Sunday, July 29, 2007

Cold and Rainy

I woke up to another cold (58 degrees in July?) and rainy day here in Berlin. The plan had been to go out dancing last night then sleep the day away, but somehow I couldn't make it past midnight (maybe the huge dinner had something to do with it).

I remembered last Sunday in Hamburg when everything but the restaurants closed. Same in Berlin, only more so. I couldn't find a cup of coffee at 8 a.m. - not even the 24 hour restaurants were open! I was forced to resort to making of cup of instant coffee in my room. Ach de leiber!

After that delicious breakfast I took a bus to the Reichstag (their Capitol building) then walked to the Museum Island. There were long lines outside in the rain for the museums, none of which interested me that much anyway. Instead I sat at an outdoor cafe for lunch with my rain hood up to keep dry and warm. I wish I had carried my waterproof camera today, that would have been a great photo!

Also on the island was the Berlin Dom (cathedral) which was typically baroquely ornate. Actually, appearances otherwise, this church was built in the 20th century then rebuilt after the war.

I kept looking and looking to get a photograph which might show the characteristic architecture of Berlin. Not possible, there is no such thing. I climbed to the top of the Dom and got this photo which shows what I mean.

Basically the city was bombed flat in World War II then cut off from the outside world until after the wall came down. A lot of the east side is comprised of huge mostly six story apartment blocks. The west side is a hodgepodge of styles, much of it built in the past fifteen years. Although not esthetically appealing to me, I do appreciate the tree lined streets and great public transportation. There are a lot of fun modern buildings and the new central train station is impressive.

So, what to do on a cold rainy day? Go to McCafe, of course! Here I am with a cafe mocha and brownie. Hey Starbucks, notice that McDonalds has fresh flowers and a candle on every table!

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