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#TransportMonth from Berlin: Ring-around-the-Berlin




by Mayra Hartmann

Traditionally Germany is known for hard-work, punctuality, no humour and being as straight-laced as they come. Such is also the public transport system, and apart from the constant construction due to numerous upgrades it’s absolutely flawless. One of such upgrades was creating a line that goes right around the city in a continuous circle, the longest it stops is for a conductor-swap. 

Just before the line was inaugurated this bright-eyed 9-year old girl (me) had to make her way to her horse-riding class. At this stage the line didn’t go right around yet, so it just went in these almost circles, back-and-forth. On a normal day I had to take 4 stops – that’s it. But not this time. I remember that it was hot and humid, the air was heavy and my lunch sat deep in my stomach. I hear a buzzing, the doors close and then.

And then I woke up. BANG the doors closed. I looked around, in that dull frenzy when one wakes up hysterically. I tried to identify the station that was now whizzing past and realized I had no idea where I was. All that was left to do was ride it out. Needless to say I missed my actual riding classes. How many times had I gone back-and-forth? Who knows. All I know is that I had to sit out another semi-loop to get right back to where I started.

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So that is my story, one I had to dig up from the archives. I would like to add though that the public transport system in Berlin is very dear to my heart. I love the fact that the S-lines generally run above ground, so you can see unusual views of “real” Berlin, street art all inclusive. But apart from the views, the entire setup allows you to participate in the city in a most casual way. I definitely recommend visitors ditch the guided tour bus, buy a train (or bus) ticket and explore…don’t forget to stamp it though, paying for it just ain’t enough for the Berliners.