Day 14 – Berlin

We’re over last nights nightmare, cranky, sulking millennial Corolla driving krauts are all forgiven.

We wake, muesli up, Irish tea scoffed and we head out to get our Berlin Welcome card for the free travel ( I know, you pay for it actually). But last year it worked really well. We head out to find the bus station to get Bus 100 to the Reichstag building to meet the Intrepid Urban Adventures tour and get lost, and I get lots. We can’t find the f….g bus stop, Google Maps has let me down, and the co navigator suggests a taxi. Of course I’d we’d had time to walk or get ready it may not have been a problem, but I admit I’m only saying this because I feel a little embarrassed.

A €10 taxi ride fixes the problem. We get to the big German flag on the western side of the Reichstag building before time, we meet 4 other Aussies who are on the Intrepid – Storyline of Berlin 4-5 hour walking tour of Berlin https://www.urbanadventures.com/Berlin-tour-storyline-of-berlin?__uap=Berlin. Our guide, Peter arrives in time and we are immediately into the Berlin thing. Peter is a local, has lived in the East before the wall came down, he escaped after 3 attempts and 2 years in goal, with a girl who was pregnant ( a friend not a girlfriend) in 1978/9 and now lives in Mitte in Berlin after some time living overseas in England and the USA. He’s pretty well qualified to give us an intimate view of being a Berliner in the 20th and 21st century. Our fellow travellers are from the Newcastle area, no names as I don’t recall them giving me permission to use them, but great company and one of the couples actually lived in Dubbo for some time many years ago.

Anyway on to the recent history of Berlin. It’s bloody, violent, and then the last 18 years or so have been pretty peaceful. Peter guides us through the area that linked East and West Berlin, the Russians, American and English took the world to the brink of war on a number of occasions because of dickhead military types getting into schoolboy pissing contests – that’s my simplistic way of describing what Peter tells us. But, there is a heart and a soul to the city, there is culture, the written word, music and a fusion of people from all over the world, it feels like a fun place. We walk through where Russian tanks and anti tank guns are displayed, the Brandenburg Gate, Hitlers bunker ( he didn’t survive it folks), Checkpoint Charlie, the Gendermarkt area, the museum area and finally we have a few beers and lunch in the Haeckerscher Markt area. Peter has done a great job, we feel that his personal story and that he gave something personal to us let us inside his shell, I think and believe what he said was true.

Lunch was hoot, the Newcastle guys drank 2 x litres of beer each as well as eating.

We rest up at the apartment for an hour and head the Alexanderplatz on foot, check the shops out, mainly the C&A shop for cheap jeans for me – none bought – yet. We then head on the trains, R trains and U Bahn trains back to Checkpoint Charlie, and then catch the trains back to Hackescher Markt for a light dinner, a giant 1 litre of lager and then a walk up the hill in the Mitte area of Berlin. This city goes late, I expect it will be too late for me. The only thing that would excite me and keep me up late is to find that pouting, cranky, barely out of teens driver and beat the crap out of home in Dark Berlin laneway, but then that’s not really me is it.

Tomorrow it’s Markets and castles for Genelle and Mark and Museums for me

Ciao from Berlin

Paul

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