On Oct 16 (day 46), we flew from Paris to Berlin and had an 8-hour layover. Right in the Tegel Airport, they sell tickets for a hop-on, hop-off bus tour of the city. A short public bus ride later (because the tour buses start from the train station, not the airport), we were cruising through Berlin, squinting to see through the rain on our double-decker bus. The city is really fascinating. I say that because as we looked at the large shopping areas and busy streets, we kept talking about how young this European city is. Of course, it’s not young in a literal sense. It’s been here for ages. But it got almost totally destroyed in the latter part of World War II. As the capital of Germany, it was bombed so severely that most sources say over 80% of the city was destroyed. So here is a capitol city, in a major 1st world European country, that is at best only 70 years old. In many cases, it was the 1990’s before rebuilding began. The way the Germans have reinvented themselves and grown to prosperity is really showcased here.
We hit the major sites, including the Brandenburg Gate and Checkpoint Charlie. I will ask Caleb to post on how the city was divided, as he was again our tour guide concerning all things military/diplomacy. Here are some pics of our short time in the city (as always, click the pic for a closer view). We will have to return to see more of this interesting place. – ALaff 10/31/15