Berlin, Teil 2

Guten Tag readers!

I am very tired, but also very happy with today. It was the first day that I really appreciated Berlin, and felt much more at ease in the city. The day was mostly sunny with some showers in the morning, but perfect travelling weather. Not too hot, just right!

We had a late start to our day and headed out to the DDR (standing for Deutsche Demokratische Republik, or German Democratic Republic in English) museum first. Although it took us a while to actually find the museum (and a few rain showers that we tried to hide from), but we eventually found it and had a great time inside it. It showed what life was like in the GDR (from 1949 to 1990). There were lots of interactive exhibits that made learning about what live was like when Germany and Berlin was split really easy and interesting.
Earnestine and me in a Trabant or Tarbi, a VW Beetle like car they made for the people in East Berlin.

 

Grace and I raising our pinkies to some tea in a life size model of a typical home during the communist era.

 

Prison cell! D:

 

Me being goofy on a telephone. :)

After the DDR museum, we headed off on to our bike tour, which was the best tour I have ever experienced of any European city.  I hands down recommend bike tours to anybody that is able to afford them. Ours cost around 24 Euros, but with our 72 Hour Berlin Welcome Pass, we had a little discount which was very nice! You get to see a lot of the city in a lot less time, and who doesn’t love biking??

 

Before we went biking, we got some hot dogs. I have never seen a hot dog stand attached to its worker, so this was definitely something to capture! Earnestine is receiving her hot dog. :D
I was given the duty to bring up the rear of the tour! Our tour for the most part was single file as we drove on the sides of the roads. Berlin is really bike friendly because it is flat and has plenty of bike lanes.

 

Earnestine, Grace, and I in front of the Berlin Wall.

 

The parking lot under which Hitler’s Bunker still remains. There were efforts made to blow it up but they were unsuccessful, so it has been filled with sand, flooded, and left there. They cannot build a building on top of the area because of the bunker interfering with foundations, so instead there is a parking lot.

 

The Holocaust Memorial, designed by architect Peter Eisenman, consisting of 2,711 slabs of concrete dedicated to the murdered Jews of Europe.  Somewhere in the memorial there is a recording that reads off all of the names of the Jews that died as a result of the Holocaust, and it takes approximately 6 years to read through the list. Shocking, controversial, and sensitive tidbit: the slabs are protected by a coating of anti-graffiti paint that is made by the same company that created the gas used in the gas chambers during the persecution.

 

Another view of the Holocaust Memorial.

After a few hours, we took a break in a “Biergarten” where we had a bite to eat and some beer.  We also had a chance to rest our behinds a little bit after so much cycling! Earnestine had some more German sausage, and Grace and I split some Pretzel Dumplings. I had a beer that started with an A, and the second part had “Hell” in it, but I am not sure what the full name was. So far so good though, German beer has all been delicious (and cheap!).

 

Then it was back on the road for more adventures!
This was the name of my bike. For the longest time I thought it was an American Jazz Trumpet player, but it turned out to be a British pop singer from the 1960s.

 

Me on Dusty!

 

Riding through Tiergarten.

 

Me in front of the Reichstag building, a symbolic building for Berlin because it physically shows that the transparent nature of the building reflects the transparency in today’s government in Berlin.

 

Grace, me, and Earnestine in front of the Brandenburg Gate.

 

The Berlin Cathedral in the sunset, which ended our tour.
Needless to say, I saw quite a lot today. I even got a piece of the Berlin Wall and a beer as a souvenir for bringing up the rear of the tour and making sure everybody on the tour was caught up. :)
My rewards!
Anyway, time to sleep. More museums and adventures to go on tomorrow!

Gute Nacht!

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