Me Tea and Teasac meeting
the Berlin United Buddy Bear
9th 2006 - Day 1 -
a couple of United Buddy Bears on-route to the hostel. The
United Buddy Bears are painted by artists from 120 nations
all over the world. The message of the United Buddy Bears
is "We must live together in harmony and peace".
Me at the Pergamon Altar
wife Tea and daughter Teasac had come too, so we had a real
family day. First we visited the The Pergamon Museum (8
euros) to see the Pergamon Altar. The Pergamon Altar was
originally built in the 2nd century BC in the Ancient Greek
city of Pergamon.
A German archeological team lead by Carl Humann, shipped
the Pergamon Altar out of the Ottoman Empire from its original
excavation site and reconstructed it in the Museum in Berlin
in the 19th century. The Museum also houses other monumental
structures such as the Market Gate of Miletus and the Ishtar
Gate from Babylon. It's weird having these huge ancient
outside structures inside a building in a country not reknown
for being ancient.
World Cup United Buddy Bears
Friedrichstrasse trian station/shopping mall we met smaller
United Buddy Bears representing different world cup teams.
WW2 etched into the walls
We noticed a few bulidings with war scarred walls.
refreshing paddle in the stepped fountain on the green of
Museumsinsel (Museum Island) overlooked by The Berlin Dom
was well needed and the fountain sprayed us. There were
a TV crew filming a young human couple messing about on
a bed on the pavement, the film crew declined my offer to
to let them film me and Tea on the bed.
Can you spot us on the Marx-Engels
Got herring for lunch in the Hackescher Markt by the statue
of the two socialist philosophers, Karl Marx and Friedrich
Red Bull Plane with Berlin
Dom in Background
got some free Red Bull from Red Bull promoters when I spotted
the red bull car near the red bull model areoplane. They
weren't giving it out then but I remembered this in London
so asked if they had any free and we got one.
Here stood Berlin Castle
next looked at the ruins of Berlin Castle which stood from
1443 until 1950. It was badly hit by bombing on 3rd February
1945 during WW2.
Teddy Bear sized car, not
exactly va va voom
paid a quick visit to Peugeot Avenue which had cool cars
on display, there was even a teddy bear sized car.
Linden tree lined Unter den
next strolled down Unter den Linden which is a boulevard
of linden trees (lime trees) The name Unter den Linden’,
means Under the Lime Trees. Berliners would brummel down
the streets of Berlin. To bummel means to cruise the streets.
Marlene Dietrich, Berlin’s ‘Blue Angel’, refined the art
of bummelling when she sang her songs. Even as the Nazis
were cutting down the linden/lime trees she kept singing,
"As long as the old trees still bloom on Unter den Linden
Berlin will stay Berlin."
Me at the Brandenburg Gate
took us to Pariser Platz to the 'Brandenburger Tor' (Brandenburg
Gate) which is the last remaining gate through which one
used to enter Berlin. The gate stands 26 m (65 ft) high,
(65.5 m) 213 ft wide and (11 m) 36 ft) thick. The gate has
served many purposes over the years but I'm not going to
we wandered into Tiergarten Park where the bell tower tolled
musically as we strolled down the riverside sharing ice-cream.
Can you see me at theReichstag's
dinner we went to The Reichstag's dome, which is brilliant.
It is made of glass with a spiral walkway to the top, it
gives excellent views of the city. You also get to look
down on the politicians for a change whilst they are working
in the basement in the conference hall.
the Reichstag we headed back to the hostel. We saw a fox
running down the pavement right in front of us, it was the
equivalent of a fox running down Oxford Street. Back at
hostel and in bed at 11.30 worn out.
10th 2006 - Day 2 -
took the free walking tour of Berlin. The tour picks up
people from the hostels and then sets from Brandenburg Gate
for 4 hours on foot with a 25 min break.
the tour guide was brilliant, he really knows his stuff
and makes it very interesting. He told us so much stuff
about the sights and of Berlin. If in Berlin and staying
in a hostel do this tour. The guides don't get paid but
of course get tips so they make the effort to make it good.
history of the German Mark is really interesting. The guide
gave us Mark notes to look at, a 1 Mark note and a 10,000,000
mark note and others in between They were printed only on
one side as they were worth less than the ink on them.
1923 inflation was so fast and rose by so much that workers
were paid twice a day with sacks of Mark notes. They would
chuck their sacks of money out of factory windows so the
wives could rush to buy food before it escalated in price
by the end of the day. Debra followed this subject up on
the internet and found that a loaf of bread that cost 20,000
marks in the morning cost 5,000,000 by that night and that
the price of a meal in a restaurant rose as one ate it,
(bet that caused a lot of indigestion)!
When economic collapse finally came on November 15, it took
4.2 trillion German marks to buy a single American dollar.
These days it takes about 1.51 German Marks to buy 1 US
next learnt of how on 27th February 1933 a young Dutch communist,
Marinus van der Lubbe, was said to have burnt down the Reichstag
shouting "Protest"! with a fire torch in hand.
He said this was a signal for revolution. When Hitler and
Hermann Göring were shown Marinus van der Lubbe, Göring
declared the fire was set by the Communists and had the
party leaders arrested. Hitler took advantage and declared
a state of emergency. It allowed him to transform Germany
from a democracy into a dictatorship.
Berlins Holocaust Memorial
saw the Holocaust Memorial which consists of 2,751 concrete
Dismal apartment block and
car park bulit upon Hitlers bunker
there we were taken to Hitler's Bunker, (Well at least to
the spot where it used to be). It was what is now flats
and a car park for the flats. It used to have several bedrooms
and a conference room and it is where Hitler shot himself
to death. The cool thing about the area now is that it has
built over it a very ugly block of flats (the last building
phase of the Communist era), an ugly car park and a inferior
patch of grass where locals take their dogs to poo on it,
assumingly on the anniversary of his suicide. (How I wish
I could poo)!
Part of the remains of the
was the Berlin Wall. The wall stood 1961–1989. It was erected
by the East German government along the border between East
and West Berlin, and later extended along the entire border
between East Germany and West Germany. It was erected to
prevent East. Berliners commuting to the West at a time
of growing tension between East and West.
Only small sections of the wall remain and there have been
road bricks put into the road and pavement following the
line of where the wall once stood.
Me at Check Point Charlie
real checkpoint was torn down when the wall was knocked
down. However, it was rebuilt as a tourist attraction.
Charlie became a symbol of the Cold War, representing the
separation of east and west, and - for the East Germans
- a gateway to freedom.
is Cafe Adler just by Checkpoint Charlie. The cafe used
to be a hangout for spies and cold war journalists. Also
famous movie stars such as Sean Connery and Liza Minelli
used to come here while researching their roles as it was
the closest they could get to East Berlin at the time.
Concert Hall on Gendarmenmarkt
Square, which is beautiful. It is surrounded by, a French
and a German Cathedral and a concert hall. In its center
is a statue of German's famous poet Friedrich Schiller.
There is a statue in the Square in front of the Concert
hall, (which you can just about see between me and the first
musical note). The Conductors line their backs to the statue
Bebelplatz Sq. Once the scene
of Nazi book burning
we walked to another square, Bebelplatz. This was once the
site of Nazi book burning. The Nazi burnt books written
by Jews, Communists and those that opposed them.
statue of Friedrich Wilhelms
is a statue of Friedrich Wilhelms, a Prussian army Captain.
From here we paid a quick visit to a statue of Mary and
Jesus which was housed in small building with a round hole
in the roof that lets the sun shine down upon it.
we head towards Museum Island we see the very tall Berlin
Fernsehturm (better known as TV tower). Completed in 1969
it stood 365 metres high. However, after the installation
of a new antenna in the 1990s, the height is now 368 metres.
The round bit had been decorated to look like a football
for the World Cup.
Berlin Dom with TV tower
told us lots more interesting stuff on the top of the steps
of The Altes Museum on Museumsinsel where the tour concludes.
The Altes Museum, constructed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel
in 1830, was the first museum building on the island and
it was followed by three other buildings up to 1930.
made a quick visit to the History Museum (not on the island)
where we saw a photo exhibition of all the world cups, but
other than that there was nothing else to see.
This bear is just too damn
quivered with fear as I sat on the arm of a giant teddy
bear outside a shop.
to the hostel for dinner and Debra to shower and change
for the Gary Numan concert we were here to see.
Me at the front at Gary Numan
gig at Club Maria
concert was at a club considered very cool, why, I couldn't
see but the concert was fab and Gary spoke to me saying
"Hi there" as he waved at me where I stood on
the stage in front of him. The music after the gig was too
much for Debra and her sensory overload, even with her earplugs
in so we called it night and headed back to the hostel.
It was nice seeing Gemma (Gary's wife and Numanoid) and
nice meeting Richard and Ade and having my photo with them
11th 2006 - Day 3 and
departure day - Potsdam
Park on Freundschafts-insel
(Frienship Island) with Nikolai Kirche in background
did a day trip to the beautiful Potsdam. Our first visit
was to Freundschafts-insel (Friendship Island) and then
over the River Havel to Nikolai Kirche. Potsdam has beautiful
buildings, parks, woods, lakes and river.
Part of Schloss Cecilenhof
Neuer Garten park is Schloss Cecilenhof (Cecilienhof Palace)
which was erected 1914-1917 for Crown Prince Wilhelm and
his wife Cecilie von Mecklenburg-Schwerin.
The architect, Paul Schultze-Naumburg was was inspired by
the English Tudor style. From 17th of July to 2nd of August
1945 the Potsdam Conference negotiations between the victorious
Allies of World War II were held here. The Cecilienhof is
the last palace built by the Hohenzollern dynasty.
Me, Tea and Teasac Helliger
strolled around aimlessly taking time out to sit every so
often to take things in at Neuter Garten with it's beautiful
Meeting a Rhodesian Ridgeback
met some nice people and dogs on our walk and had a nice
ride on a tram back to the station to get beck to Berlin
to pick up Debra's rucksack for our flight home.
Got home soon after midnight and told all the other teddies
about what a great time we all had.