Today’s Post by John Larsen
During a recent vacation to Denmark my partner and I made a quick visit to Berlin, Germany to visit friends. Prior to departing for our trip I purchased a used Canon EF 18-200mm f/5.6 lens. While I already had a Canon EF 70-200mom f/2.8L series lens I felt that it was too large and valuable to take on such excursions. I also brought along an extra wide-angle zoom lens (11-18mm) but found the Canon 18-200mm lens was sufficient.
Additionally my Fuji S1 came in very useful given the 1200mm (equivalent) zoom and the fun color filters which allow the user to select a color and render the remainder of an image in black and white. One of my favorite functions is the ability to shoot panoramic vistas. This little Fuji also takes excellent videos which was fun for the passenger while the driver was legally driving 120 mph on the famous Autobahn while other cars were passing at least 30 mph faster!
Our hosts were the ideal tour guides allowing us to take the train and subway into downtown Berlin and spend a day walking with cameras in hand. The first observation that I made when walking through the subway station was how North American it felt given the Burger King, Dunkin’ Donuts and McDonalds located throughout.
Once we entered Alexanderplatz we were greeted with overcast skies and an interesting mix of architecture surrounding the square. It was also evident that a significant amount of construction and refurbishment was taking place in the city as cranes cluttered the horizon.
Our day in Berlin involved walking more than ten miles while visiting the Berlin Cathedral, Berlin Rathouse (city hall), shops, Brandenburg Gate and concert halls. We also had to try the local curry wurst and sample German beer during our tour.
Interestingly there are still parts of the wall that were torn down in 1989 on display throughout the city. A number of places are clearly marked so that you can see where the wall originally stood-including across what is now a main roadway.
Our last stop was to visit “Checkpoint Charlie”. This gatehouse remains in the middle of the street and was once a significant entry point for non-Germans between East and West Germany. It now stands beside the local McDonalds!
Our Senior International Travel Correspondent, John Larsen is located in the Greater Toronto Area. His PhotoGraffics website contains samples of motorsports and hot air balloon photography from numerous Canadian balloon festivals