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  • Day4


    October 8 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    Wir haben mal „zweimal Einheimisch“ bestellt. Da poltert der Busfahrer: „einheimisch bin ikke hia. Eene aussterbende Rasse!“ - dann weiß man auch gleich was los ist. Aber alles mit einem lächeln. Berlin ist bis jetzt sehr freundlich.

    Ein Gutschein für eine Touribus Rundfahrt ist und bleibt immer ein super Weihnachtsgeschenk.
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    Touribus ist ‚must have‘

  • Day15

    A Day in Berlin

    December 30, 2019 in Germany ⋅ ☁️ 6 °C

    We arrived into Berlin fairly late by train from Prague. We shared a first class compartment which just managed to accommodate all the luggage.
    Upon arrival we took a taxi to the hotel (about 10 minutes) and then went out to look for a dinner option.
    There were so many options for museums in Berlin that we decided on one only a short walk away - The Berlin Bunker. It was used during the war and the museum included a very extensive story about how Hitler committed such terrible wartime atrocities. We spent about three hours here and then moved not too far away to the Berlin Wall Memorial and Checkpoint Charlie. We had lunch in a close by Irish pub (touristy of course)!
    I had bought tickets for a hop on hop off bus so we headed to Alexanderplatz to try and find the right bus - no so easy due to the size of the place but we managed to find it eventually! From the bus we saw many of the huge buildings and the Brandenburg Gate. We got off the bus at the victory column and decided to walk back to the hotel from there via the Tiergarten (about 45 minutes). Dinner was across the road at a Japanese restaurant and then quickly into an Uber across town to the A-Trane jazz club. We saw a group called Unity 5 who were very good - the place was packed!
    This afternoon we arrived in Copenhagen via an easyJet flight (only 50 minutes). We got the hotel and crashed for a few hours before our New Year’s Eve dinner.
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  • Day13

    Kreuzberg, Berlin

    August 25 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    Another neighborhood in the former East Berlin. I'm told that the largest concentration of Turks out side of Turkey is in Germany, and that is focused in this neighborhood. It seems they were invited after world war 1 to help rebuild due to a lack of workers. The Turks have become part of Berlin to the point where döner kebab was created here and has become the fast food of the city. (And it's good, too!)
    Kreuzberg is also famous for art and music. It is the punk center of Berlin, and the first picture includes SO36, the oldest punk club in Berlin frequented by well-known musicians such as Iggy Pop.
    Berlin is known, too, for alternative housing. The 2nd picture is of the Bethanian. This was built as a hospital in the 1840s and continued in operation until about 1970. It survived world war 2 because it was both a hospital and an important way mark for allied bombers. After it closed, it became a squat house (occupied by squatters not paying rent). Today it's an art space focusing on current social and cultural issues.
    The 3rd picture is another squat house, this one used by one of the groups that made up the Red Army Faction anarchist group.
    The 4th picture is of a tree house built by a Turk using discarded materials. It is on the west side of the wall on East Berlin land. (It's a long story.) It overlooks the wall and the 5th picture. This is of a part of the former no man's land between east and west. Note the wooden playgrounds, a lovely reuse of land with an ugly history.
    The last picture looks across at YAAM: Young African Art Market and club, beach bar, eateries, street art site and more. I had dinner at a place run by a Presbyterian from Ghana. To my friends in Lowell, there were lots of familiar flavors. I thought of you all.
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  • Day47

    Berlin - Prenzlauerberg

    October 11, 2019 in Germany ⋅ ☁️ 15 °C

    Unser erster Spaziergang im Prenzlauerberg führte uns zum jüdischen Friedhof Schönhauser Allee. Wir unternahmen einen eindrücklichen Spaziergang durch den Friedhof u.a. findet man hier das Grab des jüdischen Malers Max Liebermann. Weiter führte uns der Weg vorbei an der Kulturbrauerei durch das lebendige Viertel zum Käthe Kollwitz-Platz.Read more

  • Day3

    Besuch der Museumsindel

    March 2, 2020 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 9 °C

    Heute Morgen ging es zur Museumsinsel. Wir hatten einen sehr guten Führer und zuerst hat er uns von aussen die einzelnen Museen erklärt. Anschliessend ging es zum Pergamonmuseum. Hier sind viele Skulturen von verschiedenen Ausgrabungen aus der Gegend Babylon usw. ausgestellt. Zum Beispiel Ischtar-Tor, Marktor von Milet uva. Der Pergamonaltar war wegen Bauarbeiten gesperrt. Nach 2,5 Stunden sind wir im Richtung Fernsehturm gegannen.Read more

  • Day3


    March 2, 2020 in Germany ⋅ ☁️ 4 °C

    Nachmittags ging es ins Restaurant auf dem Fernsehturm. Dort gab es Kaffee und Kuchen - ausgerechnet Käsekuchen -. Das Lokal dreht sich und man hat eine tolle Aussicht auf Berlin. Abends ging es zum Bufettessen ins Hotel Martim. Danach fuhr die Hälfte zur Philharmonie und der Rest zum Hotel. Zu 5 haben wir uns in der Bar getroffen, Cocktail getrunken und viel gelacht. So schnell vergingen die Tage in Berlin.Read more

  • Day5

    Stasi Museum

    December 21, 2019 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 8 °C

    One has to see it to believe it but the level of intrusion into the lives of every citizen of the GDR is mind boggling.
    The Stasimuseum is located in House 1 on the former grounds of the headquarters of the GDR Ministry for State Security (MfS). The building was erected in 1960-61 as the offices of Erich Mielke, who served as Minister for State Security from 1957 until the end of the GDR.
    On 15 January 1990 demonstrators took over the Stasi headquarters.
    A week later, the Central Round Table, a committee made up of representatives of the SED dictatorship and civil rights groups, decided that a “memorial and research centre on GDR Stalinism” should be established in House 1. When nothing came of this declaration of intent, members of the Berlin citizens’ committee and other civil rights activists took action and began securing the historic site.
    In August they founded the association “Antistalinistische Aktion e.V.” (ASTAK). On 7 November 1990, it opened the Research Centre and Memorial at Normannenstrasse with an exhibition titled “Against the Sleep of Reason”. House 1, later named the Stasi Museum, has been open to the public ever since.
    The offices of Erich Mielke are preserved in their original condition and form the centrepiece of the historic site.
    Since 1990, ASTAK has shown different exhibitions, providing information about the State Security and how its activities affected the GDR population. The permanent exhibition “State Security in the SED Dictatorship,” which the association created jointly with the Stasi Records Agency, opened in House 1 in January 2015.
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    Jenny Day

    I found the whole concept of the Stasi extremely confronting. The idea of friends and relatives spying on each other, secret recording devices, cameras and smell jars restricted liberties, separation of loved ones and deliberate emotional torture of innocent citizens was quite overwhelming. I know Rich would have been a target!!

  • Day2

    Besuch des Berggrün Museum

    March 1, 2020 in Germany ⋅ ☁️ 5 °C

    Nachmittags fuhren wir wieder zurück nach Berlin und besuchten das Berggrün Museum. Die Sammlung umfasst sehr viele Bilder von Picasso, Klee und Matisse. Sehr gute Führung. Danach wieder zurück zum Hotel.Read more

  • Day5

    Stasi Museum (cont’d)

    December 21, 2019 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 8 °C

    The centrepiece of the exhibition is the office and working quarters of the former Minister of State Security – i.e. head of the Stasi – Erich Mielke. The museum is operated by the Antistalinistische Aktion Berlin-Normannenstraße (ASTAK), which was founded by civil rights activists in Berlin in 1990. It aims to foster the development of the museum as a "centre for the collection, preservation, documentation, rehabilitation and exhibition of evidence and research materials relating to East Germany".Read more

  • Day5

    Plastination Display

    December 21, 2019 in Germany ⋅ 🌙 5 °C

    Plastination is a technique or process used in anatomy to preserve bodies or body parts, first developed by Gunther von Hagens in 1977. The water and fat are replaced by certain plastics, yielding specimens that can be touched, do not smell or decay, and even retain most properties of the original sample.

    Four steps are used in the standard process of plastination: fixation, dehydration, forced impregnation in a vacuum, and hardening.[3] Water and lipid tissues are replaced by curable polymers, which include silicone, epoxy, and polyester-copolymer.
    The exhibition that I saw in Berlin was primarily focused on the human species with many insights around long term health issues that we as humans should be aware of and prepared to manage with better nutrition and exercise habits.
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