11/1/14 Day 289 Berlin through the Lense of a tourist
It is our second visit to Berlin and it may be time to do some touristy things. We visited the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, it is an abstract memorial with 2,711 concrete slabs varying in height from a few inches to way over my head. Nothing is written upon the stones, you have to go to the underground information center where you can learn more and to be visually impacted by all of the known Jewish victims of the Holocaust. It is a strange memorial that (in my opinion) seems to invite more running/hiding/playing than the solemnity that I personally think should be evoked from a memorial of this magnitude, but to each his own. In order to visit Berlin's parliament building, the Bundestag/Reichstag you have to preregister online and you can visit for free. There is an intensive security check so be sure to leave your explosives water bottles and weapons at home for this one. The brilliant construction features a hollow core in the center surrounded by mirrors that reflect all of the incoming light from the outer walls of glass, and an open air glass dome on top, this along with the electronically controlled sun shade evenly disperses natural light throughout the building, no electricity needed. The view of the city is unparalleled and included in the price of free, you get an audio tour explaining all of the local landmarks surrounding the building with a small history lesson and explanation of how transparent the order strives to be by allowing any public citizen to attend any sessions long as they sign up in advance.
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
The Reichstag Building
All those mirrors
Pandas in the parliament building
The sun shade helping to control light
The symbol of Berlin, the Brandenburger Tor from the back
We just happened to cruise by this gem, an elliptical motion drivetrain which powers the bicycle by strings, Stringbike, what will they think of next?