Sunday, May 11, 2008

Ich bin ein Berliner

No, I'm not actually claiming to be a jelly donut. I'm quoting JFK's opening comment on visiting West Berlin on June 26, 1963 - his first visit after the construction of the Berlin Wall. My bride and I are in Berlin, approximately 45 years after that speech, which I remember, by the way.

Anyway, yeah, I have a technical meeting here later in the week, so we came a few days early. Arrived early Sunday morning, rested up a bit, had a beer, took a bus tour all over the city, had another beer and dinner, and now collapsing, er, relaxing in the hotel. Dinner was a bacon-wrapped pork filet. Actually two little filets. Pretty good. Nothing like bacon-wrapped pork.

We saw some of the wall and a couple of historic sites. One was Checkpoint Charlie - the old checkpoint between the Russian and American sectors of Berlin. It's where the tanks faced off. The other was the Brandenburg Gate, one of the historic entrances into Berlin. When the wall went up, the Brandenburg Gate was just a few yards inside East Berlin. Today, the wall is long gone, except for some sections preserved for history. And it's very easy to tell which side prevailed in decades-long confrontation. Let me show you.

This photo was taken just outside the Brandenburg Gate, looking into what was once East Berlin. See the circle and arrow in the left center, just above and to the right of the guy wearing the striped t-shirt in the far left foreground? See what's circled? Zoom in if you have to. Yes, it's a Starbucks. East Germany didn't have a chance. Just the thing to go with a good jelly donut, though, don't you think?


wirrek said...

Ahhh, have fun! We were there at the same time a couple of years ago. I hope you brought some benedryl, I just remember the chesnut tree pollen was awful. Remember, don't break the rules...those Berliners will say something to you!

KAJ said...

yeah! keep those posts comin' Pops!! I am glad you are having fun!! I bet you stick out like a sore thumb...oh wait, that was B-rad in China.