Saturday, June 6, 2009

On to Berlin

Marienkirche, one of Berlin's oldest buildings

Marx/Engels in the city park

The Altes Museum, early 19th century

Berliner Dom, early 20th

Humboldt U

Holocaust Memorial

Tuesday morning we broke “camp,” got back on the autobahn, and drove right into Berlin, the centrum, and parked right by the Marienkirche on a main park near Alexanderplatz. After looking at Marienkirche (one of Berlin's oldest buildings), the park, the space needle/radio tower every German city seems to have, the Rot Rathaus, we walked over into Alexanderplatz area, up Museum Island, past the river Spree, and the Dom, to the Deutsches Historisches Museum. A thunderstorm was approaching, our parking meter was running out (we were in a bus lane) so we cut our visit short with a brief stroll down Unter Den Linden and then drove to a campground near the northwest suburb of Spandau. What we saw of CBD Berlin in a few hours was exhilarating. It poured and poured that night, but we were on the river, the bier was good, and we had internet (used mostly to search for an electrische reparatur (electrician)).

Wednesday was not our most productive day. Quite a few leads fizzled regarding repair of our 220/110volt converter, the TomTom went kaputt when the internet went down during our upgrading and acquiring the most recent maps, it rained more, it took nearly four hours to get the wash done. We did get the new and improved Tom back up and running—it was truly scary driving without him—and resolved to frei-camp and start over again in the morning. We stayed at the Avus Rasthof (rest area) in SE Berlin. Lots of trucks parked, like we were, but relatively quiet. A hotel, restaurant, and gas station adjoin the Rasthof. The drive across Berlin, from NW to SE was not at all bad. Berlin drivers are the most courteous I have ever seen, anticipating your need to change lanes, for example, and giving way.

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