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Berlin, Germany

Reported by JoMar All rights reserved.

No visit to Germany would be complete without a trip to the capital, or so we have read and been told.


We stayed in the former East Berlin in this funky little walk-up, called Le Moustache that we found in a guide. The owner was this really nice fella and his sweet mom.  He also owned this really cool looking pub downstairs. Berlin was very interesting in that it does not have a whole lot of very old historical buildings and monuments. Unlike other big cities in Europe like Paris and Rome, most of Berlin's treasures were destroyed as a result of bombing in WWII. The few that they do have are reproductions of what the originals looked like. There are some original historical buildings and monuments, but not many. One of the things that Marc wanted to see especially, was the remains of the Berlin Wall as it was still standing when he was here last time -- separating east from west. The small portion of the wall that is preserved is really cool...  We also visited Checkpoint Charlie.   This is a former border crossing that Marc remembers going through on a tour bus to get over to east Berlin. He also remembers how regimented it was to cross, no printed matter, no handbags, and almost no speaking! The guards also checked under the bus with mirrors to make certain no one was trying to defect back into West Berlin. We took a city tour as Berlin is so massive and we were only there for 3 days. One of the stops along the tour took us to the Jewish memorial, or as the brochure put it "A memorial for all the Jews murdered in Europe". This was the most moving experiences that we have had in all of Europe. The memorial is hundreds of large square cement slate blocks that are of varied heights because they made the ground below them like a wave, many of these blocks stood well above 12 feet. It was very cool walking through this maze of unfortunate history. There was an exhibition that was underground below the memorial that was very heartfelt and moving.

We also did a lot of laid back stuff like clubbing and cafes and what not over the weekend. Berlin has a HUGE gay scene with over 100 bars and clubs, in four different areas of this metropolis.  Picture 4 large West Ends! We managed to hit two of them.

Onward to Denmark, our last Eurail stop!


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