My SAABs and I
Berlin Staff Ride, Part 2
by, Tue 20 March 2012 at 23:05 (484 Views)
Here are some more pictures from day two of my Staff Ride through Berlin, following our guide, a retired British Army Lieutenant Colonel.
Rows of old communist apartments on the outskirts of old East Berlin.
Karl Marx Bookstore, right next to the Karl Marx subway station
A former communist office building with East Berlin's TV tower
Interesting mural on the side of the building
Drab living for drab people
Polizei closing the street in front of the Turkish Embassy, with a couple of large Benz parked up front, must have been some high ranking Turkish politician visiting.
These double deckers were everywhere in Berlin
The back side of the Brandenburg gate, as seen from the western side
Me in front of the Brandenburg gate.
Good Italian food near the Reichstag
The victory statue was raised a long time ago in Berlin, in the 1800s, to commemorate some victory against Denmark. It survived WWII with scars and was restored to its full shiny golden glory.
The victory circle with the golden statue on top, the golden pieces that line the tower are actually French cannons that were used in the war against Denmark.
The huge surviving bunker that towers over Berlin.
Graffiti on the bunker top
Berlin skyline. The building with the German and EU flags and the glass dome is the Reichstag.
The victory statute in the distance, the Mercedes Benz building further east.
Monument to the WWII bunker, showing its modern urban scars.
More of the WWII bunker. The bunker measured 40 foot tall, 80 foot square, housed a small garrison of soldiers, had a small hospital and could shelter 15,000 Berliners in case of an air raid.
Some damage left from World War II, in the form of scars in the concrete from an artillery attack. The French managed to demolish half of the bunker, but the other half stands today as testament to the city's worst times.
A few remaining pieces of the Berlin Wall that are still standing to remember the Cold War.
A monument to the Berlin Wall, with an art installation that mimics the wall where it stood.
Berlin's new train station.
A griffin on the bridge from the train station to the downtown area.
WWII scars on the bridge.
Some of the scars were patched up, but not all.
The Swiss Embassy was one of the few buildings not razed to the ground in the neighborhood, but the extreme end crumbled, so they had to patch it up, so now you have that ugly concrete cap on the classic building.
The Reichstag, where the Soviets and the Germans fougth hard for a few days, over 5000 people died in the battle for this building alone.
Obligatory "me" photo
An old Russian tank in downtown Berlin
Another Russian military cemetery, this one was in West Berlin, and during the cold war there was a small troop of Russian soldiers who guarded this site, and another detail of British soldiers guarded the Russians who guarded the cemetery. This went on until 1993.
Another huge Societ statue
A Hero of the Soviet Union, Colonel Tiemnik
Modern Berlin building next to the US Embassy
The Berlin memorial to the Jews who lost their lives in WWII.
A piece of the old Berlin Wall near the DDR museum.
Here we got another impromptu lesson, this one on the Hitler Bunker. We are in the same spot where the bunker stood, now it's a dirt parking lot to an apartment building complex.
That small pile of ruble marks the spot of Hitler's bunker.
The myth and the historical testimony on the Führer's Bunker
Some rare scars of WWII dot some of the old buildings in east Berlin.
An old communist mural, actually quite pretty, depicting a typically utopian and unrealistic view of communist life.
The site of the former Gestapo headquarters. Now it is another memorial and museum site.
Pieces of the Berlin Wall and a few remnants of the Gestapo HQs, with a few pieces of former holding cells.
Anyone wanting to buy a near new Trabant can just head down to Trabi World in Berlin!
Old Checkpoint Charlie is now a tourist attraction, complete with Germans wearing fake US Army uniforms and not knowing how to properly handle a US flag.
Left in site for posterity.
After these pictures were taken we headed into the Berlin nightlife and I was wise not to bring the camera... the pictures from the third day will follow tomorrow.