Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Berlin Germany

We took our first of many weekend excursions to another country. It was slightly more than an hour to fly to Berlin which is about how long it'd take to fly from San Antonio to Dallas. Flying around in the European Union feels strange because we didn't have to show passports. I didn't really expect to get around as freely as moving around the United States. Sweden isn't a part of the Euro economic zone so sometimes I forget they're a part of the EU since we did have to get different currency.

The other odd travel thing about Berlin is their transit system with proof-of-payment enforced with random spot checks we never witnessed. There's no turnstiles or any other kind of barriers or toll attendants. There's just fare machines on the platform to buy tickets for 2-3 euros. If undercover Kontrollers catch you not paying then the fine is 40 euros. We bought 72 hour city passes for our tourist weekend which included various discounts and unlimited transit rides. I felt kind of ripped off because it seemed like we could just wander on and off the rail system without it. The bus drivers didn't seem all that interested in the validity of the tickets we flashed them.

Berlin was an interesting trip. We obviously spent some time on the Berlin Wall and the history of the city but we also just soaked in Berlin and did a little shopping since things there are a good bit cheaper than expensive Stockholm. OK, enough writing. Here's a variety of pictures from the trip.

We stayed at Hotel Gat Point Charlie with these cool light boxes over our beds.



We had some treats like ice cream from an American school bus and a chocolate overload at Fassbender & Rausch. 



We did our usual stop at the local Hard Rock.


We saw an artist's panorama of how the Berlin Wall used to be.



 We saw Checkpoint Charlie with fake American soldiers charging for photos with them.




...and various other interesting sights around town.











 
 






Graffiti in the worst places too but I had to chuckle at the rudecat  






 









This grill would be great at parties...




Some Gendarmenmarkt buildings...












The famous Brandenburg Gate

 



Some more buildings around Berlin








 







Back past a standing section of the Berlin Wall...





it was madness

1 comment:

  1. A great collection of pictures ... brought back memories of my time in Berlin from 1980-82. Things are quite a bit different now that the Wall is gone and you can travel freely through the city! The "honor system" of transit tickets is a bit hard to get used to, isn't it? We hope to get back there again sometime soon.

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