Back Up to Berlin

The perfectionist in me is crying over our lost chronological order.  In actuality, we left weeks ago for a long weekend to Prague and then continued on to Berlin for the Saturday and Sunday.  We then hauled it all the way home on a Monday back to Salzburg in our Volvo.  See here for the whole Volvo history if you are new to this blog.  So, what follows today is a recount of our speed sight-seeing trip to Berlin.  But, let’s begin with the most well-know part of Berlin, THE WALL.   Additionally,  the whole reason we made it to Berlin in the first place was because Erica Woodahl was there for a convention, so decided to meet our fellow Missoulian for the weekend.

Let's start with lovely ladies!

Let’s start with lovely ladies! Kim n Erica in front of what used to be the Berlin Wall…

Most of the wall is torn down, but you can find it’s path preserved in cobblestone as a reminder throughout town.

Close-up view of the Wall remains. the actual wall was 13 ft high, with a 16 ft tank kitch and  death strip of no-man's land.

Close-up view of the Wall remains. the actual wall was 13 ft high, with a 16 ft tank ditch and death strip of no-man’s land.

We spent most of our time in East Berlin, trying to soak up as much history as possible.  In short, Berlin is full of tasteful memorials for the  remembrance of a difficult history, a beautiful Cathedral and incredible green parks.   I hope you have the time to view some of our pics of the whole experience…

We started our tour at the Brandenburg Gate.

We started our tour at the Brandenburg Gate.

The Brandenburg Gate, only 200 yrs old….the last surviving gate in the old city wall.  See the 4 horse chariot with the Goddess of Peace at the top…the entire gate designed as an arch of peace but was hidden in the wall for >25 yrs!   To our dismay, just beyond the gate, there is an incredible park (Tiergarden) but on this day, a Kinder-festival.   Eliot thought we had come all this way just for kiddy-rides, sigh.

Not one, but 3 blow up playgrounds for kids, how can you say no to your kid!?

Not one, but 3 blow up playgrounds for kids, how can you say no to your kid!? This sweet German boy, helping Eliot down the slide.

"Let my people come" -style, eventually we were able to tear him away and actually tour Berlin.

“Let my people come” -style, eventually we were able to tear him away and actually tour Berlin.

The Reichstage Building has a massive dome atop- which promises incredible views for those willing to withstand the crowds to enter

The Reichstag Building has a massive dome atop- which promises incredible views for those willing to withstand the crowds to enter, we just took a quick stop to look.

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Ampelmännchen! A preserved symbol of the old days, they decided to keep the pedestrians lights as nostalgia.

Ampelmännchen! A preserved symbol of the old days, they decided to keep the pedestrians lights as a bit of nostalgia.

Now, you can buy t-shirts, key chains and washclothes with these perky lil guys at every souvenir shop.

Now, you can buy t-shirts, key chains and washcloths with these perky lil guys at every souvenir shop.

Next up, an incredible memorial of the Holocaust.  The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.  There are 2,711 gravestone-like pillars made of hollow concrete…..each stone asymmetrical and the ground beneath you undulating.  It is like a maze and a cemetery combined.   Of course, we couldn’t bring our toddler with deteriorating mood into the information center which would  give further insight into the Nazi’s system of terror.

Holocaust Memorial

Holocaust Memorial

Not too far away, we got to experience the Topography of terror.

Not too far away, we got to experience the Topography of terror.

This was a full recount of exactly how Hitler was able to come into power. (1933 The Path to Dictatorship).

Incredible old photos of the 1933+ happenings, even laid out so a non-historian like me was enthralled.

Incredible old photos of the 1933+ happenings, even laid out so a non-historian like me was enthralled.

Thanks to the i-phone, Eliot had a babysitter so we could actually experience the history.

Thanks to the i-phone, Eliot had a babysitter so we could actually learn something.  Here, one of the amazing old photos of Hitler.

Next door, the rubble that marks the sight of Hitler's command center.

Next to the topography, the rubble that marks the sight of Hitler’s command center.  Due to the horrible things planned here, it is to always be left as rubble.

After further meanderings on the subway, we found our way to many other sights that simply are not done justice with a small camera…the German History Museum, Humboldt University and St. Hedwig’s Church to name a few.  Only to experience this…

And...he is OUT.

And…he is OUT.

Sleeping toddler in an incredibly LOUD city, as we approach…

The Berlin Cathedral, the huge TV Tower in the distance.

The Berlin Cathedral, the huge TV Tower in the distance, and more tasteful memorials on the right to the lost Jews.

Our lil video camera did catch some of the sights, perhaps a movie is in order, but until then, let’s report on another incredible Berlin sight, that at least Kim got to experience while Eliot slept…

Kim in front of  the 'Berliner Dom'....over a century old.

Kim in front of the ‘Berliner Dom’….over a century old.

With Eliot asleep, Kim paid the nine Euros to enter and climbed the 270 steps to the top for a fine view.

The Dom alone could easily be it's own blog, so I will try to condense...

The Dom alone could easily be it’s own blog, so I will try to condense…

Although I am nearly highly-baroque-Catholic-churched-out, I still found this to be impressive. Quite massive.

Just a lil ole organ.

Just a lil ole organ.

And...ANOTHER ceiling.

And…ANOTHER ceiling.

View of pergamom Museum or National Galler, not sure which!  Another museum, missed.

View from the top of the Cathedral of Pergamom Museum or the Old National Gallery, not sure which! Another museum, missed.

View from the top

View from the top

Reed and E-man down there somewhere!?!

Reed and E-man down there somewhere!?!

Found them!  Daddy doing an incredible job of entertaining while Mommy gets to sight see.

Found them! Daddy doing an incredible job of entertaining while Mommy gets to sight see.

Actually, somewhere along here ended day one…it twas VERY full.  But, we managed to get up Monday morning and squeeze in Checkpoint Charlie and a sausage, of course!

First view of where  Checkpoint Charlie once stood. An american soldier facing East...

First view of where Checkpoint Charlie once stood. An American soldier facing East…

And, a Soviet Soldier facing west.

And, a Soviet Soldier facing west.

Although the posters are thought-provoking and allow you to “ponder the gripping history of the place” (per Rick Steves, because it is tough to ponder more than our next meal for a 3 year old in present reality)…for the most part, Check point Charlie is grotesquely touristy.

Cheesey re-enactement of the guard station...here the actor checking his mobile.

Cheesy re-enactment of the guard station…here the actor checking his mobile.

Had we not used up our Steve Job's babysitting service on the Topography of terror, it turns out the museum here is actually worthwhile...

Had we not used up our Steve Job’s babysitting service on the Topography of Terror, it turns out the museum here is said to be cluttered but worthwhile…

Instead, hunger prevailed, so we of course indulged in the local tradition, Curry wurst.

I am a sucker for trying everything unique and local...so we indulged in MORE sausage.

I am a sucker for trying everything unique and local…so we indulged in MORE sausage.

Abhorrently touristy, but worth the trial.

Abhorrently touristy, but worth the taste-test.

One last look at the wall..

One last look at the wall…

I post this pic as it comes to be nearly midnight, (yawn) and in actuality, my hubby is in Montana working while I am in Salzburg typing.  I anxiously await his return, but until then have more to post about Vienna and Croatia!  But, not tonight…

Yours in cameras and guidebooks, Kim

Yours in cameras and guidebooks, Kim

One thought on “Back Up to Berlin

  1. Pingback: Pondering Prater in Vienna | Leben Lieben!

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