what is going on in Berlin. I would like to return to Berlin when most of what was built is ready and see how great exactly it all looks.

Coming up next… Berlinale! and anti-war demo.

Part 2, the anti-war demonstartion.

There have been now 2 times during the two weeks I have been in Germany, when I have unsuspectedly stepped out from an underground station to the middle of a demonstration. Last weekend, when I was scouring Hamburg I found myself standing next to a whole patallion of fully armed police forces, with road blocks and everything. This was due to couple of hundred protesters. In Berlin it was in a bigger scale.

There was a wierd blockage at the Unten den Linien S-Bahn station and I thought that there sure are very many tourists wanting to see the Brandenburg gates today. This was not the case, because I emerged from under the ground eactly to the middle of an anti-war march, which ws moving towards the gates. I do not know if anyone saw this on TV, but the demo in Berlin was really huge and the buses which had transported most of the participants were filling whole big motorways. The demo had anti-Bush and anti-war posters and the people who were protesting were in a large amount young people.

It was quite interesting. I later returned to the Brandenburg Tor when the demo had ended and the police watercannon vehicle left as well. The only thing reminding of the situation was the police outside the Russian embassy and the British embassy. On Sunday I also came across the US Embassy and from the blockades I saw there one might think that they are preparing for a war in the city of Berlin. As in Tallinn, the whole street, where the US Embassy was, was blocked and even worse than in Kentmanni street in Tallinn.

Later on, I saw plenty of demonstrators in the city, eating and having just fun. But my Saturday evening was spent at the Berlinale! festival.

Part III, Berlinale!

The Potsdamer platz district had been turned really into a Berlinale area. There was already there two big cinema complexes: the CineStar and the CineMAXX, whihc both showed festival films. In addition a theatre had been turned into Berlinale Palast and that was the place where all of the premieres happened. I was there around the time Martin Scorcese’s Gangs of New York was to be premiered. There was the red carpet and everything, even guests arriving in luxury cars etc. I was in the cordoned area, but had quite a good view of who arrived. There was little response for the German stars, whom I did not know, in the crowd. The guests apparnelty stayed at the Hyatt hotel which was opposite the Berlinale Palast, but just drove around the block in order to arrive in a car.

From stars knew I only saw one. I am not sur whether he arrived in a car or not, because there was suudenly lots of screams from one part of the crowd. And there was George Clooney, talking to people and signing autographs. He did that for about 15 minutes and another 5 with the media. I did not get (nor actually wanted to go) very near to him, but at one point he was like 4 – 5 meters away. So it was quite cool.

Next I decided to see at least one film from the programme of the festival, if not for anything else then for being able to say that I participated at the festival. The only film which was acceptable for me and where there still were tickets left was a Japanese movie about an once hugely popular actor returning to the world of cinema after 35 years, the movie was called Last Scene. It was very interesting and sometimes very funny as it was very sarcastic regarding the way the films are made today. The film had smaller, less developed ideas about lots of things but it was still mostly about the downfall of the movie industry.

Before the actual film started, the announcer introudced as to the director, Hideo Nakata, whose film had opened last year’s festival and also told us which films had won the prizes. I do not remember any of that, except for the fact that the best actress prize had gone to the entire cast of the Hours, other need to be looked up from the internet.

Part IV

On Sunday I went to vote in the Estonian embassy, walked around the city and made some photos with a digital camera I finally decided to buy (which was not an easy task in a city where almost everything is closed on Sundays).

Photos from Berlin

Posted: February 17th, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: berlin | No Comments »

I haev written a quite long journal about my adventures in Berlin, but the internet connection at my home was not working during the weekend so I will post it later on. But for now, please enjoy the photos I made in Berlin.

Update from Berlin

Posted: February 16th, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: berlin | No Comments »

Just a quick post from Berlin. It is great here in Berlin, except for the fact that I have a running nose. Berlin itself has been exceptionally beautiful and I have also seen the big anti-war demonstration adn the Berlinale! film festival. I will write more about this when I get back to Hamburg. Now, I am heading to the Estonian Embassy to vote on the Estonian parliamentary elections, this was the main purpose of my visit. Bye then for now.