Sunday, 5 January 2014

A warm day for a Cold War Tour

 ‘TooManySteps’, hacking into Jackie’s passwords is a breeze! 
Fat Tire Bike Tours Berlin branch as the Mission Statement – “Walking is Stupid”, and this has been taken to heart by Jax as she made her way to Zooplatz for some serious shoe acquisition then KaDeWe for designer clothes (even ‘helped’ by Mr Jax in selection of comfy jeans and matching top - his new glasses are proving a wonder).  
Had darkness not settled in who knows how much more money Jax could have saved?

Back to Das Tour: FatTire organises bike rides on California Beach bikes with smooth fat tires, riding in first gear over four hours with many stops along the way. 

East Berlin being the major focus, starting at the Swedish-engineered TV tower built as a phallic demonstration of the economic might of the German Democratic Republic (funny how totalitarian regimes espouse their democratic credentials).  

As WW2 reached its destructive end, most of Berlin was bombed and everything has since been rebuilt, the East rebuilding the past (in the case of churches minus their crosses), and in the West, all shiny and new.  

Since the collapse of The Wall in 1991, a civic building frenzy (city debt is >70 billion Euros (in surplus-minded Germany this highlights the symbolic importance attached to pushing Berlin to be a world leading city).

Our tour took us through Humboldt University, Brandenburg Tor, Checkpoint Charlie (replica), what’s left of the wall and an isolated guard tower (Bang: “Who goes there?”) followed by a memorial to murdered Jews where the architect encourages you to sit on the stones and contemplate the meaning. 
The memorial is not meant to be like a cemetery because the number of people unaccounted for between the mid 1930s to mid 1940s throughout this part of Europe is actually in the millions. 

Much of the tour focused on post-war Berlin, the cold war and reunification – a city that learns from the inhumanity of the past and looks to the future (the 3rd gay city in world behind Sin City, and San Fran), and with the 2nd most bridges (behind Hamburg but ahead of Amsterdam). 

Berlin has a large number of bears (statues) named after Albrecht the Bear who brought Christianity to Berlin by eradicating Slavic pagan farmers (great for selfies).

Written by guest blogger 'Mr Jax'.


  1. Certainly a different writing style. Pity Jack couldn't have "saved" more money by shopping. Loved the bears, pity we didn't see Paul bare (bear?)

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