Thursday 16 August 2018
After breakfast the bus took us to the Brandenburg Gate where we met our guide, Jared, for a walking tour of Berlin.
Jared, our young American guide was very knowledgeable about the history of Berlin, World War Two and The Holocaust. He gave us a fresh insight as to how it all happened. It is frightening that even the nicest people can be brainwashed to do the most horrific things.
Most of the Berlin Wall has been torn down but bits of it remain.
The course of history could have changed had Georg Elster succeeded in his attempt to blow up Hitler during one of his beer hall speeches. Below is the bent column memorial to him.
We were shown the site of Hitlers bunker which is now a car park with only an information board to mark it. The Germans do not want it to become a shrine to a man who caused such devastation in his lifetime.
An unusual memorial to all those who died in the Holocaust is on a site covering 19000 square meters. The blocks are of varying heights and the space seems to bring home the reality of what happened not only to the six million Jews but others like the handicapped and homosexuals who were similarly persecuted.
After our walk Lolz and I negotiated the U-bahn and got a train to Alexanderplatz where we met up with Lolz’s friend Melissa. Another friend, Sasha who was visiting from London also joined us. I popped into CCC bag and shoe shop who were having a sale and was delighted to find a suitable pair of sandals for €15
It as hot and we were hungry and thirsty so were delighted to find a lovely pavement cafe with lots of shade. Yes I know we should have gone for German but my companions wanted pizza – I had pork, veggies and potato bake so it was almost local🤪 And our charming waitron was Greek which gave us something in common😉 We thanked him in Greek and he was impressed that I could at least count in Greek😄. We have been bothered by bees and wasps in the heat but today our waiter lit some coffee beans in a tinfoil holder and the smoke helped chase them away.
Thanks Sasha for treating me to a glass of wine❤️
After lunch we wondered around the market place – much like our Green Market Square in Cape Town and then Mel had to get home to kids and hubs while Lolz, Sasha and I caught a tram to the latter’s hotel. Lolz used his laptop to (successfully) sort out a banking issue that for some reason didn’t work on her tablet.
Sasha then took us for drinks and walked us home to our hotel. Thanks again Sasha – you are a friend and a gentleman. ⭐️❤️⭐️
Lolz and I had a quiet evening watching BBC News the only English Channel on TV. We were amused to see Rachel, Ross, Monica, Chandler, Phoebe and Joey speaking German on Friends😂
So what did I think of Berlin? I have read so much on the Holocaust and can remember watching Escape From East Berlin in 1962 although the details are blurry so being in the city was certainly a moving experience. I would like to return one day but so far Amsterdam remains my favourite.