Tram at Kastanienallee / Schönhauser Allee

Berlin Winter: Tram at Kastanienallee Schoenhauser

Sunny winter day: Tram at Kastanienallee Schoenhauser - photo: T.Bortels/

Winter in Berlin can be very grey and dark and wet and cold and – not so nice. And then again you learn to appreciate a sunny morning with blue skies even more. On these rather rare days Instagram is almost boiling over with photos of sunny streets and blue skies and even though the temperature may still be below zero, people are already gathering on the terraces to have a coffee in the sun.

The photo was taken around 9 o’clock in the morning on one of these cold but sunny days. The streets of Prenzlauer Berg are still rather empty, just a few cyclists, probably on their way their way to work – and a tram / streetcar coming down Schönhauser Allee towards Kastanienallee. Behind that you can see the iconic overpass of the U-Bahn line U2 and the subway station Eberswalder Strasse which is a rather busy spot – but not so much during the early morning hours.

View from Jannowitzbrücke

Berlin Winter view from Jannowitzbruecke

Berlin Winter view from Jannowitzbruecke - Photo: T.Bortels/

I recently walked back home from an opening in Kreuzberg – and on the way I enjoyed this stunning winter view from Jannowitzbrücke. The TV Tower is half hidden in the mist, but still reflecting beautifully in the water surface of river Spree. Yes, it was cold – but still very well worth it.

TV Tower view from Schönhauser Allee

Berlin TV Tower Schoenhauser Allee

View to TV Tower from Schoenhauser Allee / Schwedter Strasse – Photo: T.Bortels/nuberlin/

View to the Berlin TV Tower from Schönhauser Allee / Schwedter Strasse on a lazy Sunday afternoon in early October.

So far October was surprisingly mild. On some days temperatures were slightly above 20°C and people enjoyed some last summer moments. Indian summer in Berlin – or ‘Golden October’ as we call it.

Inside Moritzplatz Station

Berlin Kreuzberg: Moritzplatz U-Bahn Station

Moritzplatz U-Bahn Station - Photo: T.Bortels/

Only a couple of years ago, the U-Bahn station Moritzplatz used to be rather abandoned. But since there are a few venues and shops near Moritzplatz today, it has become more and more lively down here.

The station is located right underneath the roundabout Moritzplatz on two different levels. The upper level connects the four access points with its different staircases, leading to two larger stairs that connect the upper level to the lower level where the rails are located.

Exiting the Moritzplatz station can be a bit confusing due to its symmetrical shape – but it is very well worth taking the time to check which staircase you want to take since walking around the roundabout can be annoying – and dangerous, since there are no traffic lights.

See also: Moritzplatz

Berlin streetart: “She is gone”

Berlin streetart: "she is gone"

Berlin streetart - Photo: T.Bortels/

A rather typical Berlin house front, decorated with a nice piece of streetart: “She is gone”, signed “El Bocho”, as seen somewhere in a quiet side street in Berlin Prenzlauer Berg (Kollwitzstrasse near Danziger Strasse, to be precise).

You can also find this photo over here on instagram.

Berlin traffic accident statistics: less fatal casualties in first half of 2017

Berlin traffic accidents

Berlin traffic accidents - Photo 'ambulance' by T.Bortels/

Good news: in the first six months of this year less people have died in Berlin traffic. And the numbers are actually almost half of what they used to be only one year ago. Compared to 2016 45% less people have died in traffic accidents. That is the lowest number for that time span in the past 20 years. Almost a reason to celebrate.

But the actual numbers are of course still depressing. First of all: 14 people dead in the first six months of this year is 12 less than last year, but that is of course still 14 people too many. Also the number of not fatal casualties has gone down, compared with 2016 – but only by 0.8%. And the number people that got injured went actually up by 0.6% – a total of 8.083 people that got injured by one way or another – compared to 8.05 last year.

In total Berlin police have noticed 69.962 accidents during the first half of 2017, whereas where there were *only* 68.571 accidents last year. So the number of accidents has actually gone up.

Enough text – here’s the bare numbers:

So – please – whatever you do, wherever you go – please be careful! Drive carefully, walk carefully, ride your bike carefully. Do double check – even when the traffic lights are green. It may not look like it, but the streets of Berlin are a dangerous place. Let’s get those numbers down! Thank you!

Referendum to keep Tegel Airport open successful first step

Berlin Airport Tegel referendum

Airport Tegel - Photo: T.Bortels/

The Referendum “Berlin braucht Tegel” that aims at keeping the Airport Tegel open for operation obviously just managed to collect the necessary number of signatures. Almost 200.000 Berliners singed the petition that would make such a referendum possible.

Originally a law would force Airport Tegel to close once the new Berlin Airport BER would be fully functional. But it becomes more and more obvious that the new Airport will probably be already too small, when it’s finally opened. And currently nobody really knows anyways, when the Airport will actually be opened. It should have first opened in June 2012 – currently it is unclear if the Airport will open in 2018 or not.

Based on the article “Initiative Berlin braucht Tegel – Volksbegehren für Flughafen Tegel hat genug Unterschriften” (

Berlin Mattress says Make Love Great Again!

Berlin Love Mattress: Make Love Great Again

Make Love Great Again - Photo: T.Bortels/

Walking around Berlin you will often find TV sets, chairs, fridges, sofas etc. on the sidewalks. Some people seem to have no clue what they should do with these objects that they obviously don’t want any more. Sometimes these objects have a note “for free” attached to the object that will soon turn into trash, if nobody actually takes it away. Probably needless to say: usually I don’t really like all these objects and things lying around.

And then there are these used mattresses. Often huge, often dirty, if not filthy – not a nice sight. I guess mattresses are among the most disliked trash objects lying around in Berlin streets.

But sometimes somebody writes a message on such a mattress – and then it becomes a whole different thing. This one at least made me smile – and I guess I’m not the only one who took a picture of that message: Make Love Great Again!