Love the Berlin People

Trip Start Jun 13, 2008
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Trip End Nov 20, 2008


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Flag of Germany  ,
Thursday, October 9, 2008

Today started with an optional excursion to the Reichstag Dome (on top of the German Parliament building). Went through an awfully strong security check just to go to the roof to look at the views. And their wasn't much to see because of the fog. Not really worth it.

We then went over to the Jewish Memorial. At first it just looks like a pile of concrete blocks-but once you walk inside you realise the ground slopes or 'undulates' and the blocks are different sizes and heights from small to really tall. You could almost get lost in it, it is huge. I was sceptical at first but it is actually a pretty awesome memorial.

Nearby is the site of Hitlers Bunker. They won't tell you the exact location-but they have filled it in anyway so it doesn't matter. And not really something you want to visit. Also went and saw the memorial to the men who tried to assassinate Hitler. It is in a courtyard (can't tell you where sorry) where the men were executed.

Next stop was the remains of the Berlin wall. Was actually pretty cool to see it. What is left has lots of murals and graffiti painted on it which is cool in itself. Didn't realise the wall was actually not just one but two walls a couple of metres apart-which was to try and make it harder to escape. 

Also visited the Brandenburg gate which was actually pretty cool. Then had a city tour and a visit to the Checkpoint Charlie Museum. Was very crowded (I recommend getting there early) but it was actually a very interesting museum with some pretty great exhibits. Mainly tells about life in East Germany behind the wall and all the escape attempts with a great collection of the different escape mechanisms-was amazing what they used and did to get into West Germany. Was sad in parts-especially reading about how the Stasi (Stazi?) stole peoples children if they thought they weren't loyal to the state or were trying to escape. Was pretty terrible what they did.

Had some free time so checked out the shops. Was a great Christmas decorations shop near the hotel-had some amazing 'normal' decorations and mechanical decorations. Brought a couple-lovely shop owner through part sign language and broken English asked me if I had the flu-think she took pity on me-she was very sympathetic and motherly-and gave me some freebies-she was an absolute sweetie.

Had dinner out at a restaurant. Was OK. Lamb was very nice. Had a night tour of the city-looks very cool all lit up at night.
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