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  • Day5

    WW II Berlin

    August 17 in Germany ⋅ ☁️ 15 °C

    Most of Berlin was leveled by the bombing during the war. So not much is left. The 1st picture is of the bell tower of the Kaiser Wilhelm Church. The rest of the building was destroyed. The tower remains as a reminder.
    The 2nd picture is a beautiful villa overlooking the lake that has a dark history. This is the site of the Wansee Conference where Heydrich laid out the plans for the "Final Solution" for exterminating the Jewish population.
    The last picture shows the foundation walls of the former Gestapo headquarters. I'm told that Stalin ordered all vestiges of the Nazis be destroyed. So, what the bombers missed, the Soviet army eliminated. Hence, not much remains.
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  • Day27

    Φθάσαμε Βερολίνο και το πρόγραμμα έχει επίσκεψη στον ζωολογικό κήπο της πόλης και αργότερα το βραδάκι περπάτημα μέσα στο κέντρο.Σχετικά καλός ο ζωολογικός είδαμε λιοντάρια ,μια τρελαμένης τίγρη και ωραίες μαιμουδιτσες.🙉🙊🙈Read more

  • Day36

    Sunny Berlin

    October 11, 2015 in Germany ⋅ 🌙 7 °C

    It was a beautiful day for our last chance at Berlin. But the weather while gorgeous had a distinct bite to it - especially for a couple of Aussies from North of the border. We had a couple of museums up our sleeves so we managed to mix some time in the brilliant (if chilly) sunshine with some time soaking up some culture.

    The Purgamon Museum on Museum Island was our first stop. We didn't time it very well and had nearly an hours wait, It was quite brilliant inside however, Even considering the Purgamon Alter, which is one of the most famous exhibits is closed for refurbishment and won't be available for the next 5 years, Some of the enormous exhibits they did have included the Ishtar Gate of Babylon (6th century BC)- enormous and colourful as well as the Market gate from the town of Militus a Turkish town of antiquity and many more treasures from the middle east.

    We also made it to the Deutsches Historisches Museum a very interesting collection arranged chronologically to trace and elaborate on the History of Germany from the year 500 to 1994 after reunification,

    Some great photos, but that wind was chilly!!
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    Phil Douglas

    Old Art Museum

    Phil Douglas

    Market Gate of Mioletus

    Phil Douglas

    From Ishtar Gate of Babylon

  • Day31

    Germany, Berlin

    July 8, 2017 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    Our last day in Berlin. We leave for Amsterdam tomorrow. I'm not looking forward to that 6 hour drive. We hopped on the train again today (we are becoming quite expert at this) to go to "Museum Island", which is just that. A precinct of 5 or so museums on an island in the river. The only thing Roger was desperate to see in Berlin was the Ishtar Gate at the Pergamom museum. We had been told that this Museum was closed for renovations but by a fortuitous stroke of luck found that the rooms housing this exhibition were still open. And what an exhibition it was. This "gate" is absolutely spectacular and formed part of the entrance into Babylon so is some 6,000BC old. The photos do not do it justice. The museum it is housed in was built from 1910 to 1930 and the other museums were much older. Renovations both internal and external are an ongoing thing but still there is extensive evidence of damage from the 2nd world war - there are bullet holes in just about every unrenovated external surface. I can't imagine what it must have been like, and what it must have looked like at the end of the war. The precinct is lovely know, beautiful gardens with statues everywhere.

    We had lunch t a Spanish tapas place in the local market square listening to an Aussie girl busking. Tonight we head off to a roof top restaurant (next to the bar we went to) for dinner. The only table we could get was at 9.30. I'll either be starving or drunk by then.
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    Lynne King


    Lynne King

    Berlin was really interesting.

  • Day29

    Germany, Berlin

    July 6, 2017 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    Wow. How good is Berlin? We arrived mid afternoon yesterday and found the hotel, just couldn't get to it as it was surrounded by roadworks. Eventually made it. The driving round and through Berlin is really quite easy (maybe I'm just getting better at it?) they don't seem to have real peak hour. Coming from Prague yesterday was pretty effortless also, didn't have any driving mishaps leaving Prague and once we were on the autobahn the k's get eaten up pretty quickly. It would have been nice though to know that German freeways don't have stops for fuel, food and toilets like all of the other European freeways we've been on. For some reason I suggested we fill up the car before arriving in Prague - turned out this was a good idea. All of our borders crossings have been a bit of a non event except for this one. The Germans have quite a set up at the border and all of the traffic was funnelled into one lane few k's out which made for pretty slow driving. Lots of men in uniforms with big guns randomly stopping vehicles. We got through unscathed.

