Tuesday, 20 September 2016
Related posts: Berlin Day 1, Day 2, Day 3
In September, we had a business trip to Berlin to attend the InnoTrans exhibition. InnoTrans is a major railway exhibition held in Berlin every 2 years.
On my outgoing flight from KL, I was fortunate enough to get a free upgrade from Economy to Business class on Emirates. The food was superb, and the movie selection was up to date. It was such a pleasant experience!
Upon my arrival in Berlin, I was surprised to see the airport is rather old and small. I was informed the bigger airport is in Frankfurt, but yet, I didn’t expect the airport for Europe’s major capital to be so small (and old).
In Berlin, we stayed at Grand Hyatt near Potsdamer Platz (English: Potsdam Square). The hotel was located in a newly developed area. Historically, Potsdam Square was well known for its bustling traffic intersection and commerce activities (19th century). The area was laid waste in World War 2 and left desolate during the Cold War. Redevelopment only started after the German Reunification (1990).
I was given a Club King room with a view of the inner courtyard. The room was surprisingly large with a modern design. Since my room was on the 7th floor, I get access to the private Grand Club lounge.
After unpacking, I had some time before our official program of the day started, so I went for a quick sightseeing near the hotel. From the hotel, I walked to Potsdamer Platz. Passed by the massive Sony Centre. There were remains of the Berlin Wall on display at the square.
From Potsdamer Platz, I walked towards the Brandenburg Gate, and passed by the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (also known as Holocaust Memorial). After spending a few minutes reading about the history of the place, I walked on.
A mere 5 minutes from the Holocaust Memorial, I arrived at the Brandenburg Gate (German: Brandenburger Tor). The iconic Berlin landmark was commissioned by King Frederick William II of Prussia in 1791CE. The gate, together with the statue on top (known as Quadriga), has played various roles throughout history. Ever since the tearing down of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the gate stands for European unity and peace.
From the gate, I went a bit further to visit the Reichstag building. Completed in 1894 CE, it housed the Imperial Diet (German: Reichstag) of the German Empire. It fell into disuse from the infamous Reichstag fire incident in 1933. The building was partially restored in the 1960s, and fully restored after the German reunification in 1990. It was fully operational in 1999 and became the new house of the German parliament: the modern Bundestag.
By dinner time, all the bosses had arrive in Berlin. We had a discussion over dinner to go through our itinerary. The following day onwards will be packed with meetings and visits.