Here at the Wall – Berlin

9th May 2008

Ok what the hell do I do with 12 hours in Berlin! I actually opted to do an organised tour for once which was free. I marched myself down to Unter den Linden U-bahn station and waited for the guide at Starbucks. There were quite a lot of us, and our guide was an Irish girl named Avril.

Our first stop was the Brandenburg gate which was a real sight and the Riechstag, German parliament house. We also saw where the Berlin wall used to actually cut off where modern roads now connect Berlin. I had my photo taken with one foot either side of the wall. We then went and saw the Holocaust memorial, which as quite an interesting piece of modern art.

We also visited this car park, which apparently had Hitlers bunker under it (the guide told us modern day Berliners bring their dogs here for a shit. Quite funny) and then walked to the HQ of the Luftwaffle. We saw check point Charlie and I had my passport stamped with the visa stamp of East Berlin. I stopped for lunch and had Currywurst and Pomme Frites and then re-joined the group.

We then went off to museum Island where we were told the story of how the Berlin wall came down. Avril was really good and I marvelled again at how this person who I had never met showed more passion and enthusiasm than any university teacher I’ve had. I made sure to give her a good tip. She had also left us right outside the Berlin Museum, where I immediately went and saw the bust of Nefertiti, which was the entire reason I had come to Berlin. Sounds funny to go to Berlin to see Egyptian stuff, but oh well that’s me.

I also managed to get to the Pergamon museum after paying a hefty 10 Euro to get in, but it was worth it because not only did they have the Pergamon relics, but they also had the gates of Babylon, I’ve now been to or seen all 7 Wonders of the Ancient World. I left the museum and had a quick Icee outside and walked back to Unter den Linden, where I got the U-bahn back to the hostel, grabbed my stuff and immediately left for the airport.

I got my sleazy jet (easyjet) flight with no worries, except for the fact that German security questioned my teddy bear (his papers were not in order), and landed in Izmır at about 1am Turkish time, I then had to wait for my connecting flight to Istanbul for about 2 hours. I was picked up at Ataturk airport and then driven halfway to Istanbul before turning around to get to the International departures, we got there picked up no one and waited around for half an hour, yeah I’m still scratching my head on that one.

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