Thursday, July 19, 2012

Berlin Rain or Shine

What better way to start the day than with a false fire alarm at the Marriott! We had to evacuate the hotel at 9 a.m. without our purses. We were anxious to make our 10 a.m. appointment at the Segway place, so when we got the okay to return, we quickly walked up 7 flights of stairs to get our purses, as well as our tickets, umbrellas and jackets.

The tour was scheduled to go rain or shine. That is exactly what it did. The sun came out and the rain came up. It sprinkled, it poured then the sun came out. Then it repeated the cycle. But, when we started out, here at the Marienkirche, the oldest church in Berlin, it was a beautiful day!

By the time we reached the German church at the Gendarmenmarkt, it was raining lightly. Our tour guide, Jack, (far right) was from London, and was really informative and entertaining. He brought new meaning to the term, "You don't know Jack!"

I learned that Checkpoint Charlie was a gate into West Berlin through which trucks delivering goods from West Germany had to travel. I had previously thought Gates A and B were other gates along the Berlin wall.

By the time we reached the safety of the former Luftwaffe (Air Force) building, it was really raining hard. You can see remnants of the Berlin wall  behind Ed in this picture.

One of our stops was the Holocaust Memorial. It was pretty sterile looking on the outside, but when you walk among the concrete blocks it sort of grows on you. It was strangely compelling.

By the time we got to the Brandenburg gate the sun was shiny. Aside from being soaked from the knees down we were in great shape!

We ended our fun-filled Segway tour back at the Alexander Platz. We were lucky to see the sun shining on the TV tower to create a cross. It is called the "Popes Revenge." The last thing East Germany wanted was a Christian symbol on their great new tower, but they never figured any way to make it disappear!

We finished up the day with a visit to Treptower park to see the Soviet tribute to their fallen soldiers. It was a very disturbing celebration of Soviet dominance and superiority. It is a gigantic monument with a man holding a baby and stomping on a swastika. It seemed was more in praise of socialism and the Soviet way than to memorialize the fallen dad.

We got back to the hotel with big plans to play cards and have fun, but we might have to wake up Ed and Crystal to make that happen. Ed says he's getting to old for this!


  1. Yay! You are with Amanda!! It looks like you guys are having lots of fun! Can't wait to catch up with Amanda when you guys get home.

  2. The Seways look like so much fun!