Spandau (not the ballet) and back

Trip Start Sep 24, 2012
Trip End Nov 02, 2012

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Flag of Germany  , Berlin,
Friday, October 26, 2012

Michael is in a huge travel debt again today, after getting us lost and 'penny/euro less' today, but we had fun anyway. To see another side of Berlin we had headed off to Spandau; and town about 45 minutes out of Berlin centre. We went on the 'scenic route' (read not the right way and had to find another route) and on arrival found that out here you could not change money if not a bank customer (michael is in charge of money change). So with 5 euros to our name we just had enough for entry to the Spandau Citadel. This is the oldest and only still standing fortress in Germany. Originally there was 500 , then 3 kept in use until the 1900's, and now only Spandau. Spandau town is much older than Berlin, starting in the 12 C when St Nicholas church was built.
Spandau Citadel has had a colourful recent history where it housed prisoners under Nazi rule before the camps, them the centre for chemical experimentation during WW2, then it housed prominent war crimes prisoners including Albert Speers (Hilters architect) and Herman Hesse until he died in 1987.
The Spandau fortress in under a lot of restoration; as in so much of Berlin, but has a range of displays and the fortress walls and waterways to explore. We saw the Commanders House museum, the Arsenal Museum, the Italian courtyards, and the views from lookout posts. I loved the suburb display of military helmets over the decades and was interested in the confronting chemical testing item displays. E.g. Gas masks for babies and infants.

Berlin shops needed some exploration and our minds needed some lighter relief. So the late afternoon was spent back in town where I managed to purchase some new walking shoes. Very comfortable.
Tonite we had the best German style dinner, with various meats and vegetables and not a stodgy dumpling in sight.
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