Observations of Berlin

After a recent weekend in Berlin of being raced through the city in the back seat of a car as various sites were pointed out to me, I made a few observations about the city.
  • Streets are long wide and straight. 
  • Pedestrians stop and wait on red lights to cross streets, unlike Dublin where they walk as soon as the cars are clear or Seattle where they walk regardless of light or traffic. 
  • Germans who weren't even born during the war are still apologetic about it, making statements like, "war memorials are all over the city for every group of people we slaughtered" as if they were even alive then. 
  • Some of the buildings that survived the war still have bullet holes.
  • It is interesting listening to Germans talk about the wall coming down and the emotional impact. "all I knew about the east was that they couldn't buy bananas and it was grey and smelled." 
  • Where the wall was there are now buildings lining the streets as if the wall was never there.There are some places without building and now cobblestone paths run along in place of the wall, besides a couple memorial sites. 
  • Driving around you find that just about everywhere you go there are road diversions, road blocks and traffic jams. One caused by the green party which is a bit ironic. 
  • Germans don't have any concept of customer service and will often tell the customers in a rude blunt manor that the customer is wrong. We saw this happen twice and experienced it once.
  • Berlin is the possible ground zero of the hipster plague. It could be debated if it started in London of Berlin, after visiting both I'm leaning towards Berlin. 
  • Museum island is a great way to spend the day. 
Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church

Notice the ugly church that was built next to it as a replacement.

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. Notice the building in the background... that's a US government office the NSA recently used to spy on Germans, according to my guide.

Checkpoint Charlie as seen through the window of a car while driving past.

Trabant cars were the most common cars in East Germany during the cold war. Formerly a crappy car, now used as tourist novelties to drive around in.

Another Checkpoint Charlie drive past.

Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church looks much better at night.