Thursday, February 02, 2006

March 4th, 1901

Harry,

Yesterday my train made its last stop at the Friedrichstrasse station. It was quite unlike any station I have ever seen. It was a tunnel of glass and steel intricately intertwined, twisting around the last bend in the line. And all of this was before I even exited my train. Once I had stepped out and onto the rugged brick platform, I encountered the true scale of this structure. It must be over one-hundred feet tall yet it only spans two tracks, although I think they will add more due to the fact that my train did not have a seat to spare. While on the train, the conductor, the only other person I talked to during my journey, suggested that I take the “Berlin Ringbahn” on the way to my hotel. The “Ringbahn” is its own railway in itself that sole purpose is to connect the major stations in Berlin. I sent a diagram of the “Ringbahn” for you to view. I found the design quite interesting and I thought you might like to have an idea of how it works. The green line is the “Ringbahn” and the light blue lines that seem to slither from the borders of neighboring countries, represent the main railroads.

When I arrived at my stop on the “Ringbahn” line, I had lunch at a small café. It was quaint and very good, but oh was it busy! After long travel and the crowds of the Berlin streets, I decided to take a much needed mental rest. At the café I inquired about such a place in where I could find solitude and the waiter proposed a lush garden known as the Luisenstädtischer Kanal. As I walked amongst the delicate flowers I looked above and noticed a striking similarity between this garden and the Friedrichstrasse station. In the center of the garden stood a rigid framework of steel in the same barrel arch shape of the train station. Even nature cannot escape the grasp of modernism here. Upon this thought, any hope of relaxing my overloaded mind vanished like the plumes of smoke of the steam trains. I decided then, that my hotel bed seemed quite inviting. I will write again tomorrow.

Very sincerely,
Joshua

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