    On first impression Berlin is a lot like Melbourne. It's different to other places we have been this trip but it is easy to get around and has a nice relaxed feel to it. We booked a walking tour for today, it started t 10am and finished at 4.30, and was advertised as a Walk and Fork tour. We were the only people on it and our tour guide was an expat New Zealand woman who has been living in Berlin for 7 years. It was a fabulous tour that took us for the most part away from the tourist haunts and exploring back streets and trying local eateries. Food we ate ranged from a platter of Lebanese food (it was easily the best I have eaten), some of the more unusual beers that are here with a strange thing called Currywein that came about rather randomly during the war when a housewife apparently bartered spirits for currry powder and then invented a sauce for sausages (Germans apparently think it is quite exotic, just tasted like tomato sauce to us. They do have what our tour guide called a childish palate), New York sandwiches and drinks at a cafe set up in an old Jewish girls school that had a very sad story (there are an awful lot of those in this town) and then fresh cinnamon and apple buns just out of the oven at a local bakery, wrapping up with craft beer from a small brewery. Need less say there will be no more food for us this day!!

    The walk took us through the back streets through parts of what were former Jewish areas. The guide shared many, many stories with us but here's one that I thought quite interesting: embedded in the paving outside a building are small brass plaques with a name and date of when the person was forcibly removed from their residence in the building and where they were sent to, and when they died. The plaques mark the last place that person CHOSE to live. There are 56,000 of them, not all in Berlin, or even Germany. We mainly walked through old East Germany and saw lots of evidence of what hd occurred here. We ended up at a large memorial park, kind of an outdoor museum about the beginnings of the Wall, and its history in a particular street. On this street the houses literally backed up to the beginnings of what would be the wall. The wall appeared overnight sometime in 1961 and the first couple of days and nights these houses provided escape routes to the west through their windows and roofs where people jumped for their lives hopefully landing in nets that the West Berliners were holding. The secret police ( the Stasi) quickly blocked off these houses with the houses all eventually being demolished and becoming the no mans land between the walls. We walked along the former wall and saw some surviving parts. The wall was put up by the GDR on the pretext to keep the west out but effectively cut off families, relatives etc for 30 years. It certainly is a very moving place.
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    Lynne King

    Bunch of desperados

    Lynne King

    Very touching

    Lynne King

    Love this post and the story. Rock on, travellers

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  • Day62

    Berlin: East, West and All Over

    September 29, 2017 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    Bratwurst, currywurst, schnitzel, these are a few of our favourite things .... and German beer. Perhaps we should have started with: our names are Jason and Ricky, we are alcoholics and have been sober two days (maybe not two consecutive days). But all jokes aside, Berlin is known for more than just sausage and beer. It’s famous for its festivals, diverse architecture, contemporary arts and (in)famous for its nightlife: Berlin the party city. Oh, and of course it’s known for lederhosen, which was evident from all the leather shops in Schönenberg. No cow would last long in Berlin.

    But before we could join the party in Berlin, we had to get out of the chaos that is Lisbon airport. Check-in could be likened to a Disneyland ride with its long, snaking lines but without the option to get a fast-pass, and the ride was flying budget airline TAP Portugal. With a hive of activity everywhere, we were alert but not alarmed until we found a lonely bag sitting in the security line. Everyone kept looking at the bag, thinking that if we looked hard enough it might disappear and if we cleared it by a foot it might not explode. Turns out it belonged to someone who was just lazy and couldn’t be bothered carrying it. Crisis averted.

    Travelling from the warm Mediterranean climate of Lisbon, the body had to acclimatise to the cool and rainy weather of Berlin. Unfortunately, we only had one and a half days of sunshine in the party city but that didn’t stop us. It provided a great excuse to party hard – plus it was Ricky’s birthday so double the excuse to miss our alcoholics anonymous meetings. One day, we were house-bound as hurricane winds and rain swept through northern and eastern Germany, devastating many areas and killing seven people. We watched as the nearby trees violently swayed, narrowly missing cars and buildings.

    Before the storm broke out, we were able to brave the cold to visit some of the ironic monuments and places in Berlin. It started with a trip to visit Angela Merkel in the Reichstag (Parliament House) and the Brandenburg Gate, which didn’t seem as impressive in real life compared to the postcard, although it is a national symbol of German unity. Speaking of which, not only did the weather dampen our plans but so did German Unity day and Sundays, when there were no shops open. Oh well, time for another drink and wander around the city.

    Even in the rain, the Berlin Wall is enigmatic and it is easy to see how it has shaped the ethos of the city. It conjures up images of desperate people trying to flee the East to gain freedom in the West, and the many people who never made it. The Berlin Wall Memorial and Checkpoint Charlie gave some insight into life during those turbulent years before reunification. The atrocities committed by the Nazis is covered at the Topography of Terrors and the Monument to the Murdered Jews of Europe but it could have delved deeper into the hideous acts of genocide to remind people and remind them never to repeat history. This may have been saved for the concentration camps, which we avoided.

