Tuesday, June 4, 2013

June 3, 2013 Day 63 Berlin, Germany

June 3, 2013 Day 63 Berlin, Germany
I haven’t been interested in blogging lately.  It may be the weather.  It has been so cold, and rainy, and damp in Berlin that I just haven’t been into doing too much lately.  If we had gone on the Danube River Cruise this year instead of in 2010, it would have been a miserable experience I fear.  Water is high everywhere.  The roads between Munich and Salzburg are now closed so we would have had to punt if we had scheduled them for earlier in our current trip.  Prague is underwater.  So far the River Spree is ok. 

It probably sounds like we haven’t done very much in Berlin.  That is actually not the case, but we have been more into the “living in Berlin” experience than being tourists.  Bill calls it “just wandering around”. Yesterday was so cold and rainy that we did absolutely nothing, but I must admit to being really tired of CNN and BBC which is all we can get here.  I am looking forward to English television. 

Some of the things we have done while in Berlin are: a ride on Bus #100 – the poor man’s hop on/hop-off bus which shows all the major sites for the price of a bus ticket; went to the Berlin Zoo,  went on a four-hour walking tour with a guide.  Since we are seniors, they only charged us 5Euro for the walk since we had just had lunch in a restaurant that offered a 50% discount on the tour.  We spent five hours in the German History Museum.  As you know, we spent three days in Stolzenau and two days at the Kreuzberg Carneval de Kulturen.

On Saturday, we finally met our lovely friend Denise and her boyfriend Nicky at her apartment in a little town called Motzen.  Her Mom Margit and Dad Karl were able to join us for kaffee und kuche (coffee and cake).  Her Dad had triple by-passs surgery just three weeks ago so we were very pleased to see him.  We celebrated Nicky’s birthday and since we weren’t sure if we would see Denise and Margit again and they have birthdays coming up also, we celebrated their birthdays as well.  We had to bring a suitcase for all the gifts.  Nicky was kind enough to take us all the way back to our apartment since I know we would have gotten lost.  It took a bus, two trains, and a car to get to Denise’s apartment and we were bozos all the way.  We kept misinterpreting the train schedules. 

For those of you who know Denise, her apartment is just like her.  Shoes and OPI nail polish figure heavily in her decorating scheme.  Her color palette is lovely, and I completely forgot to take pictures.  Where was my head? 

I’ve found that living in Berlin is very different.  Reminders of the war and the Berlin Wall are everywhere, but there is a wonderful young vibe.  The Germans have owned their part in the past atrocities well.  All museums related to the war are free.  There is an exhibit in the Deutsches History Museum called Zerstorte Vielfalt ( Destroyed Diversity) which chronicles the years from 1933-1938 and theNazi’s determination to annihilate those who didn’t fit their idea of perfection:  Jews, homosexuals, gypsies, mentally and physically handicapped.  Forty other exhibits around Berlin also speak to this unspeakable period in history.  We think that something like this can never happen again, and yet, being forced CNN junkies, we realize that genocide and war is happening all over the world.  Has it really ever stopped?  Why can’t we just all get along?

Plaque on Bebelplatz where Nazis burned books in 1933.

Berlin Cathedral

Elephant Gate at Berlin Zoo
Only my sister Sandy will understand the significance of the  beauty of this rest room door.
RIP Marcelle Schlosser
Brandenburg Gate

Here's a shout-out to the Nold Family.  I found the factory listed below on-line in Berlin  and we go
by this sign to Nolder Platz at the S-Bahn station almost every day.  
Hey Nold Family - we have our own place in Berlin.

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