Having spent a fair amount of time and effort climbing towers in other German cities to get some good overhead views, it was a no-brainer to head for the 368 metre high Fernsehturm (TV tower) to the east of the centre, for some views over Berlin. Contributors to at least one of the 'tourist feedback' sites use words like 'overrated', 'long queues' and 'Berlin has no skyline', but I beg to disagree. True, there was a queue, and queuing is not my favourite occupation, but after arriving at Alexanderplatz S-Bahn I picked up a coffee at the ubiquitous Starbucks and waited patiently in line as it tried to rain.
The line moved forward and it wasn't too long before I was in the building and up to the viewing platform – 203 metres in a 30 second lift. Photos shot through double layers of glass, of course, and very flat lighting outside. But it was fascinating to see the places I'd visited and to 'put them on the map', especially Berlin Hauptbahnhof (main station) where I'd spent so much time (little did I know thatI still had much more time to spend there), and the long, straight, east-west roads across the city. I came down after 50 minutes to find it raining, and wandered around taking pics of the tower, with some difficulty, and the nearby Neptunbrunnen (Neptune fountain); I was interested to see evidence of the attention paid to one of Neptune's nymphs ...
On my 'bonus day' in Berlin I walked east along Straße des 17, Juni – the dead-straight highway through Tiergarten from Ernst-Reuter-Platz to Brandenburger Tor – as far as the Großer Stern roundabout, and paid €2.50 to climb up the Siegeßäule, which was built to commemorate the German victories over Denmark in 1864, over Austria in 1866 and over France in 1870/71. It was moved to the Großer Stern by the Nazis in 1938 from its original site in what is now the Platz der Republik.