We find the best way to see the sights of a city is to walk it, or in the case of a city the size of Berlin buy a day transit ticket that gets you onto every tram, bus, both the U and the S-Bahn trains and ferry, even the local line from where we are staying in Wilhelmshorst about 18kms or 40 minutes from the city centre, all for under €8 a day, it’s great value!
Sunday is market day around here, whether you are looking for antiques, fresh fruit and veg or the largest flea market we have ever seen, and that’s our first stop for the day, Mauerpark.
The flea market at Mauerpark has long attained cult status. All year long you can find anything from designer clothes, old army uniforms, records, jewellery and fine art to old pots and pans. And in between all those stalls are the food vans with every nation’s food available. We bought the most delicious burek and gozleme from a couple of Turkish ladies at their food stall for our lunch.
At the time Berlin was divided the site of the park was the border strip of the Berlin Wall, and the area was off limits from 1961 to 1989.
After reunification the no-man’s land became a public park, that many Berliner’s flock to on the weekend for picnics, or to join in the karaoke in the ‘bear pit’ that attracts hundreds of would be singers.
There is a palpable feel between the old east and west especially here in this area of Berlin city to me. The old east just feels a bit grittier, not so prosperous and clinical as the west, and although the much-needed work is being done now on the buildings and roads that deteriorated badly in 45 years of Communist neglect, it will just take time.
There is not much of the old wall left, although in most souvenir shops in Berlin they will happily sell you a small chuck of rock that apparently is the genuine wall, I have my doubts. Even more so since I watched a young woman out the back of one of those shops splashing a bit of watery paint on some chunks of concrete before gluing them to cards. Call me cynical, but I would rather see some of the old wall still standing.
The East Side Gallery is just the place to do that. It is a 1.5km long section of the wall that has been made into the longest outdoor art gallery in the world. Painted by artists from all over the world as a monument to the freedom of expression and reconciliation.
The Berlin-Potsdam area have some beautiful rivers and lakes.
We didn’t get to see them all, but we did manage to take a 30 min ferry ride across one of these beautiful lakes in Berlin to the picturesque village of Kladow on the Wannsee, in the up-market Spandau district south of Berlin.
It was a beautiful afternoon for a little cruise with our ticket included in our tageskart (day transit ticket), and what we saved on the tourist cruise, we could spend in the beer garden, another great thing about using public transit you don’t have to worry about drinking and driving.
|Our lovely homeowners are home later tonight so that means we are |
back on the road tomorrow, and heading to Hamburg.