The Retirees go Abroad – Berlin by foot

Our apartment includes a croissant breakfast. The breakfast arrives at 8.00am and that is when our day starts. Following breakfast we try our hand at the underground (our Berlin pass includes the Uline as the Berliners call it) to get to the ferry terminal. Arriving at Murkisches Museum stop we alight and make our way to the canal. It is cool but serene as we walk along the embankment to find the ticket office. A large canal boat with the word “Tickets” above the boat identifies our destination. An elderly woman is working in the ticket office managing the assembled patrons with aplomb. We are the obvious out of towners and English so she announces to us that the lock is broken (river lock) and the canal cruise does not complete a circumnavigation of the island. A change plans. We will walk back to Alexanderplatz through the old village. We walk past the Murkisches Museum (nowhere near the Uline stop of the same name) with it Teutonic knight at the front door and the radio/tv tower in Alexanderplatz is clearly visible as our beacon to guide us home.

As we stroll in the sunshine, we notice a hot-air balloon rising in the distance. We had passed the tethered balloon site on our Segway tour. It seems the balloon goes up and down on its tether giving the occupants in the cage suspended below a view of the city. There are much easier ways than that.

On we walk to cross another bridge and view the troublesome locks. Crossing under the bridge we find the queue of ferries turning around because the lock is not open. As we climb a set of stairs, we are greeted by two recumbent lions marking the entrance to the oldest surviving part of Berlin. What are now fashionable eateries were once the warehouses of the river. Shortly we come upon a square with St George slaying the dragon in the midst of the square. A closer examination reveals some pock marks very likely from WWII. There is some eclectic street art throughout the village one piece of which portrays Rudolf Heinrich Zille (10 January 1858 – 9 August 1929) a German illustrator, caricaturist, lithographer and photographer. There is the water pump once the central water source for the village. Clean and tidy as you would expect of a German village. Further on is the statue which was to become city’s emblem – a bear holding a shield with a phoenix on the face of the shield. The village is within site of the Alexanderplatz Tower so we use this as our guide back stopping at Haekeresker Market for lunch.

It always surprised us how close everything appeared to be. The radio tower acts as a central point and we always seemed to track from that point. So we spent the afternoon making our way to our apartment for a siesta as we planned on dining on the rooftop of the Monkey Bar in Charlottenburg. We planned that we would all share a tasting plate of the menu whilst taking in the zoo below through into the Teirgarten spreading across Mitte. Sunset was moving further into the evening so that the view remained with us to the very end. The tasting plate was disappointing. Where we had expected a diverse choice of new tastes what we got largely revolved around hommus. Still a unique experience particularly when nature called.

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Retired Australian Lawyer having worked representing the innocent and the not so innocent in Australia and some of the remote parts of the world and having travelled widely through Europe, Western Russia, Canada, USA, New Zealand, Thailand Malaysia Solomon Islands northern China, Hong Kong and the UAE So now that I have the time I am writing about my travels present and past. Hope you enjoy exploring off the beaten track.