Tour Day + 7

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This morning we awoke, had breakfast and then departed from the hotel on a 2 hour tour – on the SS Minnow – anyone??  Really we were on a bus tour of Berlin with our guide Katerina.  She was able to fill us in on a number of facts and figures about Berlin both before and after the wall came down.  She is a native West Berliner and we talked through that ich bin ein Berliner thing thoroughly.

We made our way from the hotel and went to the largest remaining bit of the Berlin wall where we stopped, got out of the bus and proceeded to take rolls of film.  When you turn around from looking at the wall you see the O2 centre, kind of a weird contrast.

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We then reboarded our buses and drove through Museum Island, saw the main buildings from the outside – too many other vehicles in the way for us to stop.  We passed the square where the Nazi‘s did their big book burning in the 1930’s, there is now a glass plate in the square and underneath empty shelves big enough to hold the equivalent of the 20,000 books they burned that night, we also passed the Dom where we sing tomorrow.  From there we went to the Brandenburg Gate and saw some of the various sites around there – the Russian Army memorial, the gate itself and the many embassies around it;  the Teir Garten – if you wanted to walk that far quickly, and other cultural sites – also some people canvassing for various causes – this time it was deaf children.  After spending half an hour wandering and taking photo’s we got back onto the bus and made our way to the heart of the Western Side of the city – the shopping or Ku Dam – we passed many stores Cartier, Rolex, etc – more than my mortgage is worth in their front rooms.  We passed by the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche where we also sing tomorrow and then onto things like the KaDeWe department store.  Then we passed by checkpoint Charlie

The Checkpoint Charlie building in place at th...
The Checkpoint Charlie building in place at the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall (the one at the actual point of the checkpoint is a smaller model) at its present location – the Allied Forces Museum in a suburb of Berlin, Germany (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

and made our way back to the hotel, but not before getting the full story on the Ampleman.Ampleman

Lots of people lots of sights.

When we got back to the hotel we went to the Alexa mall to try and find lunch – we did find a Pandora store and bought Margot a really nice Brandenburg Gate charm. We then were able to relax with a nice Torte and cup of coffee.  Heading back to the hotel we arrived and were just able to make it onto the bus in time to attend a concert by a Sting Trio with the Cello being the son of one of our choir couples.  It was wonderful Ligeti ? (I think), Mozart’s Divertimento and Kodaly’s Intermezzo absolutely wonderful and the trio is looking to record next year and possibly come to Canada after that for a tour.  If they do it would be well worth attending!

We returned to the hotel and after a short rest we went out to find supper.  We walked past an Italian restaurant across from the Galleria and thought it might be nice, but decided to walk for a while.  We enjoyed the walk, found a couple of places with cards and other items of interest.  We walked by a bear with budda on its chest – of course it was a True Religion jeans store.  Then we found a couple of outstanding things – an Ampleman store where we bought a card and cookie cutters.  We eventually returned to the Italian restaurant had some excellent pizza and risotto and came back to the hotel.  Tomorrow we sing!!

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