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Eurofurence 26 — "Welcome to Tortuga"
Estrel Congress Center Berlin
August 24 - 28, 2022
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Author Topic: Travel Update: April 1982  (Read 5736 times)


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Travel Update: April 1982
« on: 01.04.2016, 19:16:35 »


D-1000 Berlin 44, April 1, 1982.

Good day, everybody!

I hope this little tract has reached you all well, whether it be on your tele-text terminals, by printout, or even by the newfangled telephone data polling from Eurofurence's very own host computer.

Eurofurence is approaching fast, and here's what you need to know for this year, as far as -we- know:

Road travel

Please note that road travel to Berlin is a tedious task and should preferably only be done if a) you have no alternative because you have too much luggage, or b) you have done this before and know what you're doing.

First off, many of our foreign friends weren't aware that you must stay on the allowed routes and not stay unneccessarily long in the GDR. For your convenience, I have attached a colour copy of the route map provided by the Federal Ministry of Intra-German Relations on the following page:

Remember to FOLLOW THE TRANSIT SIGNS. BERLIN HAUPTSTADT DER DDR IS THE WRONG BERLIN. In the FRG, you will always see "Berlin" on road signs while in transit through the GDR you will see "Westberlin". Remember that important distinction!

Some other important information:
  • 100 km/h restriction. Beware of East German traffic police!
  • It is forbidden to pick up hitchhikers! You may face time in jail.
  • Absolutely NO alcohol behind the wheel. The GDR has a 0.0 limit!
  • If you stay at an Intershop or a rest stop get a receipt with time and date! The border guards get picky when you stay on the transit route too long and you may be fined.

If you are a serving member of your country's armed forces, please contact your officers for details. You may only be allowed to travel through the GDR by specific means.

Now that we've got that out of the way, let's move on to the two safer options.

Getting there by train

While the other land-based option suffers from the same dehumanizing paranoid controls all the same, it generally isn't as prone to delays. There's regular train services via the Helmstedt/Marienborn and Gutenfürst border crossings, although it still takes about four hours in total to get from Hanover to Berlin. The trains are not always up to Western standards (especially if you're used to travelling on TEE or InterCity), but they do their job well enough.

Once you're in Berlin, you will likely end up at Zoologischer Garten station, in the heart of the city near Kurfürstendamm. You can take the trains to get closer to our facility (near Sonnenallee), but beware that the map issued by the East German railways is a bit outdated — it still does not include the lines that were closed down after the strike of 1980! Sonnenallee has been closed for quite a while, you'll have to rely on the West Berlin transport company BVG's buses instead. I have attached a brochure to this mailing so you don't need to scurry around the railway station trying to get hold of one. They always seem to be sold out fast.

S-Bahn tickets are DM 1,- per trip, by the way. But beware, they are not valid on the BVG network.

Getting There By Air

Lastly, and I hope you're still with me, air travel! By far the most convenient way to get into Berlin, it saves you all the hassle with the border guards, and definitely the fastest method.

The main airlines that fly into Berlin are Pan American, British Airways and Air France, with service both from cities in the Federal Republic as well as their home countries. Check your local travel agent for details; a flight from Hanover usually is somewhere between 200 and 400 DM, depending on when you book. Berlin has two airports, Tempelhof (THF) and the slightly newer Tegel (TXL). We recommend flights into Tempelhof, as it will save you on taxi or bus costs - Tegel is at the other end of the city. (And besides, in my personal opinion, THF looks more fun, in any case.

Some countries also have regular flights to the GDR's main airport at Schönefeld, served by cheaper Eastern airlines like Aeroflot or Interflug. However, please note that this will mean you have to cross the border at Friedrichstraße railway station, which can get -very- busy at times, with long waits!

Well, that's about it for now. Thank you for reading, I hope we'll have a decent time later this year! I haven't got a reply to my latest letters to the chairman yet, but word has it we even have five guests from the USSR, Czechoslovakia and the People's Republic of Hungary attending our conference this year. Who knows, eventually we might even become large enough to gather some interest in East Germany, but clearly that's something for the distant future....

I'll let you people know in writing if anything changes before the convention takes place. Otherwise, see you in Berlin this summer.
« Last Edit: 01.04.2016, 19:19:46 by doco »
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Re: Travel Update: April 1982
« Reply #1 on: 02.04.2016, 00:27:43 »

I just wanted to point out, as a resident of Berlin (West), do not use the S-Bahn! It's still run by the Reichsbahn, which is property of the GDR - so every ticket you buy supports the Communists...or do you want to be one of them?

(Sorry, only in German: )


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Re: Travel Update: April 1982
« Reply #2 on: 02.04.2016, 10:50:12 »



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Re: Travel Update: April 1982
« Reply #3 on: 02.04.2016, 10:59:02 »

Bravo! :D
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Re: Travel Update: April 1982
« Reply #4 on: 02.04.2016, 11:04:30 »

Wow this brings back some memories of travelling the transit route on the A2 through Checkpoint Alpha at Helmstedt/Marienborn and Checkpoint Bravo at Drewitz/Dreilinden, stopping off at the Intertank services at Michendorf to buy petrol and cheap Russian Vodka! Deutschemarks only of course!

I especially remember the queues at the Marienborn checkpoint where cars would switch off their engines, and push them along very slowly the lines moved so slowly!

I still have some photos somewhere, might try to post them.
« Last Edit: 02.04.2016, 13:41:55 by meeko »
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