Monday, 8 July 2013

Berlin



Finally we make it to Berlin after passing through Spandau where Mum was born and lived her younger years. First time here for us and it was great to touch base with her past although to be honest if she came back here I guess she would not recognise it much due to modern architecture and urbanisation although a few old grand buildings remain



So Berlin...at last



We were surprised how modern it was, particularly the banks of the River Spree where a lot of government buildings are located


We spent 3 nights on an excellent Wohnmobilplatz, well run, quiet (which we did not expect given its location in a city) and close connection to both S Bahn and U Bahn at Tegel Altstadt


On two evenings after leaving the train we trundled in to Alt Tegel to sit at a few bars in the tree lined boulevards and watch the world go buy very slowly and with sore feet!


The trip in was as you would expect, extremely punctual and to the minute, which meant playing eye spy for 5 minutes on a siding en route presumably because we were early!


Surely one of the world's most infamous buildings...the Reichtag
You can visit here free of charge if you get to the registration booth early enough for a timed entry
It was hot and the queue long and we decided to push on and leave it for next time



Close to the Reichtag is a small memorial set in the beautiful Tiergarten which is a very peaceful place. Information walls abound here and throughout Berlin showing the history of the city with large photo impressions giving you facts at your fingertips



Simple engravings in flagstones of the camps pay homage to the poor victims



The Brandenburg Tor minus the infamous Mauer, see below




Pictures showing the Gate through the last century









Friedrichstrasse but with no traffic!
We guess this was repairs to the upper section of the U Bahn









Checkpoint Charlie
A massive McDonalds sits opposite the site and adds tackiness to a very famous border crossing




The Mauermuseum ( The Wall )
Nina was very patient with me in here but after several hours you still have more to see. It was a great mix of audio/visual info telling the history of the Wall, politics at the time and the endless escape attempts. Most were successful, some were graphically not.
The Communist government of East Germany at the time built the wall to prevent Western aggression apparently but as we know it was to stop the massive migration of East Germans in to West Berlin and thus freedom from oppression.
28 years the city was divided






Not too far away from Checkpoint Charlie lies the Topographie Des Terrors
A very solemn building containing the gruesome details of the Third Reich in fine detail
A must see museum but after a full day of history we were suffering a dose of information overload














Just a few shots grabbed from the displays inside the museum and out









Potsdammer Platz
This was Retail heaven for girls but thankfully it was late and she was a very tired teddy so unbelievably walked on by





Day two we decided to take it easy just strolling in the Tiergarten and taking a boat tour along the Spree



This is what it seems...
Lunchtime in the City........


The Siegessaule or Victory Tower
Another climb, more vertigo...



61.5m tall with "Viktoria"on top weighing 35 tonnes




Russian War Memorial


We posed here but nobody recognised us....their loss..



After lunch on the river we go cruising for an hour..





Hauptbahnhof, station engineering at its best


The Treasury


Where the treasury workers got moved to as accommodation after the move back from Bonn


Bit dodgy really..


But look again...






Now thats a TV mast! Germanys highest structure..





A few beers here..


Then back home...

We missed not being here only a few days after we moved on southwards towards the Czech border such was the pull of the place
For such a huge city it has a relatively small population at 3 million we think.
Defo come back here soon