Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Off to Berlin
Trains, Trains, Trains! We traveled with our same guides Garrett, and Isha to Berlin by train. We had a nice cozy separate cabin and laughed the whole way there. I know this will surprise everyone given my soft spoken manner, but we were asked to quiet down! We were apparently having too much fun, but a nice east German man named Wolf joined us and regaled us with tales of German past.
We arrived in Berlin, got a quick 10 minutes to freshen up and we were off for an amazing tour of Former East and West Berlin. We saw a portion of the wall still standing, with incredible murals. We saw the river that children would play near and god forbid they went in, as it was part of the death zone, meaning they could be shot. We saw memorials to the wall, those murdered in the death zone and the proximity to the residential dwellings. People could literally jump from their windows in east Berlin to find sanctuary in West Berlin. Although the reality is they were shot.
We drove past the former checkpoint Charlie and were off to visit a new concept in banking at the Duetsche Bank. Very cool banking concepts with themed rooms, a cafe, bar, and shopping. They even had a nursery for the children. All I get at my bank is a dum dum.
We then experienced an interesting Turkish street market that was crowded and buggy. Not a highlight for me, but we did stumble across more tripping stones. We were tired and hungry and we were off to a loud (think crying babies) pizza place for dinner. The salad came out with vegetables whole, we needed to cut an toss our salads. But the pizza was good and so was the beer.