No Where to Park and No Where to Hide
Trip Start Aug 17, 2009
20Trip End Sep 18, 2009
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Bellies full we headed out to see the sights of Berlin, Germany. But also in Berlin is The IAAF World Championships in Athletics. So, do you really think we could find a parking space or anything else in all of Berlin, NO NO NO! Not only that, our GPS was as confused as we were because all the streets it wanted us to go down were closed! We ended up being able to drive past the Brandenburg Gate which is one of the most famous landmarks in Berlin. During the Cold War it belonged to neither East or West Germany.as it was in the middle of the restricted area, next to the Berlin Wall and it was the symbol of division of the city into West and East part, into two power bases. It was reopened after the fall of the Berlin Wall on 22 December 1989.
We then went on and we were able to find the Holocaust Museum, which was underground, under the "Field of Stelae", which is an open area consisting of 2,711 concrete slabs of various heights. The slabs are built on uneven ground and reach loftier heights toward the center of the field. Walking through the grid of stelae generates the feeling of getting deeper and deeper into darkness, as the sky becomes blocked and the slabs become more imposing. According to the designer Peter Eisenman, this is meant to cause a feeling of helplessness and despair, just as the victims of the Holocaust fell deeper into the downward spiral of horror as the war progressed. The tour through the museum was, as with all the other Holocaust Museums I've visited, heart wrenching. Bruce, not having the interest that I do in such things decided to take the time to rest up in the car. As you see someone could have stolen the car and him right along with it.
We decided the only way we were going to see anything of Berlin was by boat and that we did. Finding a cruise offering a dinner menu was about to set sail in about an hour. Plugging in the address into the GPS we headed out once more, only to arrive at the address in the middle of town, several klicks away from where we were supposed board. Well, we rushed across town and reached the boat several minutes before it was to leave, looked over the menu, decided to have a good meal along with our free champagne only to find out they did not take credit cards! Pooling our pocket euros, we were able to scrape enough up to get a bowl of potato soup with korve (also known in the states as a hot dog, only longer). I will say, it was absolutely wonderful. We set sail for a 3 hour cruise down the Spar River and canals of Berlin. I never knew that Berlin had beaches and as you will note we got a very warm welcome from one of them! We headed back to our hotel tired and hungry, trying to find someplace quick to eat that would accept credit cards. Finally we found of all thing a 7-11 where we bought sandwiches, drinks and a big German pretzel. Back at our hotel we fell asleep quickly hoping for a more amniacble sightseeing day tomorrow.