Our guide Christabel took us around Berlin and we stopped to visit some of the more interesting sites. First was the Kaiser Wilhelm church which was bombed during WWII. This facade to the right is really all that is left. A modern replacement church was built next to this sight, but the facade of the old church was left as a memorial to things lost in the war.
Eventually we made our way through the city to the Brandenburg Gate. Christabel led us through the center columns which used to be reserved for the kaiser! Finished in 1791, this is the only remaining gate of thirteen that used to stand on the perimeter of the city. Just past the gate is Unter den Lindens Avenue, a street with shops at one end and museums, libraries and performing arts centers at the other. I haven't figured out yet why the Old Library is known as the "Kommode".
It was hard to tell where the former East Berlin starts and West ends, except here by this remaining bit of the wall (below) and Checkpoint Charlie to the right. A lot of the guys from our tour gladly posed for photos in front of the famous checkpoint. The eastern part of the city has been working hard to catch up to the modern west side. I had to refer to my map to see exactly where our hotel sat.
This piece of the wall that wasn't torn down shows how impossible it would be to climb over. It's pretty igh for one thing, and that part that looks like a rubber bumper on top would keep a person from getting a grip good enough to hoist themself over. And then there are rows of barbed wire. Around the city, there are parts of the wall displayed showing the graffitied western side and the immaculate east side.
Finally after a long day of travelling and touring, we relaxed for awhile in our (East Berlin) hotel, a very modern, minimalist place called Moevenpick which is also the name of some German ice cream. This is the kind of place that leaves candy on your pillow. Since we were in Germany, the candy was Haribo Gummy Bears. This was a very fancy hotel by my standards, with a beautiful view out the window, and a bathroom wall made out of glass block. Although we were tempted to stay in that evening and put our feet up, we had signed up for a variety show at the Winter Garden Theater which turned out to be great fun.