Saturday, May 7, 2011
Bike Tour of Berlin
We had a great day in Berlin. We did the Fat Tire Bike Tour that lasted from 10am until a bit after 3pm and included a great deal of both German and Berlin history. We visited "Berlin Wall" related sites, Berlin History sights, German History sights and WWII related sights. We also had a wonderful bike through the Tiergarten to a great Biergarten for lunch. Many of the students ate sausage products while others tried their first "Flamkuchen" which is like a very thin crust pizza. All 23 of us successfully rode our bikes over streets, paths, sidewalks, curbs and cobblestones on routes through Berlin. Our guide Rob was great. If you are ever in Berlin we highly recommend the Fat Tire Tours - find them easily online.
A few photos....
The group in the Platz infront of Humbolt Universitaet. This is where the infamous Nazi book burning happened.
A few of our feet stuck on the East German side of the Berlin Wall. Most of the wall has been taken down and replaced with just a simple cobblestone line. Berlin has tried to embrace unification and not dwell on the division of their city, but us tourists make it hard for them to move on completely.
This is the group at Checkpoint Charlie. It is named because it was the third crossing between East and West and the third letter in the military alphabet is charlie (alpha, bravo, charlie....). It is now purely a tourist attraction but our guide gave us a great history lesson about the wall, it's checkpoints and killing zones, and the way in which it finally succumbed to the will of the people and fell in 1989. Paula Eckert, when she was on study abroad as an undergraduate crossed through Checkpoint Charlie after 4-5 days behind the iron curtain.
This last shot is at the last significant part of the wall that Berlin has left standing. We would have been on the East German side. Ironically, because everyone wants a piece of the wall, it is guarded by a fence!