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Sun, 25 May 2003
Germany - Weekend 8 - Berlin - Day 2
Let's see..... Sunday in Berlin....... I got up around 8:30-9:00. We had breakfast in the lounge downstairs (in the hostel). Around 10:20, Boris showed up. He was the guide for the tour we were going to take. It was a walking tour that went all over east Berlin. It ended around 6:00. ;) Then we went to the Checkpoint Charlie museum. Which was really cool, except that I had been there 7 years ago and remembered a lot of it. Then we went to the Reichtstadt, the parliament building, and went up to the top of the glass dome on top and looked out over the city. After that, Allyn and I walked towards the music and discovered that it was Blade Night. After eating supper there, we walked to the Sony Center to take pictures of it. It has a big tent-like roof that changes colors. It reminded me of like Cascades in Jackson. ;) Then we walked back to the hostel and went to sleep.

So that was Sunday, except that I left a 7.5 hour gap in the middle. The walking tour involved a lot of walking, a lot of information, and, incidentally, a lot of Australians. All that for just 10 euros. ;) As luck would have it, we had a really large tour group, 30 people, I think. We went around and said where we were from. There were us 4 from America, another 2 from Texas, 1 from South Africa, and I think all the others were from Australia. But from all different parts; they didn't all come to Berlin together. The tour started in the Jewish part of town. Historically, Berlin was known as a place with religious tolerance, so there was a large Jewish community there. That is, until WWII. Boris took us around to a few different building in the Jewish area and told us the history of them. There is a famous synagogue in the Jewish area that survived Krystalnacht. This was due to a single, 56-year-old guard who yelled at the vandals and scared them away. Boris gave his own rendition of what the guard might have said, but noone really knows. Boris also pointed out a Jewish girls school that was established after the Nazis kicked all Jewish kids out of school. He said that one day, the Nazis came and took all the girls and their teachers and sent them to a concentration camp. They didn't have a plaque on the building or anything. But he said that practically every building in that area has a long story behind it.

I'm not positive what came right after the Jewish part of town. We learned about how Germany and Berlin were handled following WWII. About how Britain got a portion, America got a portion, and Russia got a portion. After more than 2 million people left the Russian part, the Russians got mad and built the wall to prevent people from leaving. But there wasn't just one wall. There was an inner wall and an outer wall. The area inbetween was called the death zone. You didn't want to be there for obvious reasons. All but one section of the wall has been removed now. The last remaining part is 100 yards long or so. Because people kept chipping pieces off, they put a fence around it. Boris commented that this was one of the few places where you could see a fence protecting a wall. ;) In some parts of town, they have a cobblestone line marking where the wall used to be.

Following WWII, Berlin was a pile of rubble. They now has 12 artificial 'mountains' outside of Berlin. They are really piles of rubble removed from the city. Each of the 'protecting powers' (Britain, America, and Russia) needed to rebuilt their parts of Berlin. Russia wasn't too happy with Germany, though. Russia was the country that lost the most lives to the war. So early in the reconstruction period, when people were homeless and hungry, the Russians built a gigantic Russian Embassy in Berlin, which is their biggest embassy anywhere. For that matter, the buildings in the east (which was the Russian section) were never restored to perfect condition. It was just after Germany was reunified that real reconstruction took place in east Berlin. Boris showed us one of his favorite bars, which is in a building that still has original WWII bomb damage. While walking down the road, we would see perfectly normal buildings next to ones that had bunches of exposed bricks and holes and stuff. He said that when he moved to Berlin 5 years ago, all the building in the area were delapidated. All the nice looking buildings had been renovated since then.

He couldn't stop telling us that we were in Berlin during a very exciting time when everything was being replace and rebuild etc. In another 5 years, everything is going to look completely different For that matter, the Reichtstadt (the parliament building) had just been built in the last 5 years. And just down the road were two other gigantic government building (one was the chancellor's office) that were just as new. And each of these building cost hundreds of millions of dollars. I remember he said one of them was $480 million. He took us to a museum that had a cool exhibit. It had a display and two wheels. As you turned one wheel, you went forward and backward along a timeline. You could pick a date, such as December 17, 1999. On the display would be a picture of the construction area on that date. As you turned the other wheel, the picture would rotate; it was a 360 degree panoramic of the area. Oh, we saw so much other stuff that day. I was really suffering information overload by the end of the day.

The people on the tour were pretty friendly. I talked with Jessie and Danny, the two from Texas. They seemed to be a couple, although I didn't actually ask. She had graduated from college at the beginning of the week. As a graduation present, her parents were paying for her 6-week vacation in Europe. Danny thought Jessie's brother got a better deal when he had graduated from college: a new car. But Jessie said she already had a car. ;)
Next:Weekend 8 - Berlin - Day 3 (Mon, 26 May 2003)
Previous:Weekend 8 - Berlin - Day 1 (Sat, 24 May 2003)

E-mail me at david@sickmiller.com
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I was looking for some information so I looked her.
idd no pics but it doesn't sucks!

I'm from holland and almost everyone is a jurk there :P

I alway's thought that english/american people hate to use words like stfu and sux.... :S
Mon, 3 Apr 2006
yall-this is a fricken good website. and its for kids, ok? if u got a problem with that, jus piss of loser!
hey kiddos-this is a wicked good website!! k'mon dudes!
Tue, 31 May 2005
where's the pics??????????????
Wed, 27 Apr 2005
wow thats interesting i guess its just some who dont apreciate the words of war theyd much rather see the destruction but if you have a vivid mind you can picture it all so dont get too discouraged i liked it
Fri, 8 Apr 2005
no pictures!
Sat, 12 Mar 2005
this is good
Fri, 4 Mar 2005
This site doesn't have any picture and i was looking for picture so i looked at this site

Thu, 3 Feb 2005
This is terrible!!!!
Fri, 31 Dec 2004