We did a great bike tour of Berlin today. Our tour left from the famous TV Tower in what was formerly East Berlin and we saw many of the East German sights including Neptune's Fountain, the Museum Island area and the last park built by the DDR govt. in East Berlin. This has a statue of Marx and Engels - it makes for a great picture: a group of capitalistic US Business students with two of the biggest proponents of communism and socialism. Ironic fun!
We then moved to the area of Berlin made famous by the Berlin Wall. We some of those sites and learned more about the history the Berlin Wall and the 1989 "coming down" of the wall. The group photo is at Check Point Charlie, which was the famous border crossing between East and West Berlin.
also visited an area that has the wall and was the central of Nazi Germany with some of the key building of the Nazi Govt (e.g. the SS building). This photo is the students along the wall, or actually along a wire fence in front of the wall designed to keep "wall peckers" from chipping away the rest of the wall. Kind of ironic that the Wall is now protected by a fence!
No trip to Berlin would be complete without seeing the BRandenburger Tor, of Brandenburg Gate. The statue on the top was taken by Nepoleon to France (a gift for his girlfriend) and then the Germans took it back later. gate was a focal point during the Cold War with each side staging events at it to show the other side how great life was on their side.
We visited the area of the German National Govt with a stop at the Reichstag, which is the German Parliment building. It has a long history as its burning was a major contributor to Hitler's rise to power (the communists were blamed for the fire and Hitler used this to oust and kill the 80 communist legislators and then take power). It now has a large glass dome on it that allows people to see the inner workings of the legislative meeting room and thus symbolizes a transparent government.
We are off to dinner tonight to the Zillemarkt, a German Speciality restaurant in the Savignyplatz area of Berlin.