Hello from East Berlin, Germany (compiled from emails sent Oct 26, Oct 29, 2004)Note: You can click on each pic to get a bigger image if you wish.

Guten tag!

Well, here I am in Berlin. Mats’ brother Bjorn has a flat here and was nice enough to let Mats and I stay here. I didnt get any sleep at the airport although it
looked like everyone else was. I tried to sleep on the plane, but it was only an hour and a half flight, and the seats are a little smaller
and less comfortable on Ryanair planes.

Made it to Germany...finally..me by the Sprey river

It was a little confusing and panicky when I first got in, many people here speak English, but I couldnt seem to find the ones that did to get proper directions to get on the correct train so Bjorn could pick me up. I met a nice fellow eventually (who happened to be the CEO of a big biotech company here) who helped me throughout the process. The train I was on broke down (Er ist kaput!) and I needed to switch trains 6 times to get to where I was headed, so I was lucky to have someone who knew what was going on.

Bjorn and Mats, my hosts..

Once I got to Bjorn’s I had a much needed 3 hour nap until Mats arrived from Sweden. We went out and had some Turkish fast-food, did some sightseeing visiting the Reichstag (parliament off and on since Hitler’s time),

The Reischstag

and the Brandenburger Tor – which is a large archway over the street simular to Champs Elyses in Paris. (was also a part of the Berlin Wall at one time)

The Brandenburger Tor

and in the evening some of what little is left of the Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charlie, one of the more well known East-West Berlin crossing checkpoints.

Near Checkpoint Charlie

Mats’ brother met us for dinner at an Arabian restaurant after this. Mats insists I eat all the crazy food out here to get a feel for how things really are, so I don’t argue with him. We then went to several different bars (including a very strange ‘multisexual’ bar geared toward a welcoming attitude to people of all sexualities) – I really got messed up. It was a
good time.

Department store with the old family name..neat

This morning we have been out to the Jewish museum which covered a lot of history on the Jewish people from the time they arrived in Germany
near 960AD until present day.

Inside the Jewish museum. You are asked to walk on the steel faces - an expression of the horror of the huge loss of Jewish lives during the War

After we went to a little diner for currywurst (yes, sausage covered with curry, was ok) and did a little more walking around. I got to see the very neat area around the Berliner Dom (church) and we moved back to Bjorn’s for a little nap before going to watch the soccer match tonight.

The Berliner Dom

Berlin itself is very visually interesting and contrasting. The area Bjorn lives in is very graffittied with political slogans and other things, somewhat run down and a haven for loads of Turkish people and what Mats and Bjorn would call alternative people – basically similar to the young adults living in the Nutana area of Saskatoon.

Grafitti just outside Bjorn's flat. Fight US Imperialism!

But hopping on a train or doing a little walking can take you into beautiful parks with huge bronze fountains, or new high rise structures and trendy restaurants and expensive shops, or huge open university areas with Rome inspired architecture and gold capped massive churches. It is really something to see!

Baaaa!

I am looking forward to the rest of the trip, Mats and I will travel south tomorrow to Weimar, and Wiesbaden, his home town. I am hoping to head back to London by Monday and take some time off traveling for a while again, and maybe find some work.

Editor’s

The Mats fellow I refer to in this entry was a work intern at Saskatoon from Germany I got to be good friends with. He
definately showed me a good time while I was in the Vaterland.

Advertisements