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Had a great time here in Berlin.  I had only 3 days to see what I could, but I’m sure I could easily spend 3 months seeing all that I’d want to.

My first day here, I wanted to visit Checkpoint Charlie, the only remaining border crossing between what was East and West Berlin.  If you go there, you can get your passport stamped with 15 stamps for places that no longer exist (for 10 Euro).  There’s a picture of this in the photos below.  I then visited the Asisi Berlin Wall Panorama exhibit.  This was possibly the most emotionally moving exhibit of all the ones that I saw during my visit.  It captured for me a vision of what life was like on both sides of the wall when it still stood.

I then walked down the road and happened upon the Stasi Museum, which, being free to enter, I visited.  I got a good impression of what life was like when the Stasi were active, although there were many exhibits with no English translation.

Down the road from this was the Topography of Terror Exhibit, and outdoor exhibition which included graphic depictions of the actions of the Nazis during WWII and how Adolf Hitler rose to power.  It was right below (beside?) a stretch of the wall that has been preserved for historical reasons.

I then made my way towards a chosen destination, picked out of TripAdvisor, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. But I didn’t quite make it there yet.  On the way, I happened upon the Science Center Berlin, a small museum about the body and how it moves.

Finally I made it to the Memorial.  This is approximately the size of a city block, consists of 2,711 concrete slabs, each one approximately the shape of a casket, no two the same height, and many slightly tilted.  The overall effect of the sight is unnerving, uncomfortable.  The ground the stones stand on is uneven, when you go down and walk among the stones, you never quite feel “right”.  Because of how they’re laid out, you can always see out of the exhibit.  Beneath the memorial is a small museum with more detail and stories from survivors and their families.

Figuring that was quite enough depressing stuff for one day, I headed home to plan my next day.

The next day, I went on a guided e-bike tour recommended by a couple of my friends.  The tour was through Fat Tire Bike Tours and because we were on e-bikes, we got to see a pretty good selection of sights of the city.  It was a 6 hour tour, and we rode around 26km.  We returned to a few of the places I visited on my first day, but the tour guide was able to give us a lot more context and information about each site than I’d previously gotten.  Our guide, Neil, was excellent.  Perfect English, easy to get along with, funny, and informative.  We visited more places than I’d care to review here, but my favorite was the old Tempelhof Airport.  Used extensively during WWII, now shut down and turned into a city park, I got to ride my e-bike balls out as fast as I could down a real airport runway.  I’m not setting any land speed records, but it was sure fun.  The pedal assist cuts out at 27 kph, but I got it up to 38.1 kph before I had to slow back down.  This tour was far superior to any of the bus tours that I’ve been on!

Saturday I went on a wander directly from my flat.  I went to Prater Beer Garden, Berlin’s oldest beer garden, wandered through a street fair that I found with live music and (of course) more beer, and read my book in a park by a lake for a bit.  I also visited KaDeWe, the second-largest department store in Europe, trumped only by Harrods of London.

Overall, I really liked Berlin and it’s high on my list of “must visit again” cities.  Now I’m off to London!

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