Denise and David in Europe 2016
October 24-26
  Germany - Berlin part 2
last updated 26 October 2016
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Monday 24 October - Berlin day 3 - Berlin Attractions

Second day of sites in Berlin.  The domed building below is one of the few that survived WWII bombings.

View 1 of Berlin from another perspective.  Top of the Potsdame Platz Observation deck.

View 2 - a green wedge where the wall used to be.

View 3 - the oldest church in Berlin.

View 4 - the Berlin Philharmonic Building (the gold ones)

View 5 - Streets - nice and wide with lots of trees.

View 6 - The iconic volcano top of the Sony Building that represents Mt Fuji.

Our next stop - pictured below more of the Berlin wall located in front of the Topography of Terror Museum, which is just out of view to the right.

The Topography of Terror Museum is a museum all about the rise and fall of the Third Reich and all the atrocities in between and who was responsible.  The article below pretty much sums it up.

Next stop as we round the corner on foot 'Check point Charlie' 

Signage at 'Check point Charlie'

and

Checkpoint Charlie (or "Checkpoint C") was the name given by the Western Allies to the best-known Berlin Wall crossing point between East and  West Berlin during the Cold War.

Pictured below is Berlin Cathedral - quite impressive.

Pictured below is the Holocaust Memorial.  But not only Jews were exterminated so were the mentally ill and physically disabled, homosexual, Jehovah Witnesses and other types of religious behavior that was not "favourable", in fact anyone who was considered of no use!
 
Between 1941 and 1944, members of the SS and Wehrmacht, German police and local volunteer forces murdered over two million Jews, 30,000 Italians, and 17,000 psychiatric patients in the Soviet Union. The victims were either given 'special treatment' (i.e shot, or asphyxiated in so-called gas vans).

Finally what we had been waiting for...  The Brandenburg Gate.

The Brandenburg Gate is an 18th-century  neoclassical monument and one of the best-known landmarks. It is built on the site of a former city gate that marked the start of the road from Berlin to the town of Brandenburg an der Havel.

It is located in the western part of the city centre of Berlin.   The gate is the monumental entry to Unter den Linden, the renowned boulevard of linden trees, which led directly(at the other end of the boulevard to the royal City Palace of the Prussian monarchs.

Pictured above - On the insides of the pillars some interesting sculptures.

Here we are enjoying our day at the front of the gate.

A close up of the bronze statue on the top of the gate - a  chariot drawn by four horses. The new gate was originally named the Peace Gate and the goddess is Eirene, the goddess of peace.

Our last stop for the day the Reichstag.  This is where the government do their thing.   We were hoping to go in but were informed that if we did not have an 'appointment'  (i.e. a booking) then we could not enter.  They were fully booked until Wednesday and we leave Berlin Wednesday morning so no way will we get inside this building.  It's a bit creepy though... I can just imagine Hitler on those steps long ago with a bazillion people saluting him from the grounds in front.

The Reichstag and grounds.  The dome at the back was an observation deck that is open to the public - only by appointment of course!

We said goodbye to our hop on hop off bus ticket and took a leisurely walk back to our hotel via two of the modern day government buildings.  It was only a few hundred meters away.

Well it was a fun night at the hotel.... suddenly all the buses disappear and 35 police vans roll in and set up road blocks.  We thought there was an attack at the station - but it turned out to be some young demonstrators who do this every Monday night.



Tuesday 25 October - Berlin day 4

Our last full day in Berlin.

How's this for a shop?

The Jewish Museum - The Holocaust Tower

Some information ...

Ancient texts follow...

The Torah containing the first 5 books of the old testament.

Star of David lantern 18th Century.  Is lit just before the beginning of the holy day of Shabbat.  This lamp originated in the middle ages.

The corridors of the Berlin Jewish Museum.  It was a nightmare to navigate.  Everything was at an angle and the floor sloped this way and that way too.  Very disorientating.

We ended up spending about 4 hours or more in the museum..... yes we eventually did find our way out.

Pictured below is a view from the 203rd floor of the TV Tower.  It was a bit foggy but not as bad as the day before and this was our only chance to see the views from up there.

We enjoyed a non alcoholic cocktail at the 203 Bar.  Delicious!

This is a 360 degree view from the top and it does in fact rotate.  There is a restaurant another level above the bar.

More misty views.  This building featured is Landgericht Berlin Regional court.  Badly bombed during WWII but lovingly restored to its former glory.

Alexander Platz below.  A major shopping area.

The theatre below is where the theatre group Freie Volksbuhne emerged from the labour movement in 1890.  Its purpose was to make theatre accessible for those from poorer backgrounds.

The neighbourhoods of Berlin. Notice how each takes up a whole block and they all have center courtyards.

I phrase from the Jewish Museum that is often here in our family.  We think this phrase is a fitting conclusion to another great day on our holiday.

Farewell Berlin you have been kind to us. 

Wednesday 26 October - Berlin to Prague

9:03 train to Prague from Platform number 1 at Berlin Hbf.  Alarm set for 6:30am followed by a quick breakfast for us.  We were both up way too early.  We are really looking forward to the next leg of our trip - Prague (Czech Republic)  Oh NO.... David doesn't have any Czech-kroners (pronounced checker-onas - local currency for the Czech Republic).



Inside our fast train.  And boy did it pick up speed today.  We have found one thing.  It is really hard to take photos out of a dirty train window that is going 280 kilometers an hour!  So for give us if some of our photos today are looking a bit grainy.



Countryside along the way.



Country town .... still in Germany.



Not far from Dresden the terrain and the housing starts to change.



You have to be quick to take these happy snaps.  On this train blink and you miss them.



Our train follows the river Elbe until we get to Prague.



This marks the Czech and German border.



We are now in the Czech Republic!

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