Wednesday, August 31, 2016

I am a Berliner!!

Humboldt University - where 20,000 books from the library were burned in 1933
Well, not really. I'm IN Berlin, but I literally only know one word of German ("danke") so no one is going to mistake me for a Berliner. It's a little odd being in a big city after all the days in the Irish countryside and the few days in the tiny Welsh village. My last two days in Liverpool felt very neighborhoody, but the area I'm in here is quite urban and busy. The apartment I'm in is nice though, despite being a 4th floor walk-up, and I spent yesterday on a bike tour of the city, which was both a very nice ride and a great history lesson. It's hard to think of the city as it is now divided so severely, and it's harder still to think of it under the rule of a lunatic, as at the moment, it looks like any European capital, and the only remaining Nazi buildings are now being used as a tax office and a public bathroom.
our affable Aussie guide Dave explaining German geopolitics
using sidewalk chalk.
one of the last vestiges of the Wall - it wasn't that high... 
...but if you tried to go over, you'd most likely be shot
by an East German guard from a tower like this

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
part of our tour was a ride through Tiergarten, a huge urban park
the president's house - he has no power but has a nice pad; Angela Merkel
on the other hand, lives in the same apartment she's had for 30 years.