The day dawned as usual around 4am to the cawing of crows, those and sparrows were the only bird species we saw. I trotted off to a nearby supermarket to get air freshener plus muesli, yoghurrt, ham, cheese, bread and coffee. Prices were much cheaper than NZ, 1 kg of good muesli was 3 dollars. Lots of cherries, strawberries ,blueberries and red currants about plus Zespri has its face in here but equally so has the Chilean version of our hairy fruit. Plus! wine is cheap!!!!!
We headed off on the underground, Spittlemarket station was just outside our front door, arrived at Alexanderplatz, usual large city square, bit soulless and the ground covered in discarded chewing gum. Bought our tickets on the open topped bus and proceeded to do the ‘tour’ around Berlin. We find these tours give us an overview and get us somewhere near oreientated.
After two hours of cobbled streets we clambered off, still confused, Berlin is huge, with several different ‘centres’. However we painlessly visited, the Brandenburg Gate, whizzed thru Potsdammer Platz (Joss- we returned on foot!), Checkpoint Charlie was sighted and returned to on foot, Unter den linden, featured in every novel I have ever read about pre war Berlin, the linden trees were in bloom, shedding white droppings everywhere, Ka De Wa ‘the’ department store plus Bellevue, where Ms Merkel lives.
All a bit much, we leapt off the bus and headed for the Jewish Museum, very interesting, gives a history of Jews in Germany from 10AD. The 1933- 45 component is housed in a stark slate area. The memorial garden consisting of 49 (not sure why) concrete pillars about 10m high and at least a metre square topped with a willow tree in each and set in gravel about a metre apart’ It was different, interesting and very thought provoking, more a piece of sculpture than anything else, seen from two floors above it looked just like a forest.
We then headed off to Checkpoint Charlie, totally commercialised with fake soldiers etc who would have their photo taken for 2E- we declined and headed up the road to a new exhibition called Typography of Terror, Germany 1932-45. Built on the site of the former Gestapo headquarters and along a strip of the wall. The exhibition was built something like a haha, you walked down a sloping concrete path, which was placed on a gravel bank leading down to the exhibition which had the wall fragment as a barrier against the street- you were well below street level. One sign said ‘former torture chamber ‘.
The actual exhibition, mounted on display boards consisted of photos and commentary from the rise of the National Socialists through to the surrender. Great use of perspex, basically outside with a glass roof and each section done in specific years, say 1933- till 1937. Very stark and very effective. Only problem, we started at the wrong end!
Knackered at the end of all this and walked back to our slightly less smelly apartment and gobbled some of the breakfast supplies for dinner, too tired to go out!