Berlin - A Long Time Ago, In A Galaxy Far Far Away
Berlin Travel Blog› entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
Following on from Roxannes blog( which I really enjoyed :-) ) I'm really sorry they only have such a small section of the wall left, and it got me leafing through the three albums we have of our interrrail trip that year.
Also talking to others about how wise it is to post pics of yourself nearly 20 years ago :-)
Managed to get a couple scanned up at my old mans tonight, and I'll try and get round to hooking up my scanner again and try and add some more
Really great time to hit Berlin in August 1990, the first summer after the wall came down. Great atmosphere about the place, and a real stark contrast as you moved between East and West Berlin . Checkpoint Charlie still had a real sense of spy exchanges, and all the signs were still there telling you that you were entering the American Sector,or the Britsh Sector.
Got my own wee chunk of it,and still have it, mounted in a plastic thing (very technical term :-) ), and it is my ONE ornament and I keep it in the display case along with all the wife's crystal and plates and stuff. She hates it :-( but it has always stayed there
It was a still a transition period though and Germany was not still properly reunified, only the physical barriers were down. This led to a major problem for us as we tried to leave Berlin.
We were heading for Prague, and getting train to Nurenberg to change there. This involved crossing over East Germany, and when the burly female ticket inspector came along,and she looked the sort you wouldn't mess about with, she told us our interrrail passes weren't valid for crossing East Germany that way :-O .
We thought then we would just buy tickets to get us to the border, but came up short on the money. There were two boys from Kent in the same position, and after a bit the ticket collector must have started feeling sorry for us and became a bit more sympathetic, and worked out with the money we had we could afford a ticket for 3 and a ticket for one. The two lads from Kent coughed up most of the fare and as a result we did a detour and stayed on to Munich,where they were heading so that we could pay them back.
To show what the 'system' was like then, we were all trying to kip down on the floor in the corridor of the train when all this kicked off, as the compartment next to us was all reserved seat, with just two women in it though. Once we had paid up the ticket woman went in and spoke to them and then said to us to go in and get seats. These two old dames were family of some East German railway manager and had booked out the whole compartment to give them a private carriage.
Another sign of the times was getting the train into Czechoslovakia ( as it was still then) and stopping at the border and the train being boarded mob handed by Czechoslovakian Customs Officers. They were going through absolutely everything, though not interested in backpackers, as many folk were using the new found freedom to go to the west for the first time and buy the consumer goods we take for granted. Couple in our compartment got stun for a new colour TV they were bringing back from Germany, but weren't that bothered as they had it now and they just couldn't get hold of things like this,even in Prague.
Prague :-) Now there's another story.
This bit will be edited out later - Will try an get some more pics soon and FAO Transitory, now you can see how to get old pics onto PC, get it posted :-D