Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Europe 2011 - Day 16 - Berlin Day 2

Berlin is a wonderful city. It's very multicultural community and has a deep cultural history.
The day started with getting on a bus ride on the City Sightseeing Tour Buses (they're the big red tour buses). We took the red tour route around the city.

The weather is crazy. There's flash thunderstorms, and then a few minutes later it's clear. Berlin is one of those places where the weather is unpredictable, and there's no possible way you're going to be properly dressed for every situation. One second it's 25 Celsius, warm and sunny, then it's pouring rain in a flash storm and down to about 10C, then back to cloudy at 20C. Do what the locals do, dress light, and then when it rains, just stand to the side, find some cover and wait it out (hopefully in 5-10 minutes it becomes sunny again).

We saw a little bit more of the Berlin Wall today including the well-known Checkpoint Charlie. The Reichstag is a parliamentary building that is still being used today. It's an interesting building considering it primarily consists of older architecture but has modern elements incorporated in when it was reconstructed by the renowned architect, Norman Foster. Foster's re-design includes a modern glass/steel dome that fits on top of the older stone structure and creates a very neat contrast.

 For lunch, stopping at Breitscheidplatz, we enjoyed some of the local German fast street food cuisine, Currywurst. We are a little nauseous at the sight of any more pork knuckles and bratwursts, but this was definitely good to eat as the sausages was delicious and the curry sauce is something unique (and not at all what I thought it was going to taste like).

Alexanderplatz is a high traffic transport hub. There isn't really that much interesting to see though the area is filled with some larger department stores and the Weltzeituhr world clock, and the nearby Fernsehturm Berlin TV Tower.

Ending the bus tour, I stopped off at the Siegessäule (Berlin Victory Column) to take some photographs. It was a long walk back to our hotel going through the Siegesallee boulevard headed back towards the Brandenburg Gate but then cutting through Tiergarten Park back to Potsdamer Platz.

We loved Vapiano so much last night that we went back for dinner tonight. I definitely recommend it. That place is awesome.

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