Monday was a full day of travel taking the train from Oberstdorf to Munich, a three hour layover in Munich and then on to Berlin. Deutsche Bahn, otherwise known as DB and meaning “German Railway”, is the largest railway operator in Europe. The first German railway network started in 1835, but DB is relatively new having been formed in 1994 to operate both the East German and West German trains after Germany’s unification in 1990.
If you’ve been to Germany in the past 20 years, you most likely have ridden on their trains. If you’re ever traveling in Germany again, I do recommend the DB Navigator app which is available for both Android and Apple products. I make all my reservations using this app and also use it on the train for my ticket to be scanned.
Sharon and I were in Munich in January 2017. It was bitterly cold and I was feeling miserable with a head cold. Today was a beautiful day, although I haven’t seen the sun since I arrived in Germany last Wednesday. It’s always been overcast, but high temperatures have always been around 3º C (36º F). Quite comfortable considering the 2017 winter in Europe was bitterly cold!!
During my layover, I stored my luggage at the train station and took a walk to Marienplatz. That’s where the New Town Hall, which dates back to 1874, is located. Fortunately during WWII, this building received minimal damage during the air raids. On the south side of the building is the world famous Glockenspiel. While the carillon chimes in the tower, 32 figurines move on the balcony of the tower spinning and dancing.
Even though I’ve seen it before, I was fortunate to get there about two minutes before the Glockenspiel began to chime. Whether you’ve seen it or not, I hope you will enjoy this short clip.
On To Berlin
I really like the Intercity-Express trains (ICE) that run throughout the country. These high-speed trains are comfortable with free wi-fi on board. While I’ve ridden the trains on two other trips in Germany, some day I’d like to take a trip through Germany using the trains visiting not only major cities but also some of the villages that are of historical significance.
When arriving in Berlin, the main station is the Berlin Hauptbahnhof (HBF) as seen in the Featured Image in today’s post. It is the largest train station in Europe and is relatively new having opened in 2006 before the 2006 World Cup which Germany hosted that year. It is from the HBF that one can catch the S-Bahn.
Train Travel Tip
In my research for this trip, I discovered that upon arriving at the Berlin Hauptbahnhof by rail, you can use your train ticket or rail pass for your connecting ride into the city. I normally fly into Berlin, so this was a nice find and saved me a few Euros.
My Time in Berlin
The next few days will be filled with visiting museums I have not yet seen and attending a piano recital by a world renowned pianist as well as seeing the opera Carmen. All of those have history and I’ll be sharing that in History Thru Travel.