Awesome! Public transport amazing so managed to pack in heaps in 3 days but still have to go back! Difficult to understand the transformation that Berlin has gone through in the last 100 years.
Very challenging experiences as well: 'Topography of Terror' and the villa at Wannsee where the 'Final Solution' was designed were galling but a must to try and get at least some understanding. The 'Stasi' HQ museum was also chilling - couldn't get over how enormous the complex was!
The 'Wall' was many things but favourite part of the East Side Gallery.
Olympic stadium was sensational! Pretty impressive from the outside but when you walk in it takes your breath away! Almost as good as Millenium Stadium in Cardiff! Found Jesse Owens role of honour - special. Just wasted on Hertha Berlin's as a home ground because they're pants!
Currywurst or doner kepab, chips and pilsner for lunch became a staple - fantastic and cheap!
My pigdeon/schoolboy German came back very quickly which was really handy when ordering breakfast every morning from the waitress from...Melbourne! Is there anyone left in Oz or is everyone traveling and following us?
All in all top city and time - even had a fantastic curry on Potzdammer Platz!
Leg 1 fininshed and off to UK for leg 2. Will miss trains, lovely way to travel. Have got a bit of post travel blues but sure Tom and Imogen will cure that PDQ.
Finally Berlin after trying to get here in 2010 and having to abandon after breaking my wrist tin Prague. Arrived early expecting to have to store our luggage, and were offered an apartment for an extra 15 Euros and able to get into our room immediately which was a bonus - apartment huge with a kitchen but doubt if we will be doing any cooking! Had breakfast outside in the hotel courtyard, and as soon as organised headed out to hit the spots - only in Berlin for 3 1/2 days and so no time to waste. Started at Checkpoint Charlie (up the road from hotel) and found our way to Hitler's bunker where he died (now covered with apartments). Then off to the Brandenburg Gate, Tier Garden and
List of sites to see today - Alexanderplatz, Potsdamer Platz , Berlin Wall Museum ( a section where the area has been marked out where the apartment blocks were right next to the wall, and more markers to show where some of the East Berliners jumped out of the windows to escape to the west), another section of the wall where there was an excellent museum and a history of the war, the nazi party and Jewish extermination.
Went to the East Side Wall Gallery, a section of the wall which has been painted by artists ( and unfortunately graffitied as well). On the other side of the painted walls was a current exhibition called 'Wall on Wall' - large photos that covered each section of the wall based on areas around the world where walls/ barriers have been put up to keep people out/ in. Excellent exhibition.
Berlin has a vibe to it that is I suspect will prove unforgettable. Huge amount of street art, new buildings using interesting designs in colour and pattern on facades, of course masses of graffiti, much of it political, but it seems to feel OK considering freedom has only come about recently.
Quick pastry and cup of tea at the local cafe ( the waitress is from Melbourne) for breakfast on Day 3 and caught the UBahn/OBahn to Pottsdam, about half an hour out of Berlin. Here is the summer palace of Frederick 1 and an assortment of buildings in a range of styles he had designed and built. We had been told about Doner Kebabs from one of Huw's colleagues - great feed, very tasty and filling for lunch on several occasions. Taking a city tour due to limited time worked out well. The main interest for Huw was the Cecilienhof ( a beautiful tutor style manor the King had built) to see the room where the 3 world leaders met to sign the Treaty and also to the House of the Wansee Conference where the SS and other Nazi officials met to plan the murder of all European Jews.
On the same road was the summer house of Max Lieberman the German artist, and an exhibition of his work and the garden he based a number of paintings when influenced by the Impressionists. An excellent accidental find! Potsdam is a pretty town with huge historical interest regarding the 3 major countries during the war - Britain, USA, USSR set up camp here in order to finalise the end of the war details .
We have been so impressed with the plentiful and easy transport system in Berlin and Moscow - so cheap. Last day, early breakfast, checked out, stored the luggage and off again - me to the Berlin Contemporary Art Gallery which had a surprising number of incredibly significant art works and then to the Bauhaus Archives which really gave you a feeling of the design teachings of the time. Huw off to the Olympic arena of Hitlers time. Flight out with EasyJet to Bristol and Wales here we come!