Our first "sight" was well before we reached Berlin's city limits. Steve spotted this monstrosity off the highway as he was enjoying the scenery at 120 mph. I, on the other hand, was watching the road. (yes, Steve was driving) He was so fascinated by it that we had to pull over and stare at it for a few minutes while he considered all of the possibilities of what this might be. We have since asked our neighbor who explained that the East Germans did a lot of mining back in the day just for the sake of mining and they piled the stuff up like this. He said it is not uncommon to see these things here and there. Weird...
A few of the sights within Berlin's city limits.....
Saturday morning, we took a guided walking tour through the city. Since we only had a couple of days, we wanted to get a good overview of the city and see everything even if not always in a lot of depth. We had an excellent tour guide who is also a student working on his PhD in history so he was very informed as you can imagine. The photo above isn't so much a "sight" as it is a small example of the many construction/restoration projects going on around the city. The fall of the wall seems so long ago in my mind (I was 11) but 18 short years later, the process of reunification is still very much a work in progress.
This is the TV Tower where we had dinner Saturday night. It had been recommended to us and it sort of seemed appropriate since it is essentially the Reunion Tower of Berlin. Not so much in a historical sense but in that the restaurant rotates every 20 minutes, providing a wonderful (though fast-paced) view of the city.
The two photos above are a great example of the ongoing restoration of the city. The pillars reflect remaining war damage and the photo below shows where they are slowly filling it in. You can also see at the far end where the ceiling is in the process of being restored, but work has stopped (closer in) due to a lack of funds.
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (completed in 2005)
What remains of the Berlin Wall
"And Tom? While he makes "Valkyrie," a movie no one wants to see, in Berlin, he and Katie make regular visits to the Scientology center there, according to reports. Scientology is considered a cult by the Germans, and it’s because of Cruise’s affiliation that the government has forbidden him to shoot the movie in certain locales."
It rained on us for a bit and we ducked into this chocolate shop to kill some time. The sculptures are of the Brandenburg Gate, the Titanic, and the Reichstag among others that we did not photograph, made entirely of chocolate. I had not had a bit of chocolate in over 5 days (remember, we're SouthBeaching) and I wanted so badly to take a big bite out of the Brandenburg.
Memorial just outside the Reichstag to the politicians that opposed Hitler. They were among his first victims. Each plate contains a name and cause of death, many of which were in the concentration camps.
3,000 year old bust of Queen Nefertiti - the most prized piece in Berlin's Egyptian art collection. This was inside the Altes Museum.