Exploring Berlin on foot

It’s been a very busy, very jet-lagged few days.
The transatlantic flight was fine, despite having to sit in the plane for
three hours at the gate at JFK. (Apparently the baggage routing system
crashed, so they were operating on some kind of manual override.) The
consolation: an entire row of seats all to myself on the plane, yay.
I had a long layover in Zurich, so I explored the town for awhile. It was a
perfect day… 72 degrees and sunny… and Lake Zurich was just gorgeous.
Lots of people were out enjoying the day, having coffee, feeding the geese,
etc. Holy smokes, that town is expensive… and the US dollar/Swiss Franc
exchange rate didn’t help much. Still it was nice to check it out.
Got to Berlin and went straight to my hotel in Prenzlauer Berg to sleep.
Awoke around 3am local time, then researched some local points of interest
online. Had breakfast in the hotel, then set-out to see the city.
I used the public transport system to get into town, then explored on foot.
My first stop was Brandenburg Gate. I guess in the old days, there were a
series of gates through which you used to enter the city. Brandenburg is the
only remaining gate, and it’s a beautiful landmark for sure.
I hopped-on a tourist bus for awhile, and at one of the stops I stumbled
upon “The Story of Berlin,” a multimedia exhibit/museum/tourist trap. (While
there was something to be learned here, I honestly think I would’ve
preferred to just watch a film about the city.)
A few steps away, I came across the Kaiser-William Memorial Church, which
was damaged in a bomb raid in 1943; it’s shown in the photograph here. You
can see how some of the bricks are still missing.
Friday night I ventured to the local bear bar “Woof.” I met-up with a local
gent named Tim (thanks for the introduction, @cpratt and Nick!), with whom I had an
animated conversation while I knocked-down a few beers. We also chatted with a nice Brit named Chris, who I’d run into at Brandenburg Gate earlier. Then I headed back
to my hotel for some much-needed sleep.
Still much to see, still quite jet-lagged, and very excited to be here.
Several day-trips are in the plans, too. More soon.

Posted via Posterous.


~ by Mike Y on August 15, 2009.

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