Tuesday, July 11, 2006
I just came back from Berlin, what I wonderful 4 day trip. (actually, 2 full days only, but nevermind) The first morning, Berlin was ironically empty! Amir, Ali, Hadi and me went to Alexanderplatz to see the Weltzeituhr (the TV tower) and Fernsehturm (the World Time Clock): Surprise, it looks more like Permatang Damar Laut (pick any half dead town haha) than a city who will be hosting the World Cup finals that night, maybe its due to the fact that everyone partied the whole night after German's victory against Portugal and eveyone is trying to catch some sleep ahead of tonight's match.
Taking bus n.100, we past the Berliner Dom and Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche. The Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche or Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church is one of Berlin's most famous landmarks. The damaged tower is a symbol of Berlin's resolve to rebuild the city after the war and a constant reminder of the destruction of war. We proceeded on foot along the Ku'damm shopping street towards KaDeWe (Kaufhaus des Westens), the second largest shop in Europe (after Harrods), and sells practically everything you want but barely anything you could afford.
Feeling hungry, we headed towards Stadmitte where Checkpoint Charlie (the most famous of the checkpoints between east and west germany lies. I bought some postcards to send home here. We ate lunch at a Turkish restaurant, which serves cheap and tasty kebabs, unlike the ones we find in Colmar. :) Btw, Berlins hosts a large number of turkish immigrants, which went there in droves during the recontruction of Berlin after WW2. Kreutzberg alone hosts up to 100 000 turks. I had the chance to stroll around Kottbusser Tor while my muslim friends performed their prayers...everywhere, signes and names where in turkish.
After lunch, we walked from Stadmitte towards the Brandenburger Tor (Tor means gate...Strasse means road btw). Since the fall of the wall, the Brandenburger Gate has become the symbol of a reunified Berlin. The desolate area that Pariser Platz was during the cold war, is now completely redeveloped and has regained much of its 19th century grandeur. Here, the atmosphere is hot. Supporters from both sides, chanting "força italia" and "allez les bleus", singing their national anthems , waving flags and compete to see which side make their presense felt the most. So far, Italy seems to be winning.
To be continued...
ps: pls bear with me the gibberish photos...
Posted by Tabula Rasa at Tuesday, July 11, 2006