Berlin re-visited: the e.n.d.

Hey folks, as you can see Berlin has so many options for visitors so that it's really hard to decide on what to do. Though you don't even have to enter a museum for various impressions, there is one museum I would warmly recommend you, if you are interested in the history of games and especially computer games: Das Computer Museum (What a surprise! ;))

The location is not that big, but there's  a pleasant amount of hands-on stuff like this fitness device for overweight people. Of course, the game is only functionable if you use physical power...  Well, who would have thought this concept would fail? *sarcasm*

You can meet a few old friends here, too, and see how they changed in the course of time.

And -wait a minute- there was a time where you weren't able to just download a game via wi-fi or so onto your cell phone or play online?

WHY on earth would I want to play a game called "water-mains burst" (Wasserrohrbruch)?

And this is pre-historic. Horrible graphics don't even exist here and I would have to think as if I were playing chess!
(Unbelievably striking, the German "Democratic" Republic (DDR) wanted their kids to learn "the important basics of computer engineering"!)

Aw, it gets even worse: this is like playing a board game! *shocked cry*

Well, after or before such puzzling input one can simply stroll through the streets thinking about a good souvenir to purchase when suddently weird or funny things happen...

Lets start with the nice encouters:
You can find all sorts of colourful bears in different poses, which are sisters and brothers of the city's logo and owned by hotels or companies (I call it the Teddyparade though they are scattered all over the place). Unfortunately, the one belonging to our Best Western is hidden behind a building-site fence, but this one here even tells you where you are.

You can eat at food stalls with funny names.

You can discover very fancy shopping malls...

with pieces of art (I think there are special guided tours you can book...)

...and fantastic shops for families (toys, etc.).

OR you have a look into the impressive lobbies of  famous hotels where many important people from the past and today stayed while visiting, like the Adlon and the Westin Grand hotel (photo).

In contrast to this, Berlin, like every big city, has less appealing and even dirty parts and the huge pigeon population, for example, doesn't help to keep the buildings, monuments and bridges clean either. Furthermore, you meet all types of crazy and plain weird people or sometimes items they've left behind...
This is a dirty panty laying infront of a shop which sells stamps to collectors and this scenery matches the suggestive German pick-up line: "May I show you my stamp collection?" -ew D:

Well, I guess this could have happened almost everywhere and if you aren't an European tourist there are obviously many other peculiarities which require a specific level of open-mindedness, for example, naked statues with lifelike genitals and lascivious ads in public. So, what I want to say is that if you really want to extend your perspective, make new experiences and see something different Berlin is definitely the place to go to, because the nice stuff predominates -just believe me :)

Bye-bye, goddess Victoria (Siegessäule)!

(P.S.: Black Eyed Peas music album "the e.n.d." -the energy never dies)


Berlin-revisited: Palace Sans Souci and Gardens and the Reichstag (parliament building)

Maybe you haven't been convinced yet to risk a trip to Germany's capital, though Berlin isn't only for people who want to experience this vibrant city. Despite my hay fever we jumped onto a subway, rode 20 minutes out of town heading south and *bang* arrived in Potsdam, where we rented bikes (nextbike.de). It's just a 5 minute bicycle tour to the huge royal gardens and palaises of San Souci!

Neuer Palast 

Normannischer Turm

I guess you have noticed by now that this former royal property is a very big area, so I highly recommend to go by bike and not just per pedes (by foot), if you're no fit hiker. (Several spread public toilets and one restaurant are provided)

And don't forget to order the local speciality Berliner Weisse (beer brand) mit Waldmeister oder Himbeersirup (with sweet woodruff or raspberry sirup).

Of course the quite new and walk-on-able cupola or dome of the Reichstag is a very well worth seeing sight, though it needs a bit planning. The access is only provided if you register for a visit (at least 3days ahead, online) and there are security checks like the ones at airports, but you get a beautiful 360° view apon the city and much information via self-guided audio tour if you like (Other guided tours can be booked in addition).

The Reichstag is only a few foot steps away from this famous archway: das Brandenburger Tor.
And believe it or not: It was even famous before Barack Obahma (finally) visited us in June 2013 ;)

If you're hungry simply eat at this food stall directly located between these two sights and order: WURST (sausage)!

NEXT Posting: Popular culture and funny occurences (spotting bears, computer museum, fund items)