BERLIN - the Major Attractions
Our Rendez-vous with beautiful and cool Berlin (cool not just now...) will start, where everything started: at the Nicolai-Quarter. There the communists sort-of reconstruted a bit of medieval Berlin round the oldest church of the town; but there's also what Berliners call "the most beautiful corner of Berlin"... From here we cross over into baroque and romantic Berlin, i.e. the 'classical' center round the place where once the prestigious city-palace stood, which will now be rebuilt... And there's also the famous Isle of the Museums, the reknown boulevard "Under the Linden-Trees", the famous Forum Fridericianum and Gendarmen-Market - the two most splendid squares of our metropolis, which are not just nice aesthetically, but also ideologically. Passing by we will see the tents of the trendy "Berlin Fashion Week". Then we go into the "Barn-Quarter", which is as jewish as it is "artsy-fartsy", "old-townish", amusement-prone and "red-lighty"... Next thing will we a part of the wall preserved complete with death-strip and sniper-tower. We then cross through "yuppy-town", i.e. "Prenzl'berg" into the GDR-epoch with Alexander-Square, former Stalin-Av.e and the must-see painted "Wall Gallery". We then stop for lunch in Universal Music's cantine, situated in one of Berlin's most vibrating corners, looking across the river Spree and on the iconic Oberbaum Bridge. From there we venture into anarchic, multi-cultural Kreuzberg, also called "Little Istanbul". Safe through, we look at the Jewish museum, drive alongside a canal past a "raisin-bomber" and a bunker towards "Check-Point Charlie" and the "Topography of Terror". Göring's "Aviation Ministry" - now Ministry of Finances... - follows suite, as does fittingly Hitler's infamous bunker and the Holocaust Memorial. We then see the Brandenburg Gate, the Russian Memorial, the Reichstag and the Government-Center, followed by the Palace of Bellevue, home to our president, and the Column of Victory, where Obama spoke and - in happier days - the Love Parade raved... We return past many famous embassies towards Berlin's new high-tech heart, the Potsdamer Platz area with the Sony Center and its movie culture, drive across West-Berlin's Cultural Forum with our Louvre and the Philharmonic. We then seamlessly roll into West-Berlin's center with the Memorial Church, Berlin's most famous anti-war memorial, and its Kurfürstendamm, our Champs Élysées. Time permitting we make a last loop round the fair-grounds and the Palace of Charlottenburg to return to the Kurfürstendamm, where you will be mercilessly kicked out of the bus to explore "the living room of the Berliners" on your own (from there you can nicely return by means of a beautiful "sight-seeing" S-Bahn-ride [fast city-trains] towords the area, where your hotel is).