This is the lower level of the Berlin Hauptbahnhof, the main railway station in Berlin. I visited this train station in December 2009, when my family and I were taking a train from Berlin to Prague as part of our Central Europe itinerary. Although it may not seem like it from the photo, the train station was actually quite crowded (we had apparently just arrived super-early for our train) with Berliners headed to various points in Europe to enjoy their weekends in the country or the all inclusive ski holidays for families they had booked.
I’m a huge fan of train travel, especially if it is an alternative to flying or driving somewhere. There is no invasive security, and trains themselves are usually much more comfortable, with larger seats and ample room to walk around the train car. Our train trip from Berlin to Prague took us only 4.5 hours. The scenery on the way was incredibly beautiful; we passed through the Erzgebirge mountains, which were dotted with small villages perched on the banks of an alpine river. In addition, the dining car was well-stocked with German beers, so the 4.5 hours passed quickly, and before we knew it, we had arrived at Praha hlavní nádraží, Prague’s main railway station. It was a cold and snowy that afternoon in Prague, the exact opposite of my previous trip there in July 2005, when it was gloriously sunny and warm. The winter weather, however, seems more true to the character of the city, and somehow makes the beef with cream and dumplings taste that much better.