The Wall

Trip Start Apr 04, 2013
Trip End Apr 20, 2013

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Flag of Germany  , Berlin,
Thursday, April 18, 2013

Success....I finally found a coffee shop that served good coffee here. In Italy there were coffee shops everywhere, but near where I am staying in Berlin there are very few. It's a great way to start the day.

Today there are four things on my to do list that I would like to accomplish and the rest of the day is to go wherever I find myself. I want to go to the dome of the Reichstag building, see the longest still standing potion of the wall, eat some local fare, and participate in a late night pub crawl.

First I had to tackle the transit system. My feet can't handle another walking day like yesterday so off to the nearest S or U Bahn station. While it was extremely complicated to figure out at first, it is extremely quick to get around the city. They have a great system and is hard to imagine how they planned and built it all. I wish we had something like this in Atlanta. Everyone here can easily get where they need by either walking or taking public transportation although there are still many cars on the road here as well. But without the tram system I have no idea how they could possibly handle all the traffic.

With transit tackled, I first headed to Reichstag. This dome is free to tour but you must have a reservation. Unfortunately the parliament is in session so there are no tours today or during the day tomorrow, so I signed up for the first available slot tomorrow at 7:30 pm. It gets dark late here so I am hoping that time slot is great for a sunset since you can see great views from the dome.

The next stop, East Side Gallery. A great portion of the wall stands freely here. I was surprised to hear at one point after the bulk of the wall came down, this section of the wall was painted over in white and then later the original graffiti artists were asked to come back to reprint but many did not. I wanted to make sure that I allowed some time to look at the wall because they are planning on bringing the rest of the wall down to build condos and retail. Looking at the various panels painted was an array of different styles and messages. You could almost spend several hours here just walking along the wall and taking pictures.

The remaining hours of the early evening are more relaxed with a few drinks and dinner. Around 8:30, the pub crawl was starting to....crawl. With this specific tour, there were only 6 of us so things never got too crazy. Since it was a smaller group, we got to go to more exclusive spots and drank among the locals. The tour started and stopped at local pubs and ended at a club in Mitte. The club had a DJ playing music from the 80s and 90s which I liked but the younger ones on the tour weren't impressed. I think they were hoping for a rave type club but this one suited me just fine. At 3 am we decided for a quick bite at the hamburger stand next door and called it a night.
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