Berlin, Germany

  • Date
  • 16 October 1999

We arrived at the Reichstag early afternoon to find a tremendous queue and waited approximately 1.5 hours before making it inside Germany’s top parliamentary building (Bonn claimed this exploit until recently).

Once inside we walked around the newly opened glass dome – I had heard you could look down from the dome and see parliamentary sessions in process, but this is not true. The massive dome does have an interesting spiral, semi-steep walkway up and down with mirrors on the inside support pole offering abnormal or multiple views to anyone who looks.

The vista from atop the Reichstag shows the unbelievable number of cranes in Berlin. When I looked out on this still under-construction city, I found it difficult to believe building has been going on here since soon after East and West united in November 1989. Granted much work has been completed – everywhere you look in former East Berlin, you see new modern buildings, but there is still much in progress. This adds to the excitement and intensity of the city; there’s a sense of ‘we’re on the way’. Amazingly too, Berlin appears more ‘under construction’ than even Pudong in Shanghai.