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Published: July 14th 2010
Berlin had many Large buildings
Day 4 - Zipping around Berlin
Our fourth day dawned bright and early... but we didn't see it. The curtains in the Ritz are very heavy, and we face west.. so we slept in till 10:30.
We met up with Chris and Kathy for breakfast at a lovely cafe in the Sony center, and went out walking. It was hot, probably 95F, and near 100%!h(MISSING)umidity. We passed by several embassies, took pictures inside a McDonalds (for Kathy, and for the A/C), and stopped for water at a little pub by the river.
We saw one of the many performing groups. This one had 5 or so people controlling a large puppet with sticks. He gave me a high-five.
Then we made our way over to the Holocaust memorial (not the museum), which consisted of an entire city block of rectangular blocks of cement at varying heights. The ground dipped down but the top of the blocks remained somewhat level. This gave the effect of a forest of blocks, in which it was difficult to tell where you were and easy to get lost. Each intersection looked the same, and you kind of felt your
One of several street performers
individualism stripped as you tried to find your way out. It was surprisingly powerful in it's simplicity.
We were so hot that we decided to sit in the provided chairs for almost 45 minutes while waiting for the Segway tour to start. Right at 3PM, I was telling the others about how German people are famously prompt and hate to be late. Exactly at that moment (and exactly on time), our Segway tour guide arrived. (I suspect he was listening to me around the corner).
Segways are FUN!
After 10 minutes of practice on the sidewalks, we were cruising like pros. Our guide led us through the streets and sidewalks of Berlin at slightly less than breakneck speed (not too fast, because the Segway pushes back if you try to speed). The breeze felt good. We got lots of interested and envious looks from the crowds hoofing it in the heat. We got more than a few annoyed looks and even some cursing from bicycles who are used to being the top dog on the road. The guide said he used to provide his guests with electronic guide books for the various landmarks but that people were
Lost in the blocks
You start to feel like a number, not a person when lost in this maze.
more interested in riding the Segways than learning about the city so he stopped.
Talking with our guide, it turns out he is a music producer who does Segway tours as his day job. He will actually be in LA next week to shoot a video! We told him about the traffic, and he was not looking forward to it.
After the tour, we walked back to the Ritz, played some cards in our living room while we cooled down and tanked up on water. Then we did my favorite food related travel exercise... walk in a random direction till you find something you like. We stopped at restaurant on the corner which served German food and had a really great meal. The local dishes were things like big meatball and pan fried potatoes, currywurst and pan fried potatoes, escalloped veal and pan fried potatoes. Looks like pan fried potatoes are very German. Anne tried a local Berlin specialty, currywurst (and pan fried potatoes). Basically a big wurst in curry sauce. Not bad but not something to try again either. I had the "big meatball" (and pan fried potatoes) which was basically a small dry meatloaf, but I
Yes, a multi-person bicycle.. they seemed to be having a blast.
Today we learned:
- Berlin is not usually this hot... really, it isn't.
- Segways are FUN
- Germans don't drink Root Beer... I almost got something that translated to "Red Beer".
- There are a lot of AMAZING buildings in Berlin
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