Friday, August 05, 2005

Berlin, Germany - DAY THREE

Today we did a city bike tour. We met at the tour shop at 11:00am and headed out from there. An English speaking (American) tour guide took us throughout the entire city where we saw the T.V. Tower (Built secretly by the Swedish to give the F-finger from East Berlin to West Berlin), the oldest church in Berlin (Again). This IS the oldest church in Berlin that is still used as a church. There is another church older than it but it is now a museum. We were shown the new monument to the murdered Jews (Not attractive, not very subtle OR nice - see photo). It was opened about 6 weeks ago and consists of 2711 blocks of different shapes and sizes, which the German government paid for. The sad thing is that it is only meant for the Jews.... not ANYONE else slaughtered by the Germans. Many people would like to change that so that it is dedicated to EVERYONE but who knows..... Here's a little tidbit about the monument for you (very ironic)..... When they dug underneath the spot to build the underground tourist desk they discovered the bunker of the main German propoganda guy (His name escapes me sadly) AND it turns out that the company hired to cover the blocks in a special coating to prevent any grafitti from sticking was the company that made the gas the Germans used to kill the Jews in the gas chambers. Pretty messed up. We also saw the Victory statue that the Prussians built here (When the Prussians beat the French in one of the many wars between the two countries), which faces in the direction of Paris. We took a break at a beer garden in the centre of the VERY large park here in Berlin where we enjoyed a refreshing beer and a traditional german sausage. We also, of course, visited one of the remaining sections of the wall (See photo) as well as Checkpoint Charlie, where the Americans had one of their many checkpoints. They currently have a replica where you can have your photo taken with actors who portray an American and a Soviet soldier. We were also taken to the site of Hitler's bunker, which is now a very large and expensive apartment building. (They collapsed the first floor of the bunker weeks after Berlin was taken by the Soviets. It has never been entered since then and the German government has no intention of EVER digging down and entering it again). There were many other things that we saw but I just don't have the time to tell you about it all.
Tonight we will eat at the hostel and probably head out for a beer or two before going to bed earlyish so that we are well rested for our 7:00am wake up. We're off to Prague tomorrow, which is another 10 hour busride.... Until then...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great photos. I love it when the backdrop is so awesome the people look super-imposed! I'm getting more jealous by the day. :)

8:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your photos are awesome. Sounds like you guys are having a blast. take care

9:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Berlin! Your pics and notes are great. We're laughing all the way through them! Kath and I read your latest update together over the phone this morning... we're so envious and happy for you!
Lots of love, Mo, Geoff & Kath xoxox

6:51 AM  

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