Berlin 3 12.09.2012
Bundestag is not the only place in Berlin where people can touch a bit of political elite life. Bellevue Palace is free for visit (after a brief inspection). It's a President Palace (don't mix with Chancellor). There were so many people who wanted to visit it that I was about to go away because of huge lines. By the first glance I had an impression that I would need at least an hour to go through it (on the picture you can see only part of the line). Fortunately it turned out that it moves really fast and I spent just 10 minutes in it.
All these people came here to visit President palace:
Then I sat on the grass (it was also possible to find a free lounge) and listen to live music. On other scenes in the park there were other groups, but those with classic music were amazing.
After some Mozart music I went to yet another Soviet monument at 17th of June Street. There are real tanks (two of them! :) ). I saw there Russian expat family with a young daughter around 18 years old. She was speaking perfect Russian, but she had issues with reading (the father asked her to read the note on monument, but she slowly managed to read first 3 strings and already was too tired =) ). However it was interesting to listen the story about the monument and World War II from her father.
On the way there I also visited House of the World’s Cultures. The entrance is free (at least if there is no some kind event or exhibition inside). A long time ago government was based there, though nothing special is there nowadays. May be blue prints which are available inside might be interesting for some. And it looks beautiful from the outside:
One of the most famous postwar sightseeing places is The Berlin Wall. Thus I decided to include it into my must visit list. There are several places where I could do it. Far away from the city centre (where almost nothing except the wall, but it's 1.5km long), or at Checkpoint Charlie, which is close to centre and it's convenient to get there by bicycle. The name comes not because of some guy Charlie, but cause of the naming convention: Americans named checkpoints in alphabetical order. So it was Alfa, Bravo, next is Charlie. There is even museum nearby. And soldiers who still are there. Looks like somebody forgot to notify them that the time of the wall is gone =)
Some part of the wall has nice pictures. To be honest it looks like a recent art. Germans didn’t manage to save the original paintings.
Even I didn’t use the public transport in Berlin, I couldn't miss the chance to come inside and see it.
In general there is no much difference from Frankfurt. Well, there was a place where a Turkish guy was selling hot food and beverages right on the station. However it looks like they do it only on loaded station.
As for the rest, there are a lot of monuments through the city.
I even managed to find monument to Vladimir Lenin:
It’s quite crowdy in the city centre. Though there is no surprise here. There are so many places to go out and enjoy your weekend, that you can simply get lost in the choice. For those who is too lase to choose or just tired of all that stuff, you can simply go and relax on the grass in the park:
Next to that place there was a book bazaar. Even some books in English. I didn't find something interesting for me though. The prices were really shopping friendly: I saw books for 2 and even 1.5 euro. Nearby there was a barrel organ player. However it was not a single place in Berlin where I saw a guy like this.
Streets in the city are clean and tidy. There are many beautiful old buildings. What really surprised me, this buildings do not crumble or fall down into ashes:
Some Germans are saying that they are more successful in bicycle integration than Danish people. I haven’t been in Denmark yet, so can’t really check that, but here the environment for bicycles is extremely good. That’s why so many cyclists are on the roads. Here is a photo of promised group bicycle:
There was no much billboards in the city. Or to be more precise I don’t remember huge billboards along the road almost at all. Just sometimes at traffic lights. Even on it it’s an advertising of a museum, but not of yet another thing to get thin. By the way, about the traffic lights. All of them are equipped by a special button to speed up switch to a green for a pedestrians. The most amazing thing about it: it works =)
Some street photos:
Here is again Brandenburg Gate and the train station in the late evening. I was waiting for my overnight train to Frankfurt there.