Berlin Day 3

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First stop today was the Berlin Wall ‘Mauerpark’ memorial on Bernauer Straße, where there’s a short section of wall. There are information boards with photos describing how the wall was built, and there is a memorial to those who lost their lives trying to climb over (or tunnel under) the Anti-Fascist Protection Barrier, as it was called by the East German authorities. There are also plaques in the ground to show where notable events occurred.

A little further along, there’s a 100 metre long reconstruction of the death strip complete with watch tower, opposite which stands a visitor centre. Unfortunately being a Monday, the visitor centre was closed, but we were able to climb up the staircase to the viewing platform which overlooks the death strip, giving some idea of what this must have looked like back in the day. It’s hard to believe that this all happened in my lifetime.

Berlin Wall

Berlin Wall

Memorial – the story of Marienetta Jirkowsky (top, centre) is here

Plaque denoting the successful escape of the Family D – more details here

The Mauerpark

The death strip

Picture depicting the East German border guard Conrad Schumann’s leap to freedom

U Bahn

Before moving on, we stopped for lunch at the Ost-West Cafe by the Bernauer Straße, where they served the most delicious falafel. The next stop was Alexanderplatz for a mooch around the shops, as it had been far too busy when we were here on Saturday. The Galerie Kaufhof department store has a really good food hall, but we managed to come away empty handed.

Alexanderplatz – a bratwurst cost €1 the last time we were here, now €1.70

From there we went to Oberbaumbrücke, a Cold War border crossing used to exchange spies, and the East Side Gallery.

Oberbaumbrücke

East Side Gallery

East Side Gallery

East Side Gallery

East Side Gallery

From there we crossed the River Spree, and walked through the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg area, which had quite a unique atmosphere – studenty, trendy, arty and bohemian all at the same time.

Street art in Fredrichshain-Kreuzberg

A Lidl bike

I had a chiropractors appointment late in the afternoon, so Carol went off round the shops whilst I was having my back clicked. The lady I saw today, Caroline, was the sixth chiropractor I’ve seen whilst out on the road and she was excellent – the best one so far.

Before leaving I asked the receptionist, Mary, for a Turkish restaurant recommendation, as the ones we’ve seen up until now have all been very touristy, and I was in luck. She had been to loads of Turkish restaurants, and recommended two of her favourites.

I met up with Carol in the Ampelmann shop on Unter den Linden, coming away with a mug and an umbrella. For dinner we stopped at one of the recommended Turkish restaurants (Saray, by Seestraße U Bahn) and it was great. The food was delicious, and the portion sizes were generous – we might return before leaving Berlin!

Mike

 

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