Friday, August 16, 2013

Checkpoint Charlie and WW II History

Awake at 7 am…our clocks are adjusting; made some calls home even though it is late at night there.  By 9 am we were out the door and walking to the bus 200 stop about five blocks away.  We realized later we could have caught the tram that far but the walk was good.  Made us very aware of the bicycles that use the paths along the walkways.  There had to be over 100 of them within the ten minutes that we waited for the bus to arrive.  And, they are people on their way to work!  It’s definitely a main mode of transportation here in Berlin and all over Europe.

On the bus we headed for Potsdamer Platz; from there we started walking towards the Museum.  Along the way we discovered the Sony Center.  There were two walls of an old hotel that were salvaged and under glass at the entrance.  The buildings are very modern and lots of glass!  Suddenly there was Legoland and a large giraffe made of Legos that we took a photo of for Barbara, Jim’s sister, as that is one of her favorite animals.  She’s been asking us if we’d seen the Sony Building and so we were amazed when we spotted it this morning.
Arrived at 10:30 am at the Gemaldegalerie, a Museum devoted to Old Masters from the 13th to 18th century including a favorite:  Caravaggio.  I found a place to sit and Jim enjoyed the Museum for the next hour and a half. 
He emerged about noon and we walked back to the Potsdamer Platz to find the street to several Museums that I wanted to visit.  The first one was the Topography of Terror that sits on the site of the Gestapo Building during the Nazis Reign.  It shows the horrible story of the persecution of innocent victims from 1933 to the end of the war. 
Then we continued walking to Checkpoint Charlie.  The famous entry point from the Russian Sector to the American Sector prior to the Berlin Wall.  Lots of photos and then we headed back to Potsdamer Platz where we caught the Subway to Brandenburger Tor…or Brandenburg Gates. 

We walked past the gates and continued to the Reichstag, the Parliament for Germany.  There was a fire during the war.  When they restored it they built a glass dome on top of the building which one can enter and walk round and round right to the top enjoying the views.  But, you need a reservation and the line was long so we enjoyed it from the outside!
We found the Memorial to victims that were killed trying to escape over the wall and nearby a “WRUST J   where we purchased a large German hotdog on a bun with drinks! 

Our day of touring was over and we headed back to the Subway, made one change and we were back at Alexanderplatz.  We enjoyed the fair that has been going on for the last few days and then caught the tram home. 
Arrived about 3:30 pm and have been enjoying some quiet time before we go out to find some German Pizza for dinner.  Tomorrow we catch the train at 1 pm for Dresden.

Below is the link for the slideshow:

No comments: