Elegant Elbe – October 2013 – Berlin

Reichstag Building- Home of the Bundestag, and the Diet until 1933.

Oct. 3 – We arrived in Berlin on the 3rd of October, 2013. It was the 23 anniversary of the reunification of Germany unbeknownst to us. The town was decked out in her finery as we arrived. There were celebrations going on everywhere.

Our taxi moved slowly through the massive traffic jamb toward or hotel in the former East Germany. Our diver happily filled us in with what he knew.

The city is beautiful and historic. From the old crossing point at checkpoint Charlie to the new and shinning buildings all around us, it was a dichotomy that was quickly thrust upon us.

The little emblem of the man in the pedestrian crossing signal in the former eastern sector reminded us to be careful as we crossed the roads as we walked the city trying to stay awake until the local bedtime.

There was construction all around us as we walked from our hotel, and west to the main avenue and to where the bands were playing and where thousands of Germans were gathered to party.

Our flight had been uneventful and almost pleasant. The crew did their best to make us comfortable, but the seats and the leg room on modern planes leaves a lot to be desired now. Why can’t they make the cushion of our seats a little comfortable. Is it because they are a flotation device or do the airlines just not care anymore? I think the latter.

But as always, the unpleasantness of the obstacles placed before us to leave the country are out weighed by the pleasures that await us in foreign lands. The expectations of new insights into history and a taste for adventure has prepared us for what ever might befall us.

The possibilities of the unknown are what make a trip all the more interesting for me. My wife likes things to happen as per plan. I understand, but secretly hope for a little chaos here and there to see what we are made of. The best moments on a trip are sometimes the ones that are not planned.

Berlin, 1850, oops, there’s a car on the left side. Never mind!