Beautiful Berlin Late Bay Kombi

3 05 2016

Another beautifully restored bay window bus, spotted a year ago in Berlin. Looks like a brand new paint job. Nice light green, but not sure which color this is, or if it is an original VW color at all (Sand green, L311?). Extra indicators on the roof in the rear, usually more common on ex-ambulance buses. Spare wheel and rectangular additional fog lights at the front. The hub caps look like from an early bay, but front indicators and rear lights are clearly late bay, so the bus should be from 1973 or younger. The indicator switches at the steering wheel suggest early late bay, and the little door covering the fuel filler cap was apparently build between 8/71 and 7/73, so I guess it will be from 1973. Wheel clamp and steering wheel lock as theft protection. I had stopped to take some photos and was so focused on the bus that I did not even notice the BMW 2002 next to it. Had to go back and take one more photo when DrJ pointed it out to me.

 

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Sage Green Berlin Westfalia Camper

30 04 2016

We are back in Germany, so no more Australian Soprus or Sunliners. Westfalia is again the dominant camper van conversion, if you lucky to see a bay window bus on the road at all. Here is a particularly beautiful example, spotted last October in Berlin, when walking wonder-daughter home from Kindergarden. It comes with a Late Bay Westfalia fold-up roof with an additional roof rack on the top. FIAMMA Carry Bike bike rack on the rear door, same we have for our Taiga Lily. Beautiful fresh paint job in authentic 1970ies sage green (Taiga Grün, L63H). Advertising for “Bushaltestelle.berlin” (German for Bus Stop Berlin) – look at this, another VW bus specialist garage in Berlin! Beautiful green Westfalia plaid seat covers on all seats and benches. Original-looking Westfalia kitchen block. Left side with a louvered or jalousie window in the middle (looks old/original) and a sliding window in the rear (probably newer version, added later). I admit I am slightly biased when it comes to sage green kombis, but this is a fantastic bus!

PS: Small world, and small Berlin: Met the owner of this very same bus two years ago when we parked next to him at a local DIY market, for a sage green family meeting.

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Happy New Year from Berlin!

31 12 2014

Two days ago the snow arrived in Berlin! Two days later, it’s mostly gone again. But we had two great winter days, with lots of pulling our 3-year-old on a sled around our block and through the nearest park. No winter pictures of our buses, so below is a beautifully snowed in T3/T25 Atlantic Vanagon from our neighborhood. Thanks for coming to my blog and following it over the last year. Wishing you all the best for the New Year!

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Summer Camping Weekend

8 08 2014

Berlin is famous for the many lakes in its backlands, and on a beautiful summer weekend in July we packed our camping gear and headed north, with the general aim of Bernsteinsee (lake amber) in the Schorfheide nature reserve. Realized again we should do this much more often – just 1-2 hours out of Berlin and one is out of the big city and quickly in holiday mode. We ended up on a campsite on Ruehlesee, just next to Bernsteinsee: Beautiful low-key campsite in a pine tree forest with its own lake. The backlands of Berlin all belong to former East Germany, and 24 years after re-unification it seems the camp sites are often still run in a different way to West Germany: Lots of space, landscape mostly left untouched, everything a bit low key, but the necessary facilities in place and very friendly and unpretentious people. This one comes with its own diving school, and a cable waterski facility on an adjacent second lake – not really our thing, but amusing to watch for a while. In addition to their German web site I found this English site, both also a bit out-dated.
Thanks to Wikipedia I’ve just learnt that parts of the Schorfheide nature reserve are actually a UNESCO listed world heritage: Protected since 2011 as one of the last surviving ancient beech forests that probably covered most of middle Europe some long time ago. It is also home to the lesser spotted eagle, which we actually saw when we meandered through the forests on the way back to Berlin!

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Last of its kind

26 10 2013

Couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this bus some two weeks ago at a sports event in Berlin. An eight seater early bay, probably from around 1971/72 (air intakes in the back already from the ´72 late bay). The sticker on the front says it’s the operation control van of the Red Cross ambulance service at that event. Spoke to the driver and learnt it was the last one of its kind at the Berlin Red Cross. And that no, it was not for sale. Great to see it still in action!

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PS, added July 1st, 2014: This kombi is actually pretty famous: When you google for “Berlin Rotes Kreuz Bulli”, there is an avalanche of entries about it. It had its 40-years-in-service anniversary in 2012. It is from 1972, features the 1.6L 50 h.p. engine which is still original, consumption stated as 14L/100 km. It is featured in a couple of news paper articles (like this article one from the Berlin newspaper BZ) and there is this nice mini video from its 40th birthday party:





Of Buses and Bugs

21 10 2013

The first one or two letters of a German number plate stand for the town the car is registered in. Then come two letters and up to four digits. These are random, but for a small fee can be chosen from what is available at that moment. So living in Berlin comes with the option and priviledge of going for a BUS number plate – highly sought after in the Berlin kombi community. I realized only a few days ago that BUG is also an option. Nice one! Also spoilt myself with a vanity plate holder I got printed for Taiga Lily. There is a happy little blogger…

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Winter Greetings from Berlin

12 12 2012

On this December day with the very special date, Berlin is covered in snow and we had a beautiful sunny day. It is already pretty cold, with temperatures below minus 4°C all day. But it was also a truly beautiful day with blue skies and the sun reflecting from a layer of fresh snow from last night. A snapshot from a bus I walked by this morning. There are more photos of this beauty in this older post from last spring.

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