Victoria Travels - Pit Stop
Berlin Travel Blog› entry 3 of 162 › view all entries
May 18th, 2006 – by: Sor
Berlin - very cheap, very easy to get around, and just about everyone speaks english so no embarressing standing around not knowing whats going on! Berlin feels very safe although all the graffitti makes you feel abit wary. It is everywhere, whether the area is run down (east berlin) or newly painted! It's a nice city to walk around - mainly because you can easily walk around and not have to get public transport if you don't want.
Walking tour I took was with brewersberlintours. The guide met us at the hostel I was staying at (The Eastseven) and took us to meet with the rest of the tour group. Our actual tour guide for the day, Victoria, was very enthusiastic and knew her stuff about Berlin. There should be photo of her - my first Victoria photo!
Started off in East Berlin, making note of various places where bombs had fallen and the ground is still bare (as in no new buildings on it).
Berlin has really cool looking green and red men for crossing the road. I really should have taken a photo. I think the East Berlin crossing men are fatter than the West Berlin, but that could be the other way around. The little green men have peaked caps and look very jolly, even without having a face so to speak off!
What else can I remember.... We saw the only jewish secondary school at which both girls and boys attend.
We saw the current American embassy, where you are not allowed to get closer than 200m or so and no photos and no standing around talking! It is patrolled by not-too-happy policemen.
The road up to the Brandenburg gate has a nice 'park' all the way up the middle. Our guide pointed out that every one of the trees here was a Nazi flag during Hilter's time. That would have been very very very scary. A lot of flags! (And thats an understatement!) There is obviously going to be something to do with the Football this summer going on in front of the Gate as they were erected a giant football! I don't know exactly what it is going to be for - maybe some sort of exclusive box or something.
The Riechstag is a pretty impressive building. It would be nice to have a look inside. You can see the glass dome that covers the 'council room' (again I can't remember the correct name). You can walk (circle) up into the dome. The dome looks down into the council room so any Berliners can see and I presume hear what the politicians are doing and thus the Berlin people will not be lied to again.
We also saw various libraries and theatres and churches, all of these seem to be part of some pedestrian square or other.
As we made our way around Berlin, we were following the line the Berlin wall took. On the ground this is shown by a couple of rows of cobbles. So you could walk all the way around the 'wall' by yourself.
Every so often around the city we would see a fantastically beautiful old building. A good guess would be that it was built during the time of Baron von Bismarck. Someone will probably correct me, as again I've forgotten my history, but he won major reparations from France (I think) during a war which he started although he also won. (Was this the Prussian War? There have been so many......) Anyway, he got so much money he really didn't know what to do with it, so he commissioned all these highly decorated buildings. They are very pretty.
Towards the end of the tour our guide brought so to a chocolatier.
Ok, what else. Ah.. german efficiency. Berlin is one of the greenest cities I've ever been in. Part of this is due to the Berliners having an active treeplanting plan. The only thing is that they may have gone overboard alittle - they have counted every single tree in the city and also given it a number tag! I've included a photo showing tree number 1! It was also quite strange to head off the street behind the Brandenburg Gate into a wood. I wouldn't call it a park but most definietly a wood.
Right, I think I've exhausted my memory of Berlin things. I now want to go back and get a more relaxed view of the city. They are of course getting prepared for the World Cup and that was quite obvious. T-Mobile is obviously doing alot of the sponsoring as there were some poor germans having to run around in bright luminous pink lycra jumpsuits and with their top half covered by a giant football! The tv tower also now has a giant football around it, with pink sections - this can be seen from just about everwhere in the city. Still it is a good thing to aim towards if you get lost!
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