    On a lighter note (although still influenced by the divide between East and West Berlin) was the street art of Eastside Gallery and Friedrichshain straßenkunst. While East Berlin may have been officially cut-off from the West for four decades, nowadays it’s full of activity and creativity. The party doesn’t seem to end in Berlin. In fact, it seems most people don’t go out until 2am, which was the perfect environment to celebrate Ricky’s birthday, celebrations that seemed to last the whole week.

    Schönenberg, where we stayed, was littered with all kinds of bars, clubs and other entertainment establishments, which made it easy to do the old pub crawl. The highlight had to have been a club in East Berlin, in between Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain, which is notorious for refusing people entry, including Paris Hilton. Admittedly there are different parts to the club and we managed to get ourselves into one of the sections that didn’t seem so selective or maybe we were just lucky. It certainly wasn’t anything that we had experienced before.

    Another experience not had before was the luxury of the Waldorf Astoria, as a special treat for Ricky’s birthday. From heated-floor tiles in the bathroom to the TV built into the bathroom mirror, we had gone from rags to riches. Unfortunately Cinderella had to return back to rags after a night of luxury. Her pumpkin coach turned into a metro train/bus and her palace into a guesthouse - at least this time it wasn’t flowers in the attic.

    Before living it up with the elite rich, we were stationed in the broom closet of a gay guesthouse in Schönenberg, with a bed that was positioned in the attic. For two men 6 foot+, it proved a challenge to get into bed without causing a concussion. While in bed it was difficult to block out the sound of sirens, as police, ambulance and fire engines sped past, playing an almost melodic tune that was slightly off-key and with a key-change midway. But we were in Berlin and nothing, not even the weather, could detract from the experience. Ich liebe Berlin.

    Next stop: Venice
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    Glad to hear you're having a great time. Happy (belated) birthday Ricky🍾. Look forward to hearing about Venice - one of my favourite places. Monica


    Thanks Monica. It's my favourite place too

  • Day31

    Germany, Berlin

    July 8, 2017 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    Spent the day exploring this interesting and just a little bit different, city. I think Berlin is a paradox - it's a bit homogenised, it could be any city in any western country. Visually, there is nothing that makes it stand out. Look from any high point and you'll soon notice the uniformity, the lack of any old, big or tall buildings. There are no cathedral spires on this town. And this is the very thing that makes it different. Scratch the surface, look a bit closer and this is where you see the real difference. Not surprisingly, there is only a smattering of buildings that predate the 1940's....we trained and walked to the Brandenburg gate, there is a lot of history in this area of Berlin. There are stories and old photos everywhere, on boards outside buildings, on boards on pavement outside where buildings once stood, on boards in parks. Just everywhere. There is no sense of hiding from what Germany once was. We were walking along a street and stopped to read one of the many boards to discover it was where Hitlers' bunker was. Just in a street, near a house. We walked on to the Reichstag and had seen plenty of photos on postcards of what it looked like after it had been bombed - to see it now, rebuilt, is quite amazing. It is a huge, dominating structure. It would have made such an impressive backdrop to events that occurred there. To walk those streets and imagine what it must have been like to live there and then after the bombings is confronting but nowhere as confronting as the holocaust memorial we went into. We all know the things that happened but to read the stories of individuals, people with names, it was shocking.
    We decided to walk back to our hotel through the Teagarden, and enormous public park in the centre of the city. It turned out to be quite a hot day after morning rain and a large number of people were taking advantage of the sun with a spot of nude sun baking in the park. Finished our walk with a few drinks on a roof top bar over looking the remains of a bombed out Cathedral near our hotel. It has been restored and left as it was after the war as a reminder. There are plenty of those in this town.
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    Julie Konings

    Oh so cheesy!!!

    The Kings travels

    He loves a cheesy should see some of the others!!!

    Lynne King

    Great post. Have never been to Berlin so was intereted

    5 more comments
  • Day18

    RIU Berlijn

    August 24 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    Dit is een hele rare daktent 😂

    Jeroen Neelen

    Beetje raar, maar wel heel ruim ... Welk merk 'daktent' is dat ... ??? 🤣

    Thomas and Good Old Grey

    Het is een RIU Plaza en het type is Berlin. Formaat is 240 cm breed en ook nog met ingebouwd toilet en douche 😜

    Jeroen Neelen


  • Day9

    Den osmý - Tilicho lake 5040m

    September 15, 2018 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    Vstavali jsme brzy, původní plán byl ve 4 hodiny, 4:30 odchod, což jsme trochu odmítli (pozn. při cestě jsme pak zjistili proč se chodí tak brzy, že je to z toho důvodu, aby bylo dlouho vidět vrcholky), vyrazili jsme v 6:30 směr Tilicho lake a bylo to něco neuvěřitelnýho. Navíc výhledy ráno byly skvělé a bylo vidět spoustu ledovcových vrcholků. A tak to bylo celou cestu až k jezeru. Vystoupali jsme do výšky 5040m nad mořem, k jednomu nejvýše položenému jezeru světa. Nástoupáno jsme měli mejakých 900m, cesta byla spis nahoru a jen v cílové rovince to bylo po rovině, ale t kopce dali zabrat. Začal se styl nádech, krok, výdech, krok, tři kroky a zastávka po minutce, dvou, pokračování. Celých 6 km jsme šli (čti lezli) 4 hodiny.

    Když jsem se nahoru vyškrábala já, tak už část lidí šla dolu a ja najednou dostala nějaký záchvat všech možných emocí, že když jsem dorazila nahoru, tak jsem brečela. Bylo mi lito jeste tech co jsou na ceste, ze zacnou potkavat lidi co uz jdou dolu. Bylo to logické, protože v takové výšce člověk nemůže být dlouho, jen jak jak jsem tam tak došla a vše ze mne spadlo mi to nedošlo :D

    Proběhli fotky a mrk na jezero (které jsem si pak prohlédla ještě na fotkách, nějak jsem si toho moc nepamatovala). Následovala cesta dolu, nevím co je horší. Začali mne bolet palce na nohou jak člověk brzdil, když šel z kopce, cesta trvala asi 2 hodiny, bylo to rychlejší, ale i tak jsme museli dělat přestávky a jít pomalu, přece to nepřeženeme.

    Když jsme dorazili dolu, čekal nas oběd a trocha odpočinku a cesta dál na ubytko, kde jsme předchozí den měli oběd. Čast cesty jsme si pamatovali a byla hrozná, ale ve finále těch kopců bylo víc. Hnala nás dopředu myšlenka koupit si brambůrky Pringles :D jsme prasátka.

    Proběhlo ubytko, sprcha, véča a alou spát, protože bylo potřeba si odpočinout na další den 🏞
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    Martina a Jirka

    Jste skvělí 👍! Já bych tam umřela, navíc to vstávání 🙈. Mějte se krásně, blog je super 😍. Ahoj M.

  • Day37

    Berlin Day 1

    July 21, 2016 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    I find Berlin to be a city of controsts. Old and new; drab and colooful; bleak and peaceful. Some of today's highlights.

    The Berlin Wall was a barrier that divided Berlin from 1961 to 1989. Constructed by the German Democratic Republic (GDR, East Germany), starting in August 1961, the Wall completely cut off (by land) West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin. Small pieces are scattered around the city, and one if the sections still in place is at Topography of Terror Museum.

    Checkpoint Charlie was the best known border crossing during the Cold War. The sign, which became a symbol of the division of Cold War Berlin and read like a dire warning to those about to venture beyond the Wall – "YOU ARE LEAVING THE AMERICAN SECTOR" – in English, Russian, French and German - stood here.

    The Protestant Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church (in German: Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche, but mostly just known as Gedächtniskirche is located in Berlin on the Kurfürstendamm.
    The original church was built in the 1890s. It was badly damaged in a bombing raid in 1943. The present building, was built between 1959 and 1963. The damaged spire of the old church has been retained and its ground floor has been made into a memorial hall.
    The Memorial Church today is a famous landmark of western Berlin, and is nicknamed by Berliners "der Hohle Zahn", meaning "The Hollow Tooth". The walls of the New Church are made of a concrete honeycomb containing over 21000 stained glass inlays. The glass is predominantly blue, with small areas of ruby red, emerald green and yellow.

    Carillon is a large, manually played concert instrument, comprising 68 bells weighing a total of 48 metric tonnes

    Berlin's Siegessäule - Victory Column - is another of Berlin's monuments. The 67m high symbol of victory originally stood in front of the Reichstag in the former Königsplatz and today's Platz der Republik. It was relocated here, in the Tiergarten's main roundabout by the Nazis in 1938.

    The Brandenburg Gate is one of Berlin's most important monuments – a landmark and symbol all in one with over two hundred years of history.
    It was here that in 1987, Ronald Regan issued his stern command to his cold war adversary admonishing him with the words: "Mr. Gorbachov – tear down this wall!". The speech delivered to West Berliners was also audible on the east side of the Gate and echoed President von Weizsacker’s words which translate as: "The German question is open as long as the Brandenburg Gate is closed."

    The Reichstag building is a historical building in Berlin, constructed to house the Imperial Diet (German: Reichstag), of the German Empire. It was opened in 1894 and housed the Diet until 1933, when it was severely damaged after it was set on fire.

    Tomorrow is Day 2 of our Berlin tour....
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Halensee, Berlin-Halensee