Saturday, June 19, 2010
11TH JUNE - A WALKING TOUR AROUND BERLIN
On the second day in Germany, Puan Siti Khadijah had driven me all the way from Hildesheim to Berlin which took almost 3 hours. We went on a walking tour, assisted by a tourist guide. The whole thing lasted for 4 hours and we covered 14 kms of Berlin on foot.
This is Jim, our knowledgeable yet funny narrator. The history of Berlin is at the end of his fingertips. He brought along a folder which contained maps and pictures and showed them to us when necessary. With very minimal audio-visual aids but with great story-telling skills, the tour was definitely an educational one. History really came alive right in front of our eyes.
The weather was good, the sun was shining brightly so no jacket was required. You can see those people basking under the hot sun (which was not as hot as in Malaysia) but not to worry, they were all decent enough for the eyes to see.
The beautiful building is Berliner Dom, or Berlin Cathedral, was built in 1747. Most of the buildings around the city are really majestic and gigantic. These people must have possessed the technology, money and energy to construct and to make them still stand strong right until now.
I cannot really remember what this building is but it has to do with the Minister of Defense because Jim was saying something like this is the only military building in the world which is pink in colour.
Actually, I cannot remember the names of many of the buildings as they are just too many and they are in German. Inside this structure, there is a statue but the most interesting thing is that there is a hole in the roof. So, when it rains and snows, the statue will be exposed to the elements of the nature. Later, I will ask Siti Khadijah what does this signify.
If you look real hard INTO the real glass panel on the ground, you can see bookshelves but without books. This monument is to remember the event when the Nazis burned about 10 000 books during the anti-Jews campaign. There was actually a light bulb in there that shone 24-hours - you can always burn the books but you can never stop people from thinking and coming up with new ideas.
The famous Brandenburg Gate in the background is one of the main symbols of Berlin and Germany. It is one of the structures that survived World War ll and it was restored after being hit by bullets and nearby explosions.
So, what is the relationship between the two pictures, Hotel Adlon and Michael Jackson? It was here the famous incident of Michael Jackson dangling his baby from the window of his hotel room for his fans to see, and that is historical enough for me. We were told also that this is one of the most prestigious hotels in Berlin. A night stay at its presidential suite will cost you about 5000 Euro.
Holocaust Memorial was built to remember the Jews who were killed by Nazis but a controversy arose. What about other people who died and suffered because of the war. The monument does not really symbolize anything in particular. You have to sit, observe or go through the maze-like structure and draw up your own conclusion of the holocaust.
We found a souvenir shop where authentic Germany goods can be purchased. Bear in mind, everything was in Euro, so the items might look reasonable at first sight, before converting the prices to Ringgit Malaysia.
Before going back home, we stopped at a stall selling grilled chicken operated by the Turks. Many people were queuing up so it was an indication it was a famous place. The chicken came together with chips and vegetables and as usual I would have the problem of finishing the large portion meal. There was a very small eating area so we went to eat on the grass in the park (I supposed) nearby.
There are many pictures of the beautiful Berlin that will be posted later.