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Balmy breezes and beach bars in Berlin

By Robert Pimm

Financial times, August 31 2004

The moon above the palm trees is bright tonight.  The air is balmy but the fine, white sand is cool between our toes.  We sip cocktails and watch pleasure boats float by.

There’s a buzz around the bar, music and laughter and the chink of iced drinks.  But here at the far end of the beach, among the intimate encampments of blue- and green-striped deck-chairs, the night is dark and calm.

Berlin is surrounded by water – here the Teltow Canal. Photo – Robert Pimm

Welcome to Berlin, summer 2004.  Tourist cities are a problem in high summer.  It’s so hot and sticky that locals, and most tourists with any sense, head off to the beach.  Berlin is different, in that much of the city actually is a beach.

That’s why the Berlin Tourist Board’s new campaign to persuade visitors that the months of July and August are the perfect time to visit Germany’s reunited capital is less daft than it sounds.

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