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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Berlin's Bahns & Buses: Olympia Stadion

It was a dark, cold, damp day in mid-January when I arrived at the Olympia Stadion S-Bahn station. The train was almost empty. The train platforms -- there are many of them, to accommodate the crowds during big soccer games or other events -- were absolutely empty. I suppose it's like this in the middle of a week day in winter, when nothing is happening at the stadium. Still, it was creepy.

Even more creepy were the stadium grounds themselves. They were overwhelming in scale, and overwhelming in their barrenness -- a blank slate on which my imagination could run wild, transposing Leni Riefenstahl images all over the place. The only thing that seemed alive, that escaped the blank rationality of it all was that gnarled tree growing up as if from stone and concrete, all crooked and mysterious. That tree made me feel better.

Even the U-Bahn station was deserted and dark, as if forgotten. I waited there and looked up at the security camera. It glared back at me. When the train came, it was empty, as if it were a ghost from another time.

For my other Berlin's Bahns & Buses posts and photos: Overview & video, Feuerbachstrasse, Deutsche Oper, Westhafen

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