Berlin is a city of great contrast. The beautiful, helpful and generous juxtaposed to the abrupt, rude and inconsiderate.
Historical and architecturally beautiful buildings and monuments yet graffiti-laden and desolate empty buildings next to each other.
A city of 3 1/2 million people with a sophisticated public transit system yet the streets are also full of horse-drawn, dinner-serving covered wagons, bicycle riding beer drinking pub tours, Mercedes Benz taxis, women with high heels on bicycles, texting; rickshaw taxis and everything in between, and don't forget those bicycles built for ? 6 ?
There are large parks providing green public spaces full of huge, old, beautiful trees and cemetaries peppered with beautiful spring flowers; pansies, bleeding hearts, and lilacs such a deep purple, with their fragrant perfume permeating the atmosphere.
Checkpoint Charlie is still intact as a lasting memory to a past conflict; as is the 1.3 km of the original Berlin wall that has been adorned with beautiful and significantly political artwork commissioned by the city.
The last time I saw so much construction and so many tower cranes was at the Three Gorges Dam site. You can't go a block without seeing something new and enormous under construction. I'd hate to be waiting for a building inspector to show up here! Yet, right downtown, deserted, high-rise buildings, plastered with up-to-date concert posters complete with broken windows, flapping-in-the-wind curtains, and barricaded with miles of chain-link fence.
I had my first; and I will say, my last, curry wurst, a very plebeian hotdog with watered-down ketchup, no bun, nothing curry tasting or interesting about it in any way. However, the beer I had with it was extraordinarily. I had some wonderful Goulash soup with my dinner tonight.
Jet lag sit in on the bus today while I dozed thru stops 10 to 14, hopefully tonight with the wonderful bedding in the great room I'll sleep well & be refreshed and ready to conquer the city again tomorrow.
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