Like every year, the Coca Cola Christmas Trucks were on a tour through every major city in Germany and the final parade was held in Berlin yesterday. Ten trucks with four stages and a snack bar to buy Bratwurst and Glühwein against the cold.
With -16°C (3.2°F) and heavy snowfall, it was the coldest day of the year. But that was not a real problem and thousands of people were following the parade on its way from the Kurfürstendamm, via the Potsdamer Platz and the Brandenburger Tor to its final goal, the Rote Rathaus Berlin.
So, after I’ve showed you Sony’s sparkling tree-formed decoration, it’s time for a real Christmas tree. I can’t say how many trees I’ve seen on my way through the City, but this one is definitely the prettiest, standing in front of the Brandenburg Gate.
As I mentioned yesterday, today was Berlin’s 20th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall. Many World leaders and dignitaries were invited.
Chancellor Merkel said some Words in front of the Brandenburg Gate, she herself grew up in East Germany and was one of thousands to cross into the West on Nov, 9, 1989 – “Today marks a truly happy moment of the German and the European history,” She said. “Twenty years ago the door to freedom opened up and a seemingly invincible wall that divided a people and an entire continent suddenly became permeable. For me, it was one of the happiest moments of my life.”
The Main Event was a symbolic Fall of the Wall in form of 1,000 dominoes to symbolize fall of the communist regimes and iron curtain in Eastern Europe. The first stone was pushed by the former Polish politician Lech Wałęsa.
The 1,000 Stones, 2,5m high, all hand-painted, were lined a 1,6km long portion of the route once occupied by the wall. I took a couple of pictures from some very interesting Stones.
The fifth Festival of Lights has ended, during the last two weeks, you were able to see Berlin in a different light.
Since 2005, every year in October, Berlin turns into a sparkling metropolis,
about 5000 LED-lamps, 750 LED-spotlights and 900 Fluorescent lamps, were used this time to illuminate 59 world-famous historical landmarks and spots in Berlin,
for the biggest festival in the history of the Festival of Lights.
After the Big Giant and the Little Giantess woke up this morning in the Pariser Platz and passed the Brandenburg Gate in front of an enthusiastic crowd of onlookers, they are now strolling along the Straße des 17. Juni, happily reunited.
To send its giants off on their travels, Royal de Luxe needs skill, flair and organization. Otherwise the two giants, 15 meters and 7.5 meters tall respectively, would not move. Both marionettes are supported by vehicles which enable their massive bodies to walk through the streets. The giants move in an unbelievably lifelike way, as if by magic, but it takes 30 “Lilliputians” (actors) just to bring the 2.5-ton Big Giant to life. Though lighter than her uncle, the Little Giantess also weighs in at no less than 800 kg. The bodies of both giants are works of art, made of steel, lime wood and poplar wood.
Just to give an idea of their dimensions: the Big Giant has a European shoe size of 237, and the Little Giantess’s wig was made out of 50 horses’ tails. It takes an enormous effort to make these marionettes look human – a work of art far beyond the grounds of technical feasibility alone.
Now, after 3 Days of hard work, the Giants and their court are finally back in France, they left Berlin by water on their big boat.
Today on Reunification Day in Berlin, the Deep Sea Diver appeared out of the Humboldtbecken near the Hauptbahnhof.
Surrounded by enthusiastic spectators, this deep sea diver dripping with water has set off across the Moltke Bridge and through the government quarter in search of his niece.
Uncle and niece are searching each other, walking though the western and eastern part of Berlin. They got separated many years ago and maybe, they will find each other today.
A few weeks ago, Berlin got a new subway line, the U55. If you think about it, it’s nothing special, but you should know some facts about it. The U55 has 3 stations, Berlin Hauptbahnhof, Bundestag and Brandenburger Tor and does not connect to any other subway line.
The name Kanzlerbahn or Kanzlerlinie (Chancellor Line) is a nickname given due to its way through the government quarter. The whole project has cost over 350 million euros, therefore, it is the shortest and the most expensive subway line ever build.
But that’s not all, the famous Brandenburger Tor station is surrounded by a huge block of ice, so the temperature inside the hall is always about 0 °C. That was necessary to stop the groundwater to soak into the construction area.
There is always something interesting going on in front of the Brandenburg Gate. Yesterday, I saw a Stormtrooper, standing around, watching the crowds. It’s not quite clear what he was up to, because as I asked him, he only gave me the answer “move along citizen, there’s nothing to see here”.
Maybe he is a fan of the famous Tokyo Dance Trooper, maybe the Imperial Invasion is near, who knows.
Due to the Men Marathon Finals with a 10km loop through the heart of Berlin, a lot of people (100.000) have gathered to watch the event, some of them to cheer for their own friends, that’s right, people had a chance to register themselves for the marathon, to run together with all those athletes from around the world.
I said i would take some photos from the “big” IAAF09 Fan Mile in front of the Brandenburg Gate, but due to the 20km Walking Finals one hour ago, the mile wasn’t as big as i thought. Some food booths, a stage and the last remains of the Goal. Hopefully, i can take some better pictures next weekend.