Berlin, in a converted LDV Campervan, in glorious sunshine – had we really made it here in one piece, had the van really made it here? And was that really sun? The monstorous rainclouds that had shortened our stay in Warsaw were now a cause of constant worry.
The LDV Convoy is not a van that many people would think of when somebody mentions the word “quality”. Really it isn’t. In fact when it rains as hard as it did in Warsaw you really start to notice that the builders of this van were quite possibly distracted by, well, anything and everything else.
For Luke and I can both actually see the road out the bottom of the doors, yes – we really can, not only does this let in some very cold air, but also allows a certain amount of rainwater to, well, splash in. Creating a puddle within the footwell on each door, hence our escape from Warsaw was made even more pertinent when we saw the size of the puddles, and the amount of water entering the van turned from trickle to torrent.
So onwards to Berlin it was. The city that was, for most of the last century divided into two sections, that of the allies and that of the Soviets.
It is hard nowadays to tell which part of the city is which, modern buildings have sprung up everywhere, the only reminder is the tram network, that was preserved only on the Russian side.
AfLuke and I checked off the major tourist points of the Reichstag and checkpoint Charlie (the old American sector border), which is nearly lost amongst souvenir shops, relic hunters and a rather large advertisement featuring a good looking lady in not very much. So, more critical than myself, might comment “how times have changed”
One of the greatest, and possibly most underappreciated buildings is the new parliament buildings. They are starkly modern, sitting only a few hundreds metres behind the old palaces of Justice and Reichstag. The building actually sits on two sides of the River, yet they are joined by several bridges, signifying the unification of Berlin after the fall of the wall.
After that Luke and I took our usual random walk and found a variety of other buildings and sights, and generally explored Berlin, you can see the photos below. And now, dear readers, I am going to have to cut this entry short as I amoff to bed, for it is near two a.m. and I must arise early in the morning, our hosts for this evening have previously informed us that Fruhstuck (breakfast) is at 8am, which is just cruelly early!