Thursday, July 30, 2015

Before I share today’s adventure I want to add a postscript to yesterday.  I traveled with some fellow students to Alexanderplatz.  We each went with a different purpose, mine was to find a willing resident to interview. 

Alexanderplatz was hopping with activity!  Eateries, souvenir stands, entertainers (from fire-breathers to puppet shows to jugglers) could be found in every direction.  

In the square we saw a delightful sight:  a skateboarding bulldog.  He was a big fellow, big enough to knock over one of the spectators that signaled him over for a hello.  Take a look!

Alexanderplatz was not conducive to conducting an interview, but I was successful at a location closer to my home base  What started out as a small class assignment turned into a couple hours of cultural information, laughter and the beginning of new friendships.  I owe these Berliners a debt of gratitude for giving me the joyful distraction I needed to shake off yesterday morning’s gloom. 
Later this afternoon, after a marketing outing, I returned to Reichstag and followed the Berlin city walk audio tour podcast I loaded on my phone in preparation for my visit to this lovely capital city.

Near the Reichstag I located a couple memorials I was interested in seeing.  The first is a monument that commemorates the politicians who opposed Hitler.  There are 96 slabs and if you look closely you learn each politician’s political party and the date and location of his death.

The next memorial is a row of white crosses that represent the 136 people who died trying to escape from East to West when the wall still divided Berlin.  Of those who did escape, over 500 were East German guards.

I walked through Pariser Platz and went in the direction of the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, a stirring city block of concrete structures that happens to be where the Wall once stood. 

The remainder of my walk took me Unter den Linden and I made it to Bebelplatz.  I knew I had arrived when I saw the statue of Frederick the Great.  

At one side of this square the original State Library building still stands.  Across from the square is Humboldt University where many notable minds attended and where Albert Einstein once taught.   I was thrilled to see a plaque not far from the entrance indicating another illustrious teacher, Max Planck, know for the quantum theory!  Does this make me a geek?  I’m ok with that. 

Original State Library Building

Humboldt University

I ended up on Museum Island after passing some other marvelous sights and decided to take the recommendation my new Berlin friends gave me last night: visit the Berlin Cathedral.  The view from the top of the dome was worth every step!

Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral)

Interior View of the Dome

Dome View of Lustgarten

Dome View of Altes Museum