Thursday, July 14, 2005

DAY- 2

6:02 a.m - Morning Wanderings in and around Rosenthaler Platz



I just brewed myself some instant coffee, which the hostel is providing free, how sweet of them, they even provided free powdered milk. All in little sachets the kind you'd associate with a space flight to mars. It's free and I'm Indian so what the heck. I just walked out the door with cheap coffee in hand.

Is it an overly pleasant morning here in Berlin ? Or is it just the cheap caffeine buzz talking.

Business establishments around me are opening up the florist lady whose marigolds I'm examining is re-arranges her shop window. Bakeries, coffee shops, small breakfast joints every where opening their shutters, rolling out their little canvas roofing, scrubbing out the graffiti [seems Berlin has a problem on that front].

I'm writing all this on the divider of the main road. Passing motorists must think I'm mad. I'm going inside now - my hostel doesn't serve breakfast so I think I'd settle for a pretzel later.

7:00 a.m - Crisis[Personal] at the Circus

Some fool has forgotten to carry the camera charger. I'm not pointing any fingers to save the party from further self-degration and personal torture. Let me enlighten you on the damages a missing camera charger could do. Think... NO PICTURES

NAAAAHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII !!!! [elongated NAHI - meaning no in hindi]


It's akshay to damage control, I asked around the locals where I would possibly find a charger.


Akshay : Excuse me, I was wondering where it would me possible for me to find a camera charger.
Berliner : Umm... Satau at Alexlander Platz.
Akshay : Satau .. {repeating and cringing at the pronunciation} Can you write it down for me ?
[Berliner taking piece of paper and inscribing words Saturn on it.]
Akshay : Ohh Saturn {recognizing words}
Berliner : Yeah Satau {a little pissed}
I make my way to Alexander-Platz. Alexander Platz was the biggest square in what was east berlin, you might remember it from the sniper scene in Bourne Supremacy. It lies in the shadow of berlin's orb like Fernsehturm (TV Tower).

Saturn is one of giant electronics super marts with aisles and aisles of electronics. Scenes not common in India. Lady Luck is on my side and I find my charger, the day is saved !

10:00 a.m- Crisis overcome time to regroup

The crisis over come and my battery all charged it the time for decisions. What are we going to do ?
Pamphlets are scanned through, guide books imbibed, we reach the decision we should do a walking tour. A 4 hour marathon walking tour at that - which will provide the likes of me and the family information gallery on the city of Berlin. We decided on the Brewer City Tour which started around 2:30 at the Australian Ice Shop at Friedrichstrasse. So since we had plenty of time to kill and no so much money to spend we decided to hang around Freidrichstrasse.

Give us four hours. You'll be surprised what you can learn. From the Palace of
Tears to the Palast der Republik, and everywhere in between, our guides hit
Berlin's must-see sights with wit, charm, and more background in Berlin history
than the average tourgoer can shake a stick at, not that Brewers Berlin Tours
endorses stick-shaking in any context. Unter den Linden, the Brandenburg Gate,
Checkpoint Charlie, Gendarmenmarkt, and the Museumsinsel (Museum Island) are but a few names on a star-studded list. But what about the Reichstag?you ask
petulantly, stamping an impatient foot. Yes, you will get to see the Reichstag.
“What about the Arc de Triomphe, you continue, confused. No, the Arc de
Triomphe is in Paris. But we hear it's very attractive.



12:00 noon - Friedrichstrasse and Unter de Linden



Friedrichstrasse is quiet impressive, since most of it was destroyed in the war the building that now grace this part of berlin are innocuous mix of the old and new - shiny glass with ancient stone.

2:20 p.m - The Tour has began

Tour guides are magnetic, we stand their all huddling around listining to her on this crowded sidewalk as berlin comes to life with swift moments of the tongue and expressive probing movements of hands. The tour guide in question here is youngish Brit called Anne -who happens to be leaving for Norway tomorrow to meet her musician boyfriend {the latter infomation being hearsay}.



Author's Note -0- All the infomation learnt on the tour has already been written about in - Berlin Photo Diary and Trivial Thoughts on Berlin and can be read there.



7:00 p.m - Tired


We're pretty tired and we have to check out of The Circus {Hostel} and move to West Berlin and check into Meninger's City Hostel.

8 Comments:

Blogger . : A : . said...

Good travel Journal Akshay. Am enjoying reading it.

The saturn bit was hilarious. And yes, the camera charging thing has happened to me before at crucial times so now I always carry a spare battery pack with me.

:-)

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Awesome. Took me back to my Berlin days in a friend's apartment on Prenzlauer Allee in Prenzlauerberg. It was such a fascinating city... was there for 5 days. Also visited the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in nearby Oranienburg.
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