We awake to our first full day of Berlin sightseeing. Full breakfast at our hotel was surprisingly good and of course Adam uses this opportunity to experiment and try every type of sliced meat and liver pate under the sun, he's quite the happy camper. Driving off the premises and seeing the city in the daylight truly captures the essence of what living in the city under communist rule once was, architecture still captures the essence of minimalist and monothematic "cookie-cutter” high-rise buildings. It’s striking to see the difference in the atmosphere from one side to the other; it’s visibly apparent and quite compelling the differences they underwent when just over the wall life was so different.
Our first stop of the day is the infamous "Check-point Charlie”
. For those unfamiliar with this nickname and without going into a major history lesson, Checkpoint Charlie served as the physical passage from the then GDR (Soviet Germany-East) and Federal Republic of Germany (Allied Germany- West). The Checkpoint was commanded by the U.S. allied forces and served to control passage from communist Berlin into Democracy of the West. Today, this place not only marks history but also has symbolic significance for obvious purpose. At this place, a whole memorial has been established with a block dedicated to chronicle the story of the wall up until its final downfall. It was quite fascinating to become more familiar with all of the events that unfolded less than a century ago and follow it up with a walk to the last standing portion of the “wall”. Our intriguing visit was followed up by visits to various Berlin landmarks mostly government buildings and churches. Our evening was capped off by a delicious meal at a local Indian restaurant, because we can’t wait till we finally visit the country itself. Adam’s plate comes flaming and sizzling; he’s such a show-off! Meal was quite delicious.
Before I finish this off, and on a somewhat serious note I must add that there is one particular public freedom that is not currently a part of the general civilian public life of every German and that it the right to the free use of public bathrooms!?
! Every visit to facilities is accompanied by request for anywhere from .50€ to 1€, I am at least 5€ in specifically on potty visits! I never knew when planning my budget that I’d have to make a line item for bathroom use! It gives everyone back home something to be thankful for! I am skipping my last day of Berlin to step over into our Prague visit, so far the highlight of the trip; until next time.
More details about Prague and Budapest plus pics to come!!!!! (I've been in this McDonalds for over an hour now and ready to go!) Free WiFi is so much tastier than an egg McMuffin.
Laura and Adam