Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Berlin: A walk with Tour Guide Beth

The National Centre for Curry Wurst
 An uneventful flight except for a screaming child in 4D and we were soon on a bus out of Tegal into Berlin centre. 

A train at the Hauptbahnhof takes us to just outside the centre to the older eastern part of the city. The Michelberger Hotel is full of the fit and trendy so we are quickly at home. 

We unpacked and back on the train to Hackesher Markt and into arms of a Curry Wurst, delicious with 0.4l of Lubzer Pils.

 The balance of the day, apart from Lidl just across from the hotel, was the Walking Tour of Berlin. This is an arduous but a great way, in four hours plus, to get a real sense of the city.

Tour Guide Beth marched us gently from place to place. Her prologue delivered on the bank of the River Spee was an eloquent overview of German history; 1200 to the present, this was a colourful scene setter.  

Onwards with Beth, Museum Island and which museum contained what, the Cathedral and then a long perambulation down the Unter den Linden with various stops for enlightenment. This wide street is typical of the city's 'statement layout' with plenty of space for parades, marching and such. 

Berlin is a city where architects continue to have a go.  Across from the cathedral the new city hall is being build amongst much controversy. This is a city of contrasts, neo-classical, baroque and post-modern nudging against each other, interrupted of course by some glorious fascism-style buildings.

Cranes and such   Berlin
Beth gets us to the Brandenburg Gate, her informative narrative and dates still flowing. Turning sharp left we are we confronted with the monument to murdered Jews in Europe and given the run of the place for twenty or so minutes.

This is about an acre of dark concrete blocks of different heights from half to four meters high with narrow pathways between each. As a place it is profound and insistent. My drawing fails to capture the importance of the place.   

Afterwards Beth asks us to explain our feelings about the place. Several times across the tour we are interrogated about our reactions to things we see, a walking tour in not a passive experience with our Beth.

Brandenburg Gate Berlin
We are into the final leg of our trial by Strasse and both my legs are feeling in need of a Lubzer Pils. No matter, we are taken to a car park, underneath which was Hitler's Bunker and a little further to see a bit of the Wall and then to a cross roads, once known as Check Point Charlie, now a place for stalls selling replica East German Military uniforms and medals.

The point of farewell to Beth was a small square close to Stadtmitte U-bahn where two lovely churches face off against each with the Theatre House between them as if to separate them out!

Beth does a neat wrap up. The walk was an excellent experience and Berlin 101, as her card is handed out I look longingly at the entrance to Huasvogteil Plaz U-bahn and contemplate Check Point Lidl.
Jewish Memorial Berlin

Walks are at

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Thank you very much for your comments - Tim