Monday 24 July 2017

Breakfast is a little like dinner the previous night and is inevitably a buffet.  It is good on all of the cold options but a little lacking in variety on cooked items.  Several styles of egg, but only one type of sausage and no bacon!  Good coffee though (but not perhaps damn fine coffee).

This morning is a three hour coach tour of the major local sites in Berlin.  Our first stop is at the short remaining portion of the Berlin Wall seeing it from the now decorated eastern side.  The decoration is explained here.  Although the Wall has been largely removed the route it followed through Berlin is delineated throughout the city by a twin strip of pebbles which marks the space it occupied through the streets.

Moving onwards our next halting point is the remnant of the infamous Checkpoint Charlie – really just a photo opportunity.  As the tour continues we briefly move into the former Allied occupied sector (West Berlin) which in the period between 1961 and 1989 saw many of the facilities in the former city become duplicated – two zoos, two opera houses etc.  We are driven through the Tiergarten before a stop at the Brandenburg Gate, that great symbol of Berlin.  It was here that the television scenes of the people dismantling the wall in 1989 were so powerful as the former East Germany effectively collapsed – along with much of the Communist system as we have previously seen in south east Asia.

We return to the hotel and try to upload some photos but the software on my phone simply does not seem to want to do as instructed.  This Lenovo / Motorola has different software to my beloved Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and this is the first time I have tried uploading on it.  Another learning curve to reach the right solution.  (The right new way of doing uploads was eventually identified!).

The photographs from this morning are here.

Then we wander out the same way as yesterday and find a restaurant selling curry wurst.  We share a small portion consisting of a sausage, pronounced dodgy by Jackie, covered in ketchup which has been slightly spiced.  Jackie largely eats the fries and sauce whilst I eat the sausage.

Our restaurant was at the rear of the catholic cathedral and from there it is a simple meander into the Museum Quarter which we do emerging by the Opera House, opposite which they have just started rebuilding a former palace which will become the Humboldts Museum.

The photographs taken during this meander are here.

In the evening we again walk over to the TV tower and after some problems with tickets we make it to the revolving restaurant for our planned dinner.  Over about an hour we steadily rotate watching Berlin beneath us.  It seems that during the sixties many cities believed having a rotating restaurant way up a tower was a very good idea.  Only the BT Tower in London seems to fail to appreciate that it remains a good idea!  Views across the city are good and we can see down to the Brandenburg gate and the river Spree beneath us is also busy.  My photos are here.

This is my rather nice main course of Stone Bass.

When we emerge the promised rain has arrived – but it is only a spattering as we walk back to the hotel and into the ground floor bar again.  This time due to a lack of normal seats we remove our shoes and sit in the padded cabin area previously mentioned.  Certainly comfortable enough to go to sleep.

Time to move on tomorrow.