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Berlin Patrol 2012
Saturday 1 September
ABOVE and BELOW - as we said...............
...........plenty of great shopping to be found here
We had our breakfast in this area
almost every morning
OKAY - we are rolling - but first we stop
at this Chinese place for lunch. "Imbiss" means snack bar
|COOPER is eating - again!
He looks like a
squirrel storing nuts for the winter!
Our first stop was Cecilianhof. This was the residence of the Crown Prince in Potsdam and for this reason, the victorious Allies chose this to be the site of the famous Potsdam Conference where the "Big Three" carved up the German lands. As history tells us, France was not invited.
|Magnificent place, isn't it?||Unfortunate that photography
inside was forbidden.
Doggone camera malfunctioned again and kept shooting
|This is the room and the table
where they sat;
Truman, Churchill and Stalin.
The red star was planted by the Soviets in 1945 because
this area was in their part of Berlin. It is continued to this day because
of its 'historical significance'. It is always well maintained and well
We are on the march (driving that
is) through Berlin and we pass this nice-looking building. We
learn that it is not so nice - during the days of the Soviet Union, this
was a prison!
Do you remember back in the days of the Cold War when some American or British businessman was grabbed by the KGB in East Berlin and charged with spying? We all thought this was trumped up, that these businessmen were just being used as trading pieces so the Soviets could get back some of their own spies. As we personally learned later, this was not the situation and in most cases, the businessmen were in fact, just businessmen but they had been contacted by the CIA to take photos of - whatever the CIA wanted them to take photos of. They were not true spies, but they were spying and being untrained as spies, they were often caught taking photos of sensitive things.
The 'Exchange' Bridge
Glienicker Leisure Garden (with flower garden) is regarded as the earliest, most
important example of a classical landscape garden in Prussia. Peter Joseph
Lennč determined the design for its owner, the Elector Karl August von
Hardenberg as early as 1816. After its acquisition by Prince Carl of
Prussia, the son of King Wilhelm III, a working relationship between Peter
Joseph Lennč and Prince Carl began with the goal of creating a landscape park
according to an English model. This relationship would last for decades.
In 1824, Karl Friedrich Schinkel began converting the old billiard house into a
casino; reconstruction of the castle into a Classic design began one year later
under his supervision. The Leisure Garden was completed to the highest
artistic degree by installing and converting park structures, through ever
richer ornamentation with imported woods, exotic plants, as well as valuable
works of art, fountains and pergola.
We drove on to the "Wansee Haus" and we visit for the beauty of the place. You may read anything else you want into this visit.
Here we spend some time looking
around the outside of this magnificent mansion. What stories could
this lion tell of history!
Can't remember if photos were
forbidden inside, but about the only thing to see were empty rooms with
large photos and plaques on the wall. On the left is a photo of
what that room looked like before World War Two.
We all know about Checkpoint CHARLIE. We will be there in a day or two - but Checkpoint BRAVO? Our HQ hotel is a mere five-minute walk from this piece of collapsed Soviet history.
As we drew near this former
Autobahn checkpoint, HARRY COOPER (1-LIFE-1983) realized that he
had been here before. During an early Sharkhunters 'Patrol'
in Germany (1988), their bus had to come through this very checkpoint on
the way into Berlin! This was part of the 'Transit'; that
is one of the few highways through the 'Iron Curtain' from West
Germany into East Germany.
What remains of Checkpoint
BRAVO is being turned into a museum to the enslavement of a huge
section of a nation by the Soviets who built walls, barriers, fences and
checkpoints to keep their workforce imprisoned. Many Germans died
attempting to reach freedom on the other side. Those of us old
enough to remember the 1960's, there was a popular song entitled "West
of the Wall" which told of this struggle.
Now, just for fun, let's walk along the Autobahn - watch out for fast moving cars!
Whether it says 'EINGANG
VERBOTEN' or 'BITTE NACHT BETRETEN' the meaning is
the same - the government doesn't want you there and naturally,
Sharkhunters MUST go there! In this case, it is apparent
that the government means for nature to overgrow any and all memories of
the Third Reich. This sign tells that this area has been
re-forested with plants and trees. The goal being the total
eradication of this Autobahn and the big railway bridge.
|Come on - you didn't really think
we were going
to walk on the active Autobahn, did you?
|If you listen carefully and let
your imagination wander,
maybe you really can hear that big red Mercedes.......
At one end of this dieing section of the Autobahn is the big railway
bridge. What nature doesn't take back, 'taggers' will destroy
Here we see the route
of the Berlin Wall as it once stood right here.
The roadway crosses the Teltow Canal, site of vicious fighting in the
closing moments of the war, Volksturm against the Red Army
|Now there are no cars waiting to cross into East Berlin||The flags are gone as is the guard shack and the USSR itself|
Not much remains of this former DDR
restaurant on the former East Berlin side of the border...........only rubble
and memories of a time that passed into history a long time ago - but was it
really that long ago?
How much of this history is disappearing right before our eyes? How much will be gone in a year? Two years? Will YOU be with us to experience this history yourself? Don't put it off.........it may be too late.
Okay, we have had enough fun for one day - it is time for Abbendessen - supper, and we go to a beautiful German restaurant in the old hunting lodge style right on the banks of the Teltow Canal, by the locks (Schluse in German).
|Do we sit inside as above?||Or do we sit outside as below?|
Either way, the view of the locks and the
Teltow Canal is fantastic, and the food is great.
It has been a full day - we saw so much and walked so far, so it is time for bed - but tomorrow will be great too - join us.
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