Sunday, August 19, 2012

Berlin (or should we say Bear-lin?)

Sandy was up with the birds this morning (that's what happens when you go to bed super early!).
His first stop was... the balcony... and peering through the railing.
Hmmm... this is much greener than London! Lots of trees and grass. The hostel is on a couple of floors of a converted apartment building (hence the big balcony!).
Sandy is very excited to start exploring Berlin but first he needs to know how to pronounce it properly. English-speakers say - "Bur-lynn" - but in German it's pronounced "Bear-leen"... Sandy thinks he can remember that very easily... he'll just think of a lean bear!! Hah-hah... hmmmm... that might not be Sandy bear who has been having far too many hot chocolates lately in order to get wi-fi access!

But that's OK... Sandy did lots of walking today! But first he needed some breakfast... yum!
 There were buns and sausage and cheese and an egg and some veggies... but no honey. Sigh...

One of the first things Sandy needs to learn is how to cross the street - having a tendency to jay walk. These crosswalk signs were originally used in East Berlin but... since the Wall came down, they have migrated around Berlin. You can get t-shirts with this little guy on it... and mugs... and stickers. etc.
 Sandy - this means don't walk...
 And this means walk.

 Another neat thing are some of the manhole covers - which have some of the major sights on them. At 5 o'clock is the Siege Saule - which is a big gold statue thingie in the middle of the Tier Park. At 6 o'clock is Brandenburg Gate (we're going to go there). Then the Fernsehturm (TV Tower - which everyone should know from Sullivan's visit!). Then... the Reichstag at 9 o'clock. And then the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church (old and new versions) at 11 o'clock. Not sure what's at 1 o'clock or 3 o'clock!

Here is Sandy at the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. Yes... it is hard to see - it is covered in scaffolding! Sigh...

Next to it was a windmill (there was some sort of street fair going on). So we took a picture for Hammie and Sullivan!

 Then it was time for lunch - a bratwurst with mustard and some potato salad. Mama had saved a bun from breakfast - so this was yummy!
 We went into the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church ruin. This is how it looked before the war - 1933.
 And this is how it looked after the war. They eventually tore down the part of the right and only left the left art standing - what had been the entrance to the church.
This is how it normally would look without scaffolding. I guess it needs some repair!

Sandy was also on the lookout for mailboxes because he was going to buy some postcards and send them off. We managed to buy the right stamps today and found a post box... They are yellow - which makes them easy to spot.

 In fact - a lot of things are yellow - like the buses...
 And the U-bahn (underground). Which is interesting given that most of these things were red in London!!
 Sometimes the U-bahn is under construction and there are detours with buses... this particular line was under construction back in 2010 when Mama was here the last time.. But then, they use Lego people to do the construction, so it will take obviously take a long time as Lego people have very small wheelbarrows and shovels!! Hah!


  1. Oooh, Beanie will love that manhole cover! He collects pictures of them! It's nice to ravel to Berlin with you!

  2. I LOVE THAT MANHOLE COVER!!!!!!! We started a photo collection of manhole covers but yours is one of the better ones! I wanna go to Bearlin now!!!

  3. @Hammie - maybe one day you'll get to go to Berlin too!

    @Beanie - I thought it was you was collected pics of manhole covers... (and painted cable boxes!)... so far I haven't seen any other ones that look interesting!

  4. great pictures!
    And I was so bummed that the Gedachtnis Kirche was in scaffolding when we were in Berlin. I really wanted to see it. But a friend told us that they're fixating the church so it won't crumble any further.

  5. @Sullivan - yes, I know!! Very annoying! And the Brandenburg Gate has some sporting event taking place in front of it today, so no clear picture of that either. It seems like there is a lot of construction in Berlin...

  6. Beautiful photos Sandy! We want to go to Bearlin now too!