Berlin, the road show to berlin, can't get out the way we got in

Berlin Travel Blog

 › entry 12 of 90 › view all entries
Today was pretty laid back, got up kind of late as I was a tad hung over from the shots done the night earlier.  Guess I'm getting old, but that's an eventuality for everyone, I suppose.  Figure I'll fight it for as long as I can.

The day was lovely so we (Tara and I and Phil) went to grab a boat tour of the river the splits the city and it wasn't long after we had taken sail that the weather took a sharp turn for the worst.  So, instead of getting some fairly fantastic shots of the city, we spent a fair amount of it, in the lower deck trying not to be as smushed into the boat as we were on the upper deck.  Note to anyone going to berlin: skip the boats, they're a total waste of money.  Not only do you not actually circle museum island but well, you end up getting crushed into the upper deck with 1000 of your closest friends who won't shut up during the descriptions of the things you're passing.
  You're far better off going on a walking tour (the longer the better).

So, after that and going back to the hostel for the cheaper internet (it had an internet happy hour), Tara (who's name is Terri.. but I just found that out recently after calling her this for the past week) wandered down the same route that the walking tour had gone.  Okay, here's the bizarre thing, because Germany is holding the world cup this year, they've doing this ad campaign to talk up German accomplishments.  So, throughout berlin there are these temporary monuments to things the germans are known for, like inventing the aspirin, inventing the car (which is debatable) and well, they have a number of well known poets, philosophers, etc.. and for this moment to their literary accomplishments they have this giant stack of books.
  Directly opposite the square where the Nazis burned 20,000 books to signify that the "new germany" would rise for the ashes.  I thought it.. well, odd.  Very.   There is a plaque in the square by Tomas Mann (forgive me if I get any of this wrong, including the author) that says roughly "when books are burned, men are sure to follow".  It was written over a hundred years before the nazis began their campaign to rid the earth of the lesser folk. 

Once again, through the holocaust memorial, this time at my own pace.  Checkpoint charlie and it's subtle monument to the time when the soviets and russians (I believe 1961) lined tanks up at each side of the checkpoint and almost started world war three.  The socialism memorial done in 1952 .
. and the later memorial done to signifiy the uprising of 1952 where workers gathered in potsdammer platz and the russians fired on them with tanks.  Hitler's bunker, his command post, the location of the luftwaffe headquarters, the new american embassy, the reichtstag.  It was a good day out in the sun.  Wandering past the brandenburg gate, it's hard not to be curious about the statue above it, that of the goddess of peace riding into the city.  And of course, wandering past the Adler hotel where Michael Jackson dangled a baby from five stories.. what trip would be complete without going past that?

Later some cheap street food and good views from the TV tower that is basically a gigantic eyesore, but far better than it normally is since it's been done up as a giant soccer ball for the world cup.  I enjoyed my time in Berlin, shame I didn't have enough time to get to Postdam but .. that's sort of going to be the lament for much of the trip.  In any light, I got to see a lot.. and well, that's all you can ask for.
conniemohan says:
Hey there - the photos look great!
Posted on: Jul 15, 2006
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
photo by: CFD