True Tourist

Yesterday I set off on the UBahn to Alexandra Platz where I joined a Fat Tyre Bike tour which covered the city of Berlin from 11am-4.30pm. Tim, my very camp, New Yorker Tour guide began by giving us the lowdown on how to cycle round the city-this being my major concern… I’m not the most balanced of people, some could say clumsy perhaps? And being hit by a bus in Berlin was not on my ‘must do’ list. My bike, whom I was told to bond with, was called Rose. She guided me, through the bustling streets of Berlin from Alexandra Platz through to the Branden Burg Gates, through to a Beer Garden for Lunch, and back. The Tour was largely based on ww2 and the Cold War, on memorials, historical buildings and the huge contrast within the city of modern and historical. Tim was very knowledgable, giving us an in depth description (in chalk) of the steps that took place prior to the Berlin Wall being built and after the wall was taken down. We visited Hitlers bunker where he committed suicide, which now acts as a carpark. The only information about Hitler directly is on a small board beside the carpark. We then went to the Jewish memorial where 2700 grey concrete cubes act as a memorial to the murdered Jews in the holocaust. From one historical point to another all 22 of us ( this included, me and about 10 couples.. I miss Dan about now) cycled through the Berlin streets, tinkering our bells to alert walkers we were coming through. Cyclists here seem to dominate the bus lanes and half the footpaths! We ended up at the beer garden where I even had a beer, it was about 29 degrees so the liquid in whatever form, was much needed. And of course, accompanied by bratwurst, sauerkraut and couscous. On the return trip home I of course had a wee trip off my bike, but surprisingly landed on my feet, thank god! All in all, a good way to see the city, and get a slight understanding of not only the huge amount of history Berlin is imbedded in, but also a layout of the land, get my bearings, so as to feel bit less isolated. The biggest difficulty iv been having is the inability to read the street signs and differentiate one from another. This was demonstrated when I hopped on the wrong train home, leading me in the opposite direction!! Another couple of days and hopefully ill be able to get myself around and feel a bit more secure. Today it is 36 degrees, HOT HOT HOT. And it’s true what they say, sun makes your happppppy 🙂

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