(embrace the spelling errors--no time to proofread)
We were only in Berlin two nights so we had to be efficient with our time. The 5 hour segway tour was perfect. It was one of the scariest things though. We could only go on the sidewalk for pics and to stop for the guide explain things. So we were in the bus lane the entire time with our segways turned up as fast as they could go. Hoping curbs at 25 kilos/hr (not sure how fast that is) was nuts. The driving in Berlin is crazy for starters. The bottom line, Berlin is crazy. I learned so much here. I wish I could crunch out all my thoughts but now not the time. Maybe I will come back to it later.
It is amazing what those in East Berlin went through with the wall from when it was built to when it was torn down. One day they had family living just down the road and the next the Berlin wall and snipers threatening their life if they dared trespass over. And the wall was there for 40ish years. The people now exercise their freeness to the max and and are extremely expressive. Berlin has to be one of the most diverse and artistic places I think I've ever been too. On top of that, there is so much to see and so much to do.
There are three different places in Berlin where the wall is still intact for quite a bit of ways. Other than that there is a brick line built into the pavement showing where it once stood. It's crazy to imagine the wall dividing such a distinct place that gets so much traffic or between two very prominent buildings. Besides those three places where the wall extends for a bit of ways, every so often you will see maybe three feet wide but the standard 10 feet tall with the wall propped up. I don't know if I am making sense... One of the three places where the wall must extend for hundreds of yards is the pics below. It is the artistic section where the city gave the people a chance to graffiti and paint to express what the wall meant to them or what it symbolizes. I thought this was fascinating. Again, some were crazy out there extreme. I just had to keep walking past those. But here were some of my favorite... And the pic above is at a section where the wall stands as it was. People have chipped away at it for souvenirs but you get the feel of how high and the rounded top that is unclimbable. It was a double wall too with the 'death trap' in between the two making it rather impossible to pass.
I thought of the different hands of the people trying to get through.
Loved the color...
There are a few success stories of people getting across the wall. This one explains a famous one of a Soviet government official in the gov. building right next to the wall. They had family to hold the rope he threw on the other side and he sent his family across then himself. It shows how bad off the people were if one of the high ranking officials from the communist party was trying to get across as well. He hid out in the gov. building to do so late at night. There are few buildings built by the Nazi still standing like this one is--gloomy architecture. Here you can see the people cheering him on from behind.
TV tower built during the communism by the Soviets (affter WWII). They were trying to show West Berlin how powerful they were. The sun reflects on it in the day and it displays a huge cross. They spent millions of dollars trying to dull the luster and paint it to where it did not display the cross because no religion allowed under that rule. The joke is that that Pope did a curse of W. Berlin. You can still see the cross reflection today. Cute story...
Crosses are where people died trying to cross over to the other side.
My lover being silly. Someone's segway broke down so the guide was working on it. Everyone was bored and tired at that point, so Andrew did a Segway talent show. I love him!
The Jewish memorial is amazing! It is a huge monument on some of the most amazing real estate in the city. It leaves a lot of room for interpretation for ones self. There were a few controversial things when building it. 1. They discovered a Nazi bunker beneath when building it. Some didn't want it there anymore. But the entire city was Nazi at one point so that proceeded. And they used an expensive anti-graffiti spray on the tombs because there is so much graffiti in town. They realized later that the company (I forget the name but you might recognize it) they hired to paint them was the very company that had supplied the gas at the concentration camps. It was too later to change it though so they donated the work for free.
Postdum Palace I think it was. In the town where treaty signed dividing up Germany.