Today is our last day of visiting in Berlin and it has been getting close to a week since my last posting on the blog. Tomorrow we have an early flight from Amsterdam to Los Angeles, which means that from Berlin we have to catch a super early flight to Amsterdam, which in turn means we have to get up super duper early in order to get to the airport in time for the flight and check in. We have already done our online check-in, all that remains is showing up on time and making the connections. In any case if we manage to make everything work out, we should be back in LA Friday afternoon, seriously in need of a nap.
Linda and I spent our last week visiting a lot of interesting places and for the most part doing things that we have not yet done on our other trips to Berlin. While we did have one day where we did a whirlwind tour of the Museums on Museum island, seeing some of the best of the best sights and some new visiting exhibitions, we did find quite a few new things to do and see. We are also planning a few more new things to go and do in a few minutes as we go out to enjoy our final day.
It might be easiest to cover this last week by working backwards in time, it is the way that it is easiest to remember things for some reason. Yesterday we went to Dresden using a regional train to get us from the main train station in Berlin to the main train station in Dresden. Whilst in Dresden we were able to get to the main attractions by walking. Dresden is a beautiful city, the old town had to be completely reconstructed after the war, but it was done very well. We did have to dodge a few rain clouds, but we were able to work that in as a museum visit interspersed with touring the town, visiting the buildings, and climbing the towers.
|On the train to Dresden|
|Old town - Old Guy - Dresden from the Elbe|
|Grounds - Der Dresdner Zwinger|
|Linda at Der Dresdner Zwinger|
|Linda! Watch out for the snake.|
We were lucky to be able to catch a tour inside the air terminal at Templehof which was built just before the war and was for a long time the larges building in Europe. It was a massive terminal with quite a history as a civilian airline terminal, an manufacturing site for fighter planes during WWII, and the base for the Berlin Airlift during the cold war. It was fascinating.
|A US C-54 (Candy Bomber) used in the airlift|
|Film Storage Room used during the war - burned by the Russians|
|Basket Ball court in the Templehof terminal|
We found a small museum outside of the main part of town called "Das Brücke Museum" ("The Bridge"), a selection from the early 20th-century expressionist movement.
|The Brucke - Emil Nolde|
|Commemorating JFK's speech|
|In front of the town hall|
One other site we did finally get around to finding was the site of Hitler's bunker and suicide. It turns out that it is just a short 5 minute walk from the apartment, just around back actually. It is a study in understatement. There are a few signs that talk about the bunker and the final days, but no permanent markers. The place is being used as open space, a children's park, a parking lot, a place to walk a dog, and in one corner there is an area where a dumpster is parked. It seemed like a good way to use and mark the spot, but you can see why there aren't a lot of pictures of the place, there is absolutely nothing remarkable about it.
We have added several pictures (toward the end) to the Picasa web album for Berlin if you want to see a few of the things we have been seeing.
Anyway, we are going out for our final day of visiting soon, home early to pack and then tomorrow we start our journey home.
We hope you are all doing well,
Stephen & Linda