Blogs from Berlin, Berlin, Germany, Europe - page 8

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Europe » Germany » Berlin » Berlin August 18th 2013

The train journey from Warsaw to Berlin on Monday went without a hitch. Hallelujah! Longish journey, just under six hours, but we are finding the train trips quite restful. Clive finds them particularly restful, in fact so restful that I had to nudge him a few times to stop him snoring. A delightful young German man struck up conversation with us during the journey. He is an architect who lives in Kelsterbach but works in neighbouring Frankfurt. He was returning from four days of studying the architecture of Warsaw. It was his first train journey in first class and he was very excited. Not sure why as it was just a normal EC train and not all that spectacular! Granted plenty of leg room and that counts for something on those long journeys. He gave us ... read more
Berlin
Berlin
Berlin

Europe » Germany » Berlin » Berlin August 11th 2013

Berlin was the most fitting place to conclude our trip to Eastern Europe. The seat of power for Adolph Hitler and the democratically elected National Socialist party that conducted a campaign of terror and extermination between 1933 and 1945, Berlin was also the epicentre of the cold war that saw West Berlin encircled by a wall constructed by the Soviets to isolate the democratic influences within the soviet controlled Eastern Germany. The Berlin wall was not constructed until 1961. During the period from the end of WWII in 1945 when the administration of Berlin was divided between the Soviets, the Americans, the British and the French and 1961, travel between East and West Berlin was open. In fact in the early years, many westerners fled the capitalist west to Stalin’s socialist paradise. By 1961, the socialist ... read more
Berlin Wall
Brandenburg gate

Europe » Germany » Berlin » Berlin August 2nd 2013

อากาศขมุกขมัว ฝนตกปลอยๆตอนแลนด์ 7 โมงเช้า ตัดสินใจไม่เข้าเมืองเพราะไปมาหลายครั้งแล้ว .. ประกอบกับเป็นหวัดนิดหน่อย เลยกินยาแก้หวัด นอนดีกว่า นัดแนะกับลูกเรือว่าจะไป dinner กันตอน 6 โมงเย็นที่ Argentinean Steak house ใกล้โรงแรม อ่ะนะ มาถึงเยอรมันแต่ดั้นนนไปกินอาเจนติเนียน ซะงั้น ตื่นมาบ่าย 3 ทำนู่ทำนี่ รอเวลานัด ได้เวลาก็ออกไปกัน ไม่มีฝน ... read more
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Europe » Germany » Berlin » Berlin August 2nd 2013

Berlin is pretty, we did the walking tour this morning, saw the jewish memorial, the gates and hitlers bunker. I liked how they hadn't done a memorial where the bunker was its just a car park. Then a few of us just cruised round, shopped looked at the wall and had a nice dinner. Tomorrow the netherlands... read more
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Europe » Germany » Berlin » Berlin August 1st 2013

On Friday we headed down to Checkpoint Charlie, walking down Wilhelmstrasse and stopping at all the plaques on the way. These plaques/noticeboards have a wealth of information about the buildings on the street and what they were before WW2 and who lived there. It was quite a popular street for the well-to-do in 19th and early 20th century society. Now full of apartment buildings - revamped or built after 1989. I remember Checkpoint Charlie from my Contiki camping tour of 1972 - the checkpoint is still the same, but buildings around all look a lot nicer now. It was crowded with tourists milling around, having photos taken with "guards" at the checkpoint and looking at memorials. We went to the museum there - also very busy. It's full of memorabilia from WW2 onwards, including vehicles that ... read more

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Europe » Germany » Berlin » Berlin July 31st 2013

We left Warsaw for Berlin on Wed 24th, on a train this time. It took about 5.5 hours, stopping at a few main towns on the way. Straight through the border....scenery the same all the way - mainly cropping. The new main railway station in Berlin (finished 2006 - took 10 years to build) is just something to behold. It's nearly all glass, including the roof, so very light and bright inside. It's about 6 stories high.....trains going north & south are on the lowest level, then there's a couple of levels of shops (all sorts, including fashion shops), including the street level, and the east/west trains leave from the level above. No doubt there's a level for the metro/underground trains too, but we didn't use those, so don't know which one. We walked 10mins to ... read more

Europe » Germany » Berlin » Berlin July 27th 2013

Confronting the "Third Reich"'s atrocities has to be the highest and most confronting level. The next is the Wall and the GDR's attempts to subvert its citizens by means of "dirty" surveillance methods, pitching person against person by the use of "unofficial Informants" and of course, some citizens of the GDR trying to escape to the West and in the process forfeiting their lives. Terrible visuals and explanatory text of the horrific Nazi rule are contained all over the city in memorials, museums and special exhibits. This year the German History Museum has set up various exhibits around the city entitled "Diversity Destroyed". One of these exhibits consists of a series of large information pillars upon which are large photos and biographies commemorating the lives of over 200 individuals who contributed to the cultural and social ... read more
7 days of walking
"Diversity Destroyed" exhibit

Europe » Germany » Berlin » Berlin July 15th 2013

So today I saw twin brothers, lets call them 14ish, dressed exactly the same. Parents of twin boys, I urge you, after the age of 4, unless they are on the same sports team, or attending a black-tie event, your sons should not be wearing identical clothing. So today I took another Fat Tire Special Bike Tour. This Special Tour focused on the Cold War, the epicenter of which was Berlin. We learned about the division of the city after the war. We discussed the Berlin Airlift, and how the East German Secret Police (many of whom were recruited because of their days in the Gestapo) kept a population in fear for 4 decades. We also talked about how East Germany generally, and East Berlin specifically, fell behind the west during the Cold War. We visited ... read more

Europe » Germany » Berlin » Berlin July 14th 2013

Is anybody else amazed at the number of cords and plugs we carry around with us? Seriously! I am attempting to live out of a backpack but I have a laptop (power cord and ethernet cord), tablet (power cord), phone (power cord), IPod Nano (power cord and headphones), camera (download cord and battery charger), and a video camera (power cord and download cord). Plus I am carrying 2 universal adapters because I am constantly charging all these gadgets. Its ridiculous. Things that made me smile today. (1) A nun buys a pretzel from a street vendor in Potsdam Platz. She adds a little mustard and then bows her head and has a little prayer of thanks before digging in. It was nice ... simple and respectful. (2) Also witnessed, 2 young ninas (lets call them 4 ... read more

Europe » Germany » Berlin » Berlin July 13th 2013

I am not one to sterotype an entire people, but these Germans ... hold on a second ... that's not right ... I am going to start that sentence again... If you will allow me to sterotype an entire people, these Germans are a very rule-abiding bunch. Seriously, you have never seen anything like it. Among the best examples is their obedience to cross walk signals. I was out for a walk early on Sunday morning and unsurprisingly, there was virtually no traffic. I arrived at a cross walk and the signal indicated "don't walk," but there is not a car in sight. So ... being an American, I proceeded into the cross walk and crossed the street without incident. My fellow pedestrians? They admonished me with their disapproving looks, and they continued to stand, waiting ... read more
Coffee Shops Everywhere
Holocaust Memorial
Maze Of Cubes